"We Look More Sick Than He Is"

By Maila Ager

Posted 19:10:00 11/13/2008

The fact former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante can stand hours of testifying and answering questions from the Senate for hours proves he is not sick, said opposition Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

“The only significant revelation in today’s hearing, Mr. Chairman, is the fact Mrs. Bolante is not sick,” Lacsom said.

“We’ve been grilling him, we have been taking time in grilling him for almost nine hours. We look more sick than he is,” Lacson noted.

When Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. moved to further hold Bolante under the Senate custody, Lacson admitted he was tempted to amend the motion to have continued detention of the witness either in the premises of the chamber or even at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City.

“Because you have been fooling us the whole day,” Lacson said.

With the way things are going in the reopened Senate probe on the alleged fertilizer fund scam, it's not only the senators who are looking more sick than the respondent, but also the whole nation. The respondent maybe suffering from the kind of "sickness of the heart" (most typical of public officials investigated of corruption), but the nation has long been agonizing of a kind of state-inflicted psychological illness that is now restarting to drive its people to go nuts again.

A frustrated and exasperated people could potentially turn into a dangerous mobbish rule of the desperate ruled. Shall the nation fall into this same old trap again? For as long as the trap remained laid on the only way, surely the danger exists. Because of corruption this trap was caused to be built, and only by honesty that it can be destroyed.

When left with no other choice but to walk through the trap-laden road, [popular] patriotism will prefer the "dignity" of suffering the pains of being caught in the trap while trying to move on (or push the nation forward), than to be undignified sitting by the road and hoping for nothing.