Into the storm

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By Atty. Taipan Millan

One Small Voice

Friday, August 15, 2014

AT the tail end of the term of the President, when he should already be wrapping up his affairs and bask in the glory of a job well done, he is at his worst popularity rating during his entire tenure and there are no clear signs that the downward spiral is about to stop anytime soon.

The reasons for this very unfortunate predicament can no longer be counted. There were all the natural calamities. And, as if the damage and the devastation were not enough, one man-made disaster after another came with even more fury.

This is the tragedy of creating expectations that were higher than what reality can ever deliver. This is the result of taking on an attitude of denial, defensiveness or even self-righteousness in the face of the obvious, the apparent or even the unmistakable. This is the legacy that befalls those who do not tell the truth the way it really is.


The problem with the truth is the problem with the truth. It has so many versions when there should only be one. It has so many interpretations when nothing is required, requested, or desired. It has become accepted, or tolerated, or made not worthy of any effort to validate no matter how incomplete it is, no matter how misleading it is, no matter how unbelievable it is.

It was proudly announced that the PDAF, after it has been declared unconstitutional, has already been done away with. Obviously, based on the wiretapped conversation made during an executive session in a congressional hearing, it has not been done away with but merely hidden from plain sight.

There is a legal issue on the manner of recording the deliberations in violation, not only of the internal rules governing congressional proceedings but, also, of the law against such prohibited activity. But this should not veer away from the fact that there was an official admission of the continued existence of PDAF, whatever its new appellation may be at present to conceal its true nature.

It was also proudly announced that the DAP, before it was declared as unconstitutional, will already be done away with. Apparently, when as before it was done silently, discreetly and without even mentioning its name, it will now be institutionalized by legislating its intent or implication, its definitions and descriptions, and its purposes and objectives.

This is the follow up reaction to the tantrums and the threats, in addition to the investigations that are now being conducted on matters that could have been the subject of investigations before but were not undertaken, or matters that should never be the subject of investigations due to the separation of powers, to inter-branch courtesy or just common sense.

It was likewise proudly announced that a peace agreement with the MILF has already been signed. Unmistakably, no matter how it was tactically labeled as a framework agreement, it was packaged, presented and paraded to the public as a peace agreement between the government and the rebels.

The bomb is ticking on this one. Hell has no rage than an enemy betrayed after a truce. If and when the new law, that which is called the BBL, is not enacted on time, and as of now there still is no final draft of this proposed legislation, then nobody knows what will happen next except that it is going to be worse than before.

The State of the Nation Address was delivered not so recently but not too long ago. Muted by the stories about teary eyes and ostentatious gowns was the real state of the nation. We may still remember the red carpet and the wet tissues. We may no longer remember the real state of the nation if at all we ever knew.

And then the mudslinging among contenders for the 2016 elections has begun, with or without basis in truth and in fact.

And calls for charter change, not just to revise or amend the economic provisions but, also, to allow the President to run for a second term, have heated up, seriously or just as a strategy for some ulterior motive.

And then the prices of everything are going up, among the many other things that are going down like social services, like poverty alleviation, like inclusive growth, like the trust ratings of elected officials and government offices, among many others.

And we have even run out of ChickenJoy.

Where do we go from here?

We must criticize but we must do so constructively. We must oppose what is wrong but we must do what is right. We must think fast but we must act faster. We must do what we can, when we can, to help ourselves, to help others.

This President can still do something, somehow, but his truth is no longer our truth, whichever is the truth.

This President will certainly not go quietly into the sunset.

This President definitely is headed into the storm.

Comments are most welcome. Please send them to

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 15, 2014.


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