Category Archives: Politics and Current Events

WHAT’S THE FUSS? THE CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT IS NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL

 

 

It has been almost a month since the president signed RA 10175 (Cyber crime Prevention Act of 2012) into law and despite the sweet temptation to join in the fun and react to all the brouhaha about the alleged unconstitutionality and despotic nature of the law in facebook, i have held all opinions on the matter until I have fully read the whole law – partly in fear that it may fall within the all-encompassing criminal provisions of the law, which most of the facebook posts seem to suggest. Now that all my baseless fears of this controversial law have been erased, here is my conclusion:

 

THE LAW IS NOT AT ALL OPPRESSIVE. Neither does it create any new crime. The only ‘fault’ of the law, if we are to call it that, is that it increases the penalties already prescribed by existing penal statutes. Of course, we are all aware that the determination of the degree of imposable penalties lies well within the power and authority of the legislature, and is therefore unquestionable unless unduly oppressive. I think everyone would agree that in RA 10175, the penalties are not in any way ‘inhuman,’ for lack of a better term, so it is not the heart of the issue. Heck, from this vantage point, i  don’t see any constitutional issue at all. Or i might just need to get myself a pair of glasses. To explain my stand on this, let me react to some of the main issues raised by some netizens:

 

1. LIBEL DOES NOT BECOME MALUM PROHIBITUM

 

 

Article 4(c)(4) which provides for libel does not make the crime easier to commit. In fact, it refers to the provision of the Revised Penal Code which defines Libel. and Article 353 of the RPC defines Libel as a “public and MALICIOUS imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.” The law is very clear on the element of Malice in libel cases. Hence, even if it is covered by a special law, intent is still an element of Libel under RA 10175. The fact that the penalty is increased doesn’t seem to me to be something that we, law-abiding citizens, should be unhappy about.

 

2. AIRING FAIR OPINIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIBEL

 

 

Unlike what many would want us to believe, mere posting of grievances or complaints against the government or against public officials does not constitute libel. In the case of Borjal vs. Court of Appeals [G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999], the Supreme Court said:

“To reiterate, fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander.  The doctrine of fair comment means that while in general every discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false, because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is directed against a public person in his public capacity, it is not necessarily actionable.  In order that such discreditable imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition.  If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts.”

 

3. LIKING THE STATUS OF OTHER PERSONS WILL NEVER CONSTITUTE ‘ABETTING THE COMMISSION OF LIBEL’

 

The idea that liking a status will constitute abetting libel is the most absurd by far, but it may be worth  a sentence or two. Merriam-Webster provides that to ‘abet’ is “to assist or support in the achievement of a purpose” or to “actively encourage a plan or activity.” In the act of liking or reposting the status or post of another, provided that you identify him or her for her as the author, I cannot see anything which will constitute an act of abetting since one cannot support the commission of something which has already been done.

 

 

3. BLOCKING OF ACCESS TO COMPUTER DATA IS NOT OPPRESSIVE BECAUSE IT HAS LIMITS

 

 Section 19 of RA 10175 does not constitute an absolute and whim-driven sword which the DOJ can wield upon its delight. The provision clearly provides that the restriction or blocking of access to cyber data may only be done upon finding of prima facie evidence of the commission of a crime. “Prima facie” has been defined by the Supreme Court in the case of Wa-acon vs. People [G.R. No. 164575, December 6, 2006] in this way:

Prima facie evidence is defined as:

Evidence good and sufficient on its face. Such evidence as, in the judgment of the law, is sufficient to establish a given fact, or the group or chain of facts constituting the party’s claim or defense, and which if not rebutted or contradicted, will remain sufficient. Evidence which, if unexplained or uncontradicted, is sufficient to sustain a judgment in favor of the issue it supports, but which may be contradicted by other evidence.

The DOJ may therefore block access only when there is prima facie evidence, not even probable cause which is a lower standard, that a crime was committed. It is to be noted that under the law, the authorities have the power to confiscate any object which may constitute evidence of a crime. The seizure may be done through a search warrant or incidental to a lawful arrest. In the case of PDEA vs. Brodett [G.R. No. 196390, September 28, 2011], the Supreme Court held:

According to the Rules of Court, personal property may be seized in connection with a criminal offense either by authority of a search warrant or as the product of a search incidental to a lawful arrest. If the search is by virtue of a search warrant, the personal property that may be seized may be that which is the subject of the offense; or that which has been stolen or embezzled and other proceeds, or fruits of the offense; orthat which has been used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense. If the search is an incident of a lawful arrest, seizure may be made of dangerous weapons or anything that may have been used or may constitute proof in the commission of an offense.Should there be no ensuing criminal prosecution in which the personal property seized is used as evidence, its return to the person from whom it was taken, or to the person who is entitled to its possession is but a matter of course, except if it is contraband or illegal per se. A proper court may order the return of property held solely as evidence should the Government be unreasonably delayed in bringing a criminal prosecution. The order for the disposition of such property can be made only when the case is finally terminated.

 Even without Section 19 therefore, the state is still authorized to seize evidence and may justify the restriction of access to such evidence which is in plain view of the whole cyber world. Section 19 merely creates a clear and unequivocal pronouncement of this power and vests the same upon the DOJ.

 

4. THE DEFINITION OF CYBERSEX IS NOT TOO NARROW

 

Secion 4(c)(1) defines cybersex as “the willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.” I do not see anything wrong with this definition. It only prohibits those acts of exhibiting sexual organs and sexual activity which are done for favor or consideration. Surely, the Supreme Court, despite its infamy for whimsical judgments, will not go to the extent of interpreting the terms “for favor or consideration” to include acts done by two consenting persons who have no pre-existing economic agreements in relation to such act, whatsoever. And if the Supreme Court, by any stroke of chance, steps on the line, then what makes this different from any other law which the Supreme Court may try to misinterpret? At the end of the day, we still have to maintain some sense of trust on our government no matter how difficult it may be. Otherwise, we might as well choose mob rule over democracy.

 

I don’t see so much of a wrong in RA 10175, since it merely tries to enforce responsibility upon all users of the cyberspace, but i respect those who question  the wisdom of the law for whatever viable reason. We may disagree on a lot of issues, and that is the essence of a free system of government, but we will certainly have to admit that many of our laws violate our constitution, and a lot more violate wisdom. The former, we have all the right to bring to court, while the latter, under which the ‘Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012’ might arguably fall, we will unfortunately have to deal with until the congress itself realizes and reverses its own mistakes in judgment, if it ever will. Until then -and by then i mean probably never- we still have the 2013 elections to pick new, hopefully better representatives.

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SULONG RH BILL!

Give every Filipino family a chance to have more food in the table, not give them condoms nor teach them how to prevent having kids. If it’s solving poverty you want, use our funds to increase salaries and give more employment opportunities.

We don’t need the RH Bill.

The above quote came from a friend who is a staunch anti-RH Bill advocate. What she is saying is not new, it had been echoed by so many others who loudly profess their belief that the RH Bill is anti life and passing it would mean the glorification of immorality and that it would not only legalize abortions but it would force abortion on people who do not want it.

But, are they saying stuff that are truthful or even logical? Or are they just mere propaganda to try and brainwash people into thinking that the RH BILL is really evil?

Let us try and shed light into some of their arguments. 

Logic and simple observation dictates that “more food on the table” does not actually quantify into a healthy population growth. Studies show that in times of a prosperity boom the population tends to increase rather than decrease, especially for countries with strong familial traditions. The Philippines has a very unhealthy population dynamics to date, if the current trend will continue, we will hit 150 million before 2030, which our economy, natural resources and infrastructure cant really handle now or even in 30 years from now.

The RH bill does not stop couples from having more children nor does it regulate and impose control over the population at large.. it merely affords people more choices in their familial well being as well as personal health. Read the RH “bills” first (in all its various proposals) before shooting it down. It is highly childish and immature both as a person and as a country at large if we prevent people from making their own choices in life. Even God granted us free will. Who are we, as mere mortals, to dictate upon our fellow mortals?

Give people the freedom of choice in how to run their lives.

It is as simple as that.

I think it is juvenile and simple minded to just easily say that we could use our funds to increase salary and job opportunities, and end it at that..

Look it this way through simple math. If you have 1 million pesos, and lets say that that 1 million pesos needs to be shared with 2 million people. How much money would each get?

Now take that 1 million pesos again and divide it among 5000 people. How much money would they now get each?

Let us even go even further, let us say that 20% of 10,000 people will get about 80% of the 1 million pesos (in rough estimation of poor and rich dynamics). So how much would each get now?

Compare the answers and see who gets the better deal and who gets the rotten one. 

As i have said, the bill does not impose, it merely concretize the basic government policy when it comes to reproductive health and our freedom to pick the right options in how to build our own family and whatnot’s. It does not even dictate on the number of children a couple may have, nor even force people to use contraceptives.

Be honest with me, those who are reading this, have you read any of the bills?

For those who have already made up their minds, either anti or pro RH Bill, don’t you think it is highly unprofessional and irresponsible to comment over something that you really dont have full knowledge over? Diba, too little knowledge is dangerous? Especially since many people who hear us may give much weight on our words? Don’t you think it is our responsibility, our obligation, to those who trust us and believe us to look deeper and understand better that which we are talking about before saying anything about it?

IMMATURITY

Another argument of those who are Anti RH Bill, aside from those who argue about morality and bible verses, goes something like this:

See it this way. Empower the 2 million people you have, give them the right technology and opportunities to further their lives and they’ll turn your 1 million pesos a billionfold. It’s not easy. But it surely is a solution.

Well, to be honest, that argument have some good points and is indeed a good thing to do, and i agree with them on that, it should be done.

However, at this time and in this country of ours it is not only an unrealistic thing but it borders in the realms of fantasy.

In the statement above, it presupposes 3 things:

1st. that it is easy to empower people.

Jesus Christ along with several thousand prophets, saints, holy men and whatnot’s have been among us and their teachings and actions had been passed down through the ages. One thing they all have in common, they strive to empower people to do good and be good. Question. What happened to us? Why are there still wars? Why do we still languish in this cesspool of apathy and villainy? Answer. Because it is hard to empower people. It is an attitude change, and attitude, just like stone is hard to mold. True, i did not say that “all” stones cannot be molded, some can but most could not.

2nd. That merely improving their lives will immediately change the population problem and their economic problem even if they have so many children.

Take for example India and China. They have very good economy and very good employment opportunities, but their people still languish because the resources are spread too thin over so many.

A man who earns 50 thousand a month would still be hard pressed to have all of his 8 children to finish college.

3rd. That People people will opt for the hard road over an easy one.

Majority of people are lazy. Facts shows that, studies shows that. Most people prefer to have an easy way out of things than to have hard labor over it. Even if you strive hard to empower them, if they will still remain lazy nothing will happen.

Yes, it is good that we focus on finding solutions but lasting solutions entails long term plans, and the government has already started on those, like economic prosperity through creation of new jobs, new investments and investor outreach and all that. So, what would we do before the fruition of those long term plans? Wait and allow the situation to fester and be more problematic in the time being?

The problem with social ills is that it acts like a disease.. if you let it be untreated for long it gets worse, if you dont apply first aid on it first before applying a more effective cure for it later – it will get worse.

It is best to have the RH bill and stem the progression of the disease of overpopulation and mothers dying due to lack of proper facilities and information than to confront a bigger problem that will be harder to fix later. Dont you think?

 

And again, i must reiterate, the RH bill gives choices, it does not impose, nor does it take away any freedom from others in practicing other things. The Bill does not make people immoral or that by passing it would condemn  the Filipino People into the ravaging fires of hell… Our choices makes as who we are, be it moral or immoral. Our choices condemns us to hell or to heaven.

 

I do not think that God is such a tyrant as to burn people in hell by just wanting to be more informed and doing informed decisions about their reproductive health, or that making sure that there will be a happier and healthier family by managing its size. After all, our God, the True God, is a God of Love. He even forgave Dismas, who was a sinner who had done countless wrongs, when he asked forgiveness for his sins and that to remember him when He will come into His Kingdom. 

Our God is not a vindictive God. Those people who say that “God does not want the RH Bill” or that “People will burn in hell for supporting the RH Bill” ought to be ashamed of themselves, they are using the name of God in vain. 

 

But then again, this is just me saying. I would advice you to read more about the RH Bill and then form your own opinion about it. Don’t believe what i am saying or what anyone else is saying without checking the facts first!

God gave you a mind to decide what is right and what is wrong, use it.

Don’t let others decide for you.

SULONG RH BILL!

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE RH BILL, TRY VISITING THIS SITE.  

>CLICK HERE<

Love, in the Spring of Youth

I had been privileged to witness once a kind of love story that could only be seen in movies, and could only be imagined in the most vivid of day dreams by hormone addled teens. It is a love story that I could only describe as one much sweeter and passionate than that of Edward and Bella’s, yet more nourishing and delicate than that of Romeo and Juliet’s.

Just like anything in life, it started in uncertainty; to be honest, at the start I didn’t even realize that I am witnessing what would be, for me, one of the most inspiring and heartwarming proof of humanity’s capacity to love and be loved.

NOTE: For the sake of their privacy, allow me to change the names of the characters.

 

Ron and Ren were studying on the same University as me. Ron was taking up a degree in Mechanical Engineering, an intelligent and charming man, and the ladies find him quite attractive. Ren was studying Psychology; passionate, articulate, and sexy.  Since our school has a rather huge campus and their particular colleges being situated a fair distance from each other, it was only on their final year when they were made aware that the other exists.

I don’t know if it was destiny or if there really is some fat kid with wings out there who makes use of humanity as target practice for his frigging arrows; but with some twist of fate and the connivance of the Universe, they did meet.

 

Maybe life sometimes hate to copy some cheesy scene in a romantic movie or that the Mighty Hand that wrote the story of their lives just wanted to have some variety, but as far as first meetings go it was the lamest for a love story. You see, they met at a meeting –  an extremely atrociously boring and god-awful honest to goodness meeting.

It was a University Student Council Meeting; packed full of pompous and overbearing individuals with aspirations to fame and visions of self-importance. Ron was the then chairman for the College of Engineering student body, and at that time too, Ren was the Prime Councilor of the University student body (a position quite similar in nature to the Speaker of the House of Representatives).

 

Attractiveness, intelligence and being all around cool, though, did not make them immune to the overwhelming and contagious nature of boredom. Just like anyone who found themselves in such a situation, they tried to find something more interesting to pass the time, like flirting with the nearest attractive person for example – which they did. It so happened, thanks to the mysterious workings of the Universe (again!), that they were sitting just near enough to start talking.

Their eyes met. Just a shy tentative look at first, then followed by several quick and successive secretive glances, just to make sure that there really was that initial spark – that tingling sensation that resonates from the heart.

 

Seconds passed by as eternity, minutes were already an agony.

Finally, Ron found the courage – the audacity, to ask Ren out.

 

It was a short courtship, nothing fancy, and certainly not the kind of courtship that would look good in movies. They went out for walks, talked a lot, and occasionally had that fleeting moments of rapturous harmony that often come with that affectionate bond that forms when minds and hearts connect.

What makes their story awesome is not their courtship, which was very brief to say the least. What makes it great was the kind of devotion and love that only a few people, since the time when man first loved and be loved, had ever tasted – that sweet intoxicating nectar of young love with the heady zest of fading innocence.

 

You see, this love story happened in our little country, the Philippines, and they were student leaders during a time where there was deep rooted animosity between the university administration and the studentry. In our country, where there is still an ongoing war between the government and communist insurgents, instances where there are tensions between the “establishment” and the idealistic yet disillusioned students are ripe ground for the communist movement to plant the seeds of rebellious thoughts and harvest new recruits that grew out of what they had spread.

One of those seeds took root in the mind of Ren, she was recruited and entered into the ranks of the communist insurgency. This happened just a couple of months from the start of their sweet romance. It was a troubling time for them, Ron totally disapproved of anything to do with communism. He already saw what ruin it causes in the lives of many. He saw families from the small village he came from that were torn apart because of the fighting. He saw death and destruction, where there was once laughter and smiles, in the eyes of those bereft. It was a cycle of agony without an end in sight.

picture from: dipity.com

 

He was a simple man with simple dreams, to have a family and to live a life of simple bliss. He was a righteous man, strong in principles and always stand for what is right. But, he said, bearing arms to kill people is not right and should never be right. Suffering breeds hate, hate breeds more hate and will end in death, death gives birth to more death, and death  caused by hate creates suffering.

 

Now, if Ron was just any man and the love that he professed to feel for Ren was just a way to get her to bed, then the romance would have fizzled out at that point. It was a clusterfuck waiting to happen. No matter what action movies would tell you, in real life seldom was there a happy ending if you mix guns with romance. But Ron loved Ren in a way that is seldom seen outside the big screen, like Thor with his hammer or Puss with his boots, she completes him.

And, he was no ordinary man – he has balls of brass the size of coconuts.

brass balls

He joined the communist insurgency with Ren.

“What will happen to Ren in the mountains if there is no one to take care of her, she is a city girl for *u*ksakes! How will she survive there without anyone looking out for her?And who will convince her to come down if not me?” Admittedly, we were drunk when he said those words, but i never expected that when his hangover has come and gone and sanity kicks in that he would still push through.

 

They say that for every gallon of bravery there is always a dash of insanity thrown in for good measure. At that time i thought he had more than a dash of insanity in him. Be that as it may, one thing is for sure, he has balls of brass the size of coconuts!

imagine these babies in solid brass!!!

 

In between joining communist led rallies and cleaning empty bullet shells for reloading, he talked patiently and lovingly with Ren. Ever patient, ever loving, ever dependable even in the face of adversity. He was the shoulders she could lean on and the arms to cradle her when she was at her weakest.

a shoulder to lean on and arms to cradle her when she was at her weakest

 

In the end, he won her over with his patient love and his devotion to her. By willing to march into the mouth of hell to bring her back, Ron had shown the kind of love that is not often seen in movies with glittery vampires and bare-chested werewolves. Sometimes true love does not manifest through a passionate kiss under the rain in a moonlit night, or through an electrifying sex behind the bookshelves in the library, sometimes true love is shown through the simple actions made day by day that when looked from afar become awesome tales of adventure and romance.

 

Now, Ron is a Marine and Mechanical Engineer and Ren is working as a representative for a medical firm, they live a simple yet a very happy life with their baby daughter.

 

True and lasting love is not made by blazing ecstasy and fiery heat of passion, it is through a conscious decision to stick together and fight for the love that burns in the heart and in the soul. True love is not always accompanied by sweet music and romantic bliss, often times to have our true love we need to walk a hard and rocky road.

 

Ron only decided that he must not let Ren ruin her life and that he must not leave her because he love her; a simple decision that led him to happiness through a torturous and agonizing road. No words of mine could give vivid color to how terrible were those times for them and how it almost led them to the brink of  death’s abyss.

 

To have true love and a happy ending to our story we must actively seek for it, and when we find it we must fight our damned best to retain it, and when we have retained it we must work our hardest to nurture it and make it grow and bloom.

For after all, “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”

 

-pacb2

 

 

To Love Another

this photo was taken at Tibasak Cagayan de Oro City during relief operations for the victims of Typhon Sendong
photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara

 

To love another is to love thy self, for in loving we become loved and in nurturing we too are nurtured. Remember that a closed door could never be entered – so too with a closed heart.

photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara

 

In the course of human undertakings instances occur where circumstances converge that would lead to either growth or ruin to man and mankind. Events that cause suffering can also lead to strength; and circumstances that wipe away plenty could lead to the growth of the seeds of generosity in the hearts of many. For enlightenment does not often come from moments of repose but strikes like lightning and thunder in times of tumult and despair.

photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara

 

To love another is a virtue that shines ever brighter in times of need and in times of wanting. When there is need not just for what is wanted but more so for what is lacking; not only for what was lost but for that which will never be regained.

photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara
photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara
photo courtesy of Luz Diane Legara

 

To love another is to give a part of us to the one we love. And by giving we receive in turn.

Give love not for seeking of grace or for penitence; but give love for the glory of loving and the joy of imparting love from one heart to another.

 

Only in giving love do we truly love and loved back in turn.  And only by being truly loved will we experience having truly lived, for what is life without love and the joy of loving and being loved in turn.  

 

-pacb2

DIVORCE: Do we need it?

A bill was just filed in Congress by Representative Luz Ilagan of the Party-list Gabriela which seeks to legalize divorce, for some special circumstances, here in the Philippines.  This would, either for good or bad, drastically change the social landscape of the Philippines. Who are going to troop into the courts, the poor or the rich? Whoever would, could the country afford it, if the result is, in the very least, a “disheveled” society?

 

So, what is divorce? Legally speaking, divorce is the dissolution of a marriage contracted between a man and a woman, by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, or by an act of the legislature. There are two kinds of divorce: 1. a vinculo matrimonii, which dissolves and totally severs the marriage tie; and, 2. a mensa et thoro, which merely separates the parties from bed and board.

 

Actually it is a misconception for most Filipinos to think that there are no existing divorce laws in our country.  The Philippines already has a divorce law of general application, under Title II the Family Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 209). The said legal provision though is only divorce a mensa et thoro, thus, only legally separating the parties from bed and board and does not totally sever the marriage ties In effect, it does not allow either party to remarry. What the new bill is actually proposing is a divorce a vinculo matrimonii which would, in effect, totally dissolve the bond of marriage and, thus, allowing either or both party to remarry.

 

The Philippines also already has a law which allows divorce a vinculo matrimonii. However, its application is limited in scope.  The said law is under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines” (Republic Act No. 1083) and defined as “the formal dissolution of the marriage bond in accordance with this Code to be granted only after the exhaustion of all possible means of reconciliation between the spouses.” The divorce provisions of R.A. 1083 only applies when both parties are Muslims or when the man is a Muslim and the marriage was solemnized according to the Islamic law.

 

The Philippines, being a country with a population that is predominantly Roman Catholic and with the majority of people leaning towards conservative social ideals makes divorce such a touchy issue. That is all the more reason why it is best that we know the facts before we make a decision whether for or against it. An informed decision is always the best decision after all.

THE MOB: the press of the multitude

It is not only in the halls of Congress where numbers count. It is not only during elections where the inclinations of the many will dictate the course of the whole. Man, being social, will seek to be where the herd moves thickest. The mob: the press of the multitude – the block of humanity that surges like the river rapids, caring neither for its destination nor the course on which it flows.

photo from: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Philippines/Illocos-Region/blog-252525.html

A man in the middle of a throng will lose his sense of individuality and becomes part of a single entity, the mob. He neither chooses his destination nor care what ground his feet are treading. The throng seeks the way with the least strain, where it can disperse and be relieved of its congestion.

The multitude in our country is slowly becoming a mob, marching towards whichever course gives the least pressure and can assuage the discomfort of living the Filipino life. This is not a sign of a positive national unity; but a unity of suffering, of misery. The Filipino dream is just that, a dream, and when the dawn breaks the nightmare of reality comes with it.

One thing that is of note about the mob is that, he who holds the way the way out will control the mob. History is replete with examples of men that became great or infamous because they were able to control the multitude. The one that can show a way out is the hero to the eyes of the congested many. This has been the rule, and seldom are there exceptions to this rule. This is what makes the mob terrifying. A double edged sword, that can be used both to achieve great things, but as well as for terrible and horrifying acts of human savagery.

Why is Willie Revillame still adored by his fans despite the many scandals that he is involved in? Is it because they really love him and find his jokes and comments funny and endearing? Or is it because he offers an opportunity to alleviate the suffering of them, the  hungry flock, through giving away prices and whatnots on his TV shows? When Willie was removed from his former TV Network, many of his fans cried against what was done to him, and those comments made by those fans are elucidating as to why they are for Willie. The cry of the multitude that adored Willie was mostly that “Dapat hindi siya tinanggal. Mabuting tao si Willie, marami siyang na tutolungan sa game show niya.” (He should not be removed. Willie is a good man; he has helped many in his game show.) What they are basically saying is that they do not care if Willie deserves to be removed or not, they only cared for what he can give them out of his game show.

This kind of devotion being showed to Willie is not unique to him. Take for example the devotion that supporters have for most politicians in this country. Why do politicos that are already widely known for their corruption and vile greed, and probably even for their ruthlessness, still retain the support of the common folk? Why is it that, regardless of the fact that most dirty politicos cheat during elections, they still retain a sizeable support groups? The universal response would always be: “Kasi marami siyang na tulongan” (It is because he has helped many).

It does not matter to them if the politico is guilty of corruption, or if he has killed or raped or trampled on the rights of others. It does not matter to them if he is living an immoral life. It does not matter to them that basically the money that those politicos are “helping” them with comes from them, from the taxes that they are paying. What matters to the multitude is that, they were given rice and sardines every once in awhile; that they were given money for medicines when they are sick; that when they die they are provided with coffins to bury them in. What matters to the multitude is that there is someone that can alleviate whatever strain life dishes out to them. What matters to them is that there is a savior they can turn to when the going gets tough. They don’t care if that savior has horns and drinks the lifeblood of the whole.

Such is the reality of our Filipino life. The desperation for release has become the driving force behind the surge of the mob. There is an impending doom for us if this state continues, or an impending splendor, such course depends on whose hands holds to the way out.

The apathy of the multitude will drown the empathy of the few. It is not always true that he who shouts loudest talks wisest. Sometimes the voice of the many may not be the voice of God, but that of the devil hiding behind a façade of goodness just so he can spread his malice and vileness to the world through an ignorant mob. “Beware of false prophets”, so says the Bible, no truer words were ever said.