Let’s keep emailing
Reader, you will recall that I asked you, if you were so inclined, to reach out to our leaders, by email, and tell them what you think of what they are doing. In particular, I chose the cases involving Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Sister Patricia Fox. I supplied you with the addresses of the justices involved (in the case of Sereno) and the Bureau of Immigration head (in the case of Fox), and even with sample communications.
From the positive feedback I got, it seems that there are many of you who were inclined to email these government leaders and communicate to them your thoughts. All you needed, Reader, was a little nudge. Maybe we should expand our communications base and write the President, the Vice President, the Speaker, the Senate President, etc., what we really think of what they are doing and saying. I will come up with a list of email addresses.
Also, Reader, you may want to email your favorite radio and TV commentators, just to get things off your chest. The worst thing that can happen to our country is a citizenry benumbed by events who have lost hope and think that they are powerless. As Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker said: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
It also occurred to me that we seem to have forgotten Sen. Leila de Lima’s plight. I am sorry, Senator De Lima, about this. Arguably, you have suffered the most from this administration’s drunk-with-power antics. You have been incarcerated for over 14 months, with no end in sight. And our Supreme Court—yes, Reader, the present one—has contributed to this travesty of justice.
Who should we email in De Lima’s case? Here it is: the Presidential Complaint Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have to go to the top. Something like, “Be a real man. Free de Lima,” should suffice.
By the way, it must not have escaped your notice that these three cases involve women leaders who are intelligent, have integrity, and are committed to their causes. (I can think of others, too, like Rappler’s Maria Ressa and Inquirer’s Marixi Prieto). President Duterte says that he has nothing to do with their respective plights. In all sincerity, he has avowed this, not realizing that the current information and communications technology has forever burned every word he has spoken into YouTube or whatever other social media platform there is, so that to say print media has made a mistake or misquoted him is patently ridiculous. It is so easy to catch him in a lie.
In the case of De Lima, it was the President’s now-ousted justice secretary who orchestrated the testimony of convicted felons that she is a drug lord, and gave them favors in prison in exchange.
In the case of Sereno, it was his super-majority Congress, headed by the man who she discovered was a major factor in the corruption involving Piatco, who barred her legal counsel from questioning witnesses during its hearings.
And it was his solicitor general who brought up this quo warranto case, completely out of time. That the Supreme Court found merit in it is a combination of their being accommodative to the presidency and their personal dislike for the Chief Justice (a newcomer who jumped over their heads to that position).
In the case of Fox, it was his Bureau of Immigration chief who fell all over himself to please the President.
Did the President call his minions to sic ’em against these three? Maybe not. But his comments about De Lima, Sereno and Fox are there somewhere in the internet for all to hear, prior to these people jumping hoops to please him. That includes other agencies—the Bureau of Internal Revenue, for example, which serves as one of his attack dogs.
De Lima, Sereno and Fox displeased the President. And they have lost either their liberty, their jobs or their careers as a result. No wonder the business community is cowed—and many of them admit it.
Don’t you think these add up to abuse of power?
But we aren’t cowed, Reader. Let’s keep emailing. And may I remind you of columnist Rina Jimenez-David’s suggestion to wear white every Monday as a quiet but visible sign of our displeasure with what is going on. My Walking Group does it faithfully, and I ask you to do it, too.
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