It used to be that the Editorial and Opinion pages were worth reading through, but these days, I have my doubts.
On Sunday, September 30, 2007, the Inquirer lambasted Senator Richard Gordon for his heated exchange with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano over rules governing the hearings. The crappy thing about this country is that we are not allowed to behave like Gordon when it is warranted. Most Filipinos just allow themselves to be stepped on and waylaid, all the while smiling, laughing, and trying to be polite about it. Gordon won't allow himself or others to be so easily treated shoddily, that is what the whole exchange between him and Cayetano was all about.
Against Gordon, it says in its Editorial: "The lowest point was Richard Gordon acting like a petulant child, insisting on adding a full hour to the proceedings because he craved television time, when even his usually fractious colleagues had decided to go into executive session."
The writer of the Editorial should have waited for the full transcript of the hearings. (It has known to have reporters who for some reason rely on hearsay.) Gordon did not insist on adding a full hour to the proceedings or insist to do so for his own sake. He asked Cayetano to proceed with the hearing as not all senators involved had been able to ask their questions. Cayetano had previously moved to go into executive session, saying erroneously that there had been a consensus to do so and that senators had waived their right to ask questions. Gordon told him, albeit forcefully, that he had not waived his right and that going into executive session would cause the people called for the hearing to leave the Senate, thereby preventing him along with other Senators from asking their questions. The opinion as written in the Editorial, which the whole Inquirer is assumed to support, is inaccurate and unfair.
The next sentence reads, "Gordon wouldn't even give the chairmen of the committees, Sen. Alan Cayetano in particular, the basic respect due a chairman."
Kung may basic respect, may special respect ba? Ano iyon, parang mami? When you talk of real respect, no adjectives are necessary.
The writer of the editorial should be reminded that RESPECT is earned. It is not something accorded to a person because of his or her position. To be respected you have to show respect for others first and in this case, Cayetano had provoked the exchange with Gordon when he asked whether Gordon would continue to 'quibble' -- this is something which the Inquirer didn't include to say in its Editorial.
"We have seen many moments of political degeneracy in our recent Senates, but Gordon's was among the most galling debasements of the Senate. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's slur on an entire civilization came quite close in disgracefulness."
This just shows how short, narrow, and shallow the frame of reference this writer is using. Either that, or the writer's sense of magnitude is just completely skewed out of proportion. Does the Inquirer think it is wrong to stand up for yourself when you think you have been slurred or belittled or treated with anything less than respect?
Since the Editorial mentions the impeachment trials, let us remember that in 2001 some of the present members were full against Erap during the impeachment proceedings. Now we have some of them falling over one another in a tawdry race to give Erap a pardon, hardly asking themselves first if this pardon is deserved or not.
All in all, there is one phrase I think everybody should consider living by and it might sound a bit harsh on the ears but it says what I feel exactly: Give no BULL, take no SHIT!
Team Gordon 2010