Same program, different channel

Senator Lito Lapid was a hit during the Coronavela season finale. Prior to his “non-speech”, people were twitting him on Twitter and Facebook. While the derision didn’t completely stop after the senator’s turn at the podium, a collective “whoah” could be felt, indicating approval and agreement from the usually cynical crowd.

Those who expressed their admiration say Senator Lapid’s reasoning was simple, honest, and sincere. Perhaps. They say it reflects the general public’s true sentiment. Arguably. Even Senate president JPE admitted that his favorite “speech” was from Senator Lapid. Reading all these post-trial comments about Senator Lapid had me shaking my head, wondering if I watched the same drama.

In explaining his “guilty” vote, Senator Lapid said, “Bilang high school graduate po, sa ating mga kababayan, anong sasabihin ni Lito Lapid na hindi marunong mag-Ingles, na hindi kaalaman sa batas, ano kaya ang magiging desisyon? Didisisyunan po ng katas-taasang hukom na isang high school graduate lang at taga probinsya ng Pampanga.” What did this tell us?

  1. that a high school student in the Philippines can graduate even if he doesn’t know how to speak in English
  2. that a Philippine Senator, one of whose functions is to pass laws, doesn’t have to know much about the law
  3. that we look down on those who only finished high school level of education

It’s clear to me that Senator Lapid is playing the crowd with his woe-is-me appeal. I am not, in any way, looking down on the Senator. In fact, I wasn’t one of those who derided his simplicity of intellect. But if we excuse senator/judges for their sorriness because of their poor educational background, then justice, in my opinion, can become cheap.

I want judges who can think and analyze thoroughly, and not be swayed by colorful graphics. It’s a mockery of the Filipino’s level of intelligence. Had he not emphasized on his under graduate level, I would have joined his bandwagon. Now, if he’s a Chiz Escudero or a Miriam Defensor Santiago and still point out the “picha pie” presentation as the eye-opening highlight of his decision, then I would feel more comfortable.

For me, a learned man who can explain it plainly for everyone to understand is better than a plain man who wallows in self-pity in the hope of making people take his side.

This exultation of Senator Lapid has somewhat anointed him as the “representative of the people”. Are we really that resigned to the fact that the “general public” is under-educated just like Senator Lapid?

Yes, I do believe most of us who watched the CJ’s impeachment conclusion was again taken for a ride by this political soap opera. It just so happened that I was one of those who were watching from a different channel.

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