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Method To Madness
The truths every Filipino should know

By Patricia Evangelista
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:24:00 04/25/2009

Filed Under: Youth, Subic rape case, Elections, Ted Failon

MANILA, Philippines ? Today, I will write a manifesto. I?d like to correct the perception that my generation is apathetic to the state of the nation. Issues of policy, of poverty, of the national economy?all these are supposedly beyond the scope of our interest. It is not true, but such is our inexperience that we look toward the obvious superiority of our elders to determine how to go about our lives, to set our moral and ethical standards, to fix upon our minds the path of truth and virtue in a society in constant battle with sin.

I am, after all, only 23, and brought up to have the highest respect for authority and government. I admire the virtuous ladies of the Court of Appeals, have great regard for our brave men in uniform, and indeed, much higher for the gentlemen of the Commission on Elections. Let me tell you what I?ve learned, from the events of the past week, from headlines and the interviews I have seen on television. Let me tell you about the truths I have concluded from the wisdom of my elders.

I have learned, first, that a man accused of torture, perjury, and the wholesale murder of dozens?by no less than the Supreme Court and the United Nations?is precisely the sort of man fit to sit in the House of Representatives.

Irrelevant, for example, of the testimonies of escaped political prisoners Oscar Leuterio and Raymond Manalo?whose flight to the witness stand led to the 2008 decision of the Supreme Court that Palparan was responsible for the disappearances and subsequent rape of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeo?and in spite of the fact that a commission established to look into the rash of political disappearances recommended the investigation of the Honorable Jovito Palparan, the Commission on Elections permitted the party-list group Bantay?also known as True Marcos Loyalists?to represent the ?marginalized and underrepresented sector? of the military in Congress ?to implement the government?s national security program.? It was permitted with knowledge that the military has never been more represented in government since martial law, with the administration actively distributing plum leadership positions to retired military men, and with the certain conviction that the group will be led by the gentleman lovingly called ?Butcher? by his men.

No matter the protests, the reams of investigative reports, the witnesses, the small girl named Sugar who lost her daddy, Palparan?s inclusion into the House of Representatives establishes that ?Butchers??for as long as they have friends?are not only exempted from the rule of law, they are ushered into Congress and are called ?honorable.?

I?ll tell what else I learned, this time from the behavior of the police over the death of ABS-CBN anchor Ted Failon?s wife. I have learned that it is unnecessary to have a warrant of arrest if there are enough members of the police to physically cart away whoever they consider a suspect. I have also learned that it is acceptable for police chiefs to feed false information to journalists to report to the public in order to establish that a man is guilty of killing his wife?as was in the case of Police Superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag in telling members of the Philippine media that Ted Failon was found with scratches on his person (to indicate a fight with his wife) and that there is evidence her body was moved from his car to the bathroom. It is also appropriate, above all, to drag possible witnesses from the deathbeds of relatives if the cause is justice.

I?ll tell you the last lesson I learned, from the decision of the ladies of the Court of Appeals in their decision in favor of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith over the young woman we now know as ?Nicole.? I have learned that rape is only rape if the woman is a ?demure provinciana lass.? If she has, in fact, engaged in ?undecorous behavior,? which may include going away for a weekend ?to enjoy? with two American friends, and accepting free hotel accommodations after knowing them for the shamefully short period of ?only about three months,? that woman could not have possibly been raped. And if she did protest, it is only a sudden guilt over her behavior, not because she was actually raped.

I have also discovered, from the learned ladies of the Court of Appeals that a girl cannot possibly be too drunk too refuse sexual intercourse when ?she danced non-stop to the urgent beat of rock and hip-hop music? for a total of 15 minutes ?without stumbling clumsily on the floor.? The court of course referred to a previously unreferred-to nugget of previous jurisprudence. It is a known fact that ?when a woman is drunk, she can hardly rise, much more stand up and dance, or she would just drop. This is a common experience among Filipino girls.?

And because of all this, it is logical to conclude that any vaginal contusions a young woman may have acquired consistent with rape are in all probability not due to rape but may in fact be due to ?finger grabs.? It is an important lesson to learn at this time, and one that every young Filipino woman should learn?that if one is raped, one must not speak of it unless one is truly a ?demure provinciana lass,? and one must not claim to have been drunk and taken advantage of if she has succumbed to the ?urgent beat? of hip hop and rock and roll more than 14 minutes. I am not certain how this jurisprudence applies for reggae or house music, and will assume that R & B is an exception, because the beat is not urgent enough for a drunken girl to fail swaying along to without dropping to the ground.

And so I express my gratitude to the men and women who determine law and order in this country. On the off chance I am raped, disappeared, or invited for questioning, I am glad to know I and the rest of my generation will be in good hands.

* * *

Email: pat.evangelista@gmail.com

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