This blog is a substitute article for the one I am too afraid to post.
As you know, this JoeAm character uses his words sharply. He is like the American at a fiesta party who will not get out of your face and insists on telling you what's on his mind, even if you don't want to hear it. Loud and clear.
Well, yes, I write differently than journalists who hone the simple line of who, what, when, why, where and how, reciting their facts and maybe in a commentary offering up a conclusion, a deduction, an opinion. I strive for literary effect. The twist of a phrase that will bring insight or clarity or humor or even a big hammer to bear on an issue.
This is not always a good style for the Philippines, which is a sensitive place. A place where an intellectual argument can easily be taken as a personal insult, and turn murderous.
So I pulled the blog.
You get this instead.
I have had three readers caution me about the Philippines as it pertains to my style of calling people and institutions out. As much as I can say "these are just words, just arguments", it does not stop them from being bullets to people whose karabao I gore . . . whose reputation I shoot with words. The Catholic Church takes a lot of word bullets. Well, they are powerful but most priests don't pack guns. Yesterday I fired a couple of rounds at TESDA, and I've slung some adjectives recently at bloggers benigno and ellentordesillas. The Department of Education has taken a lot of pot-shots, and even the Arroyos. That's dicey.
The blog I pulled criticized President Aquino.
It questioned why he does not advocate for a modern social agenda by backing the HR legislation or a divorce bill. You know, modernize the Philippine social framework. It questioned why he is silent and passive when the Philippines is drowning in people and crams kids 45 to a classroom in public schools. When the nation cannot provide electricity, food, water, health care and sanitation to its teeming masses.
But the blog did it in a style that called him out as "corrupt" for seeing damage to the nation and failing to correct it. Frankly, I don't know why he is quiet. Perhaps for reasons that are personal, but I fear it cedes his civic authority to the Catholic Church.
Well, my article was a little much, even for me. The blow struck too hard.
Even this caveat that was included in the blog would not soften it.
- I hold President Aquino in higher regard with each passing day. Let me state that explicitly. He is a good man doing a good job. He works earnestly. He delegates well, letting his staff do their best work, but he is tough-minded and thorough in demanding performance. He is pushing ahead on so many fronts that we can't keep pace: corruption, trade, finance, poverty, mining, defense, tourism. We get dizzy. History may record that he is single-handedly the inspiring and determined force that turned this nation around.
So I merely ask the questions: Why does Mr. Aquino stand silent when the single most dangerous trend facing the nation is not corruption, or China, or the economy, or global warming, but over-birthing? And why does he stand silent when the modern and compassionate social instrument of "divorce" is not available to release women from bondage to abusive or deadbeat husbands?
Why is it that he can see the wrongs, but does nothing to correct them? What is he getting?