A display of vitriolic Miriam’s low regard of ordinary people | Inquirer Opinion
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A display of vitriolic Miriam’s low regard of ordinary people

09:26 PM August 11, 2011

The vitriolic senator was at it again! At the Senate hearing on the “Mitsubishops” scandal, Sen. Miriam Santiago minced no words in insulting Commission on Audit (COA) officials for having the temerity to interpret the Constitution the way they did.  Only the Supreme Court (and of course, she, being the Senate’s self-appointed “constitutional expert”?) can tell us what the Constitution says, she intoned.

The bone of contentions was whether or not it was right for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to disburse public funds in favor of religious institutions (mainly the Catholic Church) in light of the “Noli Me Tangere” kind of dichotomy between the Church and the State.  The COA officials had raised doubts as to the propriety and legality of such kind of expenditure. Santiago superciliously lectured them—and her fellow senators—for wasting the bishops’ time by summoning them to the public hearings.

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True there was nothing wrong with such expenditure because it was done mainly for charitable and humanitarian purposes. Any religious benefit, if at all, was merely incidental.  That is a well-settled and time-honored doctrine. No debate there.  But the primordial question is, why were the doles limited largely to prelates who had expressed unflagging support for the despicable regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?

We likewise take vigorous exception to the insult. Santiago has no right to berate mortals below her chimerical level of “intelligence,” she with a mind that is so full of hot air and dishonesty (indeed, how many times has she admitted “I lied” on national TV?).  She forgot that it was not the Supreme Court that approved and gave life to the Constitution—it was the ordinary people of ordinary intelligence who did so. Doesn’t their understanding of what they had approved count for anything?  Apparently, she has very little respect for such little minds—yes, the same obtuse minds that made her senator over and over again despite herself!

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The hubris that Senator Santiago exudes every time she opens her mouth is really discombobulating. Where does she get off disparaging and belittling everyone, including her fellow senators, and then walking out on all of them after she was done with her acrimonious tirade? Where were her manners? It was a good thing her fellow senators decided to proceed with the hearings like they didn’t ever hear her! Too bad they were too “reverential” to ask tougher questions—nay, they were almost apologetic. But the bishops’ new-found gall to demand a public apology simply because there was in fact no Pajero, just MonteroSport (duh!) was downright droll.

—STEPHEN L. MONSANTO,

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TAGS: bishops, Letters to the Editor, Miriam Santiago, PCSO
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