In many ways, we too are breachers. Who isn't? So, let's show mercy.

As a country with many of our loved ones working in many different countries abroad as OFWs, we owe to forget not that punishment without mercy is cruelty. Punishment is condemnation of the wrong act committed. Mercy is respecting the human person because he/she (and each one of us) comes from God, and that God loves all of us absolutely without any condition.

In one level, asking for forgiveness and humbly accepting appropriate punishment is a righteous way of acknowledging fault -- and this is embracing justice. On the other level, not losing the willingness to be still accepting of the [undeserving] person despite his/her wrongdoing is giving the person a chance in and for righteousness -- and this is mercy.

Justice is giving each person what he/she deserves. Mercy is giving each person what he/she doesn't deserve.

Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2:10). Judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). For God desires mercy, more than [animal blood and burnt offering] sacrifice (Hosea 6:6).

Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7).


Bring it to God first, then bring it to the nation

Binay to bring case to the people
By Christine O. Avendaño, Leila B. Salaverria, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 -- 2:43AM

Link to source: "Binay to bring case to the people"

Vice President Jejomar Binay is brushing aside the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showing 79 percent of respondents want him to face the Senate and address allegations of corruption against him when he was mayor of Makati City.

Binay’s camp on Monday said the Vice President would rather go directly to the people to air his side, something that it said he had been doing in his provincial visits the past weeks.

Binay is set to appear tonight in ANC’s Beyond Politics program anchored by Lynda Jumilla to respond to the allegations, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s political spokesman, said in a phone interview.

In a statement, Remulla insisted that Binay would not attend the “farcical proceedings” of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee because its inquiry was “not in aid of legislation but in furtherance of political persecution.”

“It would be futile for the Vice President to dignify such farcical proceedings and subject himself and his family to ridicule,” Remulla said.

The SWS survey on Sept. 26-29 released Monday showed 79 percent of 1,200 Filipinos polled thought Binay should appear in the Senate inquiry.

Remulla said Binay had already been prejudged by the Senate subcommittee and pointed to the way its members—Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV—had been unfairly conducting the inquiry.

Remulla said the two senators accepted the “unfounded claims” of former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and were coddling him and even included him in the government’s Witness Protection Program.

binay-survey-1021“There are other venues where the Vice President can address the baseless allegations and lies—venues where there is no other agenda except arriving at the truth,” the Cavite governor said.

“He is determined to bring the issues directly to the people, which he has been doing for the past weeks in visits to Mindanao, Zambales and Bataan,” he added.

Aside from the alleged P2.28-billion overprice in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, the hearing has also heard allegations that Binay received kickbacks from infrastructure projects when he was mayor, and that he used dummies to hide his assets, including a 350-hectare hacienda.

Trillanes told reporters that he was glad that the vast majority of Filipinos, as shown in the SWS survey, agreed with his call for the Vice President to face the Senate.

Proof of guilt

“We will show our countrymen that [Binay’s] continuous absence [in the hearings] is proof that he is guilty of these allegations,” he said. “He will be on the losing end, until he faces us here.”

Trillanes said anybody faced with false accusations would be so angry and would elect to face his accusers in the same forum to belie their claims.

He noted that former President Fidel Ramos and former Vice President Noli de Castro had attended Senate hearings in the past.

Trillanes also said it remained his prayer that people would be enlightened and shun Binay in the 2016 elections. “If we want a thief for a President, the Philippines will deteriorate,” he said.

He said a lot more of evidence and witnesses would be presented about alleged irregularities in Makati, and that he intended to pursue the investigation of other infrastructure projects and anomalies there.

“We will look into those. What happened in Makati may be happening in other local government units in the country. Who knows, maybe the same thing is happening in Navotas or in the provincial capital of Cavite,” he said, in an apparent dig at Binay’s spokesmen, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco and Remulla.

About time

Opposition Sen. JV Ejercito on Monday said it was about time Binay faced the Senate, pointing out that the government appeared to be mobilizing its resources against the Vice President.

“That’s up to him. But for me, he should answer the issue head-on if there’s a chance, if only to put the issue to rest,” he told reporters. “Right now, three institutions are moving to pin down the Vice President.”

“Probably not,” Ejercito said when asked if he thought President Aquino was involved in the demolition job against him. “But probably his party mates. I’m sure that the Liberal Party (LP) has something to do with this in conspiracy with those spearheading the investigation of VP Binay.”

Asked for comment, Senate President Franklin Drilon, LP vice chair, curtly said: “Not true.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined the fray amid the ongoing Senate inquiry into the Makati car park, and the Ombudsman’s investigation of a plunder complaint against Binay.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that while the Vice President was immune from suit, he wasn’t immune from investigation.

Ejercito observed that the government appeared to be quick to investigate members of the opposition, but was slow to investigate its allies.

“If it’s VP Binay, or any member of the opposition, nobody can stop the investigation … There appears to be an express lane in the investigation of anomalies.”

Be not afraid

In contrast, Ejercito said the DOJ has yet to file the third batch of cases over the P10-billion pork barrel scam probably because these involved administration allies.

“Is it because there are some allies or members of the Liberal Party that are involved? It should be first in, first out,” he said. “From any angle, there’s selectiveness.”

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Binay should not be afraid of attending a Senate probe because he would be surrounded by his allies, including his daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay.

“My advice is for him to go ahead and appear there (Senate) because he appears to be scared of going there. He should not be afraid because I am sure they will respect him because he is the Vice President of the Philippines after all.”

Forum hunting is a "political sport" politicians traditionally do ever since. Senators have their "in aid of whatsoever" platform in the senate to use as forum, while VP Binay uses his [official] visits to various sectors and communities of the country as his forum. Therefore unless these multiple allegations of past corruptions primarily involving VP Binay is brought to the right forum and level, and until there is created a fair, neutral, and legally-binding appropriate forum for where the right authorities can conduct a thorough investigation on this whole issue, in the public's perception, no matter and whatever this so-called "in aid of legislation" probe may have unearthed and exposed to the people, it largely remains to be seen as simply politically motivated considering that VP Binay is a survey-leading Presidential candidate.

The big question and challenge now is this: Do the probe initiators (and the PNoy administration) really have the balls to elevate this whole issue to the right forum and level, and if the allegations are proven to be true, pursue it to its deserving final state? Or are their main [hidden] objective is to politically destroy VP Binay's chance in the 2016 Presidential election?

To VP Binay: Prove your worth Mr. Vice President. Bring your case to the people but only after you have brought your self to God. Don't be afraid to be accountable to God first and to the nation second. People make mistakes and the right way and first step in correcting them is to face an investigation head on but only in the fair, neutral, and legally-binding appropriate forum with the right authorities. Don't go forum shopping. Our time on earth is never enough to fulfill all of our life's aspirations. All the powers and luxuries of a presidential office is nothing compared to your place in eternity.


Something for the administration to ponder upon

Blind idolatry and the irrational elites

By Antonio P. Contreras
October 9, 2014 3:22pm

GMA News Online, Opinion, Blog

He will still vote for Binay, despite all the things that are being said about him.
This is what this ordinary guy told me one night I was hanging out at the entrance of my condo in Vito Cruz. We are usually part of a group congregating around the balut vendor who has become a regular there. This informal community is like the “umpukan” usually found in street corners. Indeed, even in this vertical urban community, the ritual of making “kwento” after dinner is a tradition that may have been diminished, but has not been totally eradicated as a practice among ordinary peoples. After all, while the group, mostly male, is composed mainly of middle class, blue-collar workers, and professionals, we are still ordinary Pinoys.
This guy I am referring to works as a casino dealer. He's a graduate of criminology, and is surprisingly interested in politics. He always engages me in small talk about political developments, probing my position on issues. He knows that I am sometimes invited to render my opinion on issues on TV and in radio talk shows, and so he takes every opportunity to further quiz me about politics. 
But on that night, it was my turn to quiz him. I was particularly interested in how ordinary citizens react to the methodical, almost striptease-like demolition of Jojo Binay by his political enemies, and how this affects their views of him.
Yes, the guy is fully familiar with what is happening. Yes, he knows that the Binays are being accused of corruption. And yes, he is convinced that the accusations are probably true. But yes, he will still be voting for Jojo Binay nevertheless.
When I probed him for answers, his response was characteristic not of somebody blindly loyal, but one who has a sense of pragmatism. According to him, even if Binay is guilty, he gets things done and has a track record. This guy is resigned to the fact that politicians are a bunch of tainted, flawed characters, but the more important trait is to show results. In short, what the country needs is someone who can rescue us from the problems we face, and not someone who may be squeaky clean but is totally inept.
And yes, for him, it also did not help at all that the people behind the attacks on Binay are also one way or the other accused of, or implicated in, the PDAF and DAP controversies. 
When I asked him about Mar Roxas, his reply was dismissive. He is too elite, according to him, and too trying hard.
When I asked him about giving PNoy another term, he laughed and rhetorically asked me if this is even possible since it is not allowed in the Constitution. Besides, he thinks PNoy is only good in going after his enemies, and has utterly failed in solving the problems of the ordinary people.
I imagine that this is a story that would once again draw the ire and raise the eyebrows of the upper class elites and moralists. I am sure as the sun rises in the morning that some will not only heap insults on guys like my casino dealer friend, but would even malign me, my style of writing, and would even dissect this article as if it is a dissertation treatise. Some will find fault in it, using rubrics that are applied in academic publications, something that is truly laughable considering that this is a blog, and not a manuscript published in a refereed abstracted journal.  
This is simply because they disagree with its message.
I may not like Jojo Binay, but I will not be as bold in dismissing the views of this guy I talked to, and the rest of the 31 percent who still would vote for the Vice President despite the mud that has been thrown at him. Instead of indicting them for their preferences, what we should be indicting and holding accountable are those who were tasked to rescue us from the pits of political malaise, and have promised to make our lives better, but instead have miserably failed.
It is their failure that would make Binay a lesser evil. It is their sins of omission that would make Binay’s sins as palatable alternatives that would be easier to swallow.
Indeed, in a country whose capital is now at the brink of being in a state of constant paralysis brought about by horrendous traffic, disenabled by floods when it rains, whose highly mobile people are held hostage by a chaotic, breakdown-prone mass transit system, and whose sense of national pride takes a beating courtesy of an airport which has now been a two-peat winner in the worst airport of the world contest, Binay’s alleged sins would be easy to forgive and forget.
Many years back, when I was still dean of my college, I was part of a panel that selected the various graduation awardees. One of the questions we asked the student finalists was, who among the Presidents of our country would they consider the best? Every single one of them answered what to us, members of the panel, who all lived through the political discomforts and excesses of Martial Law, was a horrifying revelation—Ferdinand E. Marcos. 
And when we probed them, it became apparent that their preference for the much-maligned dictator was not really an outcome of idolatrous worship. Their preference for Marcos was a result less of a glossing over of his excesses, but more as an indictment of the failures of those who succeeded him. 
It is granted that many of the student finalists we interviewed were probably from the upper and elite classes. But it is equally true that the view they held is equally, if not more, pervasive among the lower classes and the ordinary citizens.  
It is easy to dismiss the irrationality of the ordinary peoples. This is not a monopoly of the Pinoy elites but in fact is the same theme that played out in Thailand when the Bangkok elites looked down upon the Thai lower classes, who kept on electing Thaksin and his allies. After the coup in May of this year, the ruling bloc is now entertaining the option of revising the rules to prevent the emergence of another populist politician being elected by what to them were the unthinking, unwashed masses.
In Indonesia, the establishment politicians, shocked by the ascendancy of a rock-star Forester to the presidency, have now used their traditional bastions of elite power and are planning to rewrite the rules so that the Indonesian electorate will no longer once again have a direct voice in the election of future presidents. 
Elites always look down on the rationality of the masses. They easily label the latter’s vote as a product of manipulation, of the masses being bought, or of lower classes being blindly loyal to populist political figures.
This is far from what I sense. I sense that the votes of the masses are a reflection of what can be considered as a rational choice of those who have less in life. They would favor those who they can relate with, and those who can bring them deliverance from their current states of unwell-being.
On the contrary, it is those who now make us accept that the only valid parameter of performance is the very abstract nature of reforms who can be accused of being guilty of fostering blind loyalty.  
After all, the results they show as exhibits of success are the heads of a Corona now de-crowned as Chief Justice, of a Gloria now unglorified in her hospital bed, reportedly terribly ill in her arrested state, and of Tanda, Sexy and Pogi, a.k.a. the three senator-friends of Janet, now all jailbirds awaiting their fates. One of the reforms that they may have tried to push for was to accelerate the disbursement of government funds, but such has been shot down as procedurally unconstitutional, and to date evidences are piling up that the intended outcomes of the attempt to pump prime growth are in fact more imagined than real.
To someone who is in a constant state of food insecurity, and is highly vulnerable and has very few escape options when vital public services break down, jailing the corrupt is good, but it would never put food on the table and money in the pocket. We can call this as a reflection of a flawed sense of civics. We can even call it as a form of poverty too, in moral terms. But this is a highly rational stance nonetheless. 
To a rational mind, the material which is more palpable and visible is the more valued warrant to any claim of having been compliant with the promise of delivering results. On the other hand, an idealistic mind would easily suspend consideration of the material, and would privilege the symbolic rewards that are associated with the abstract yet high-ordered parameters such as this intractable mantra of “reform,” as the more important credential for someone to become worthy of support.
It is in this context that those who would now ask people to bear suffering the inconvenience of a megalopolis in near-disarray, are the ones who can be accused of being irrational. It is those who would ask people to ignore their discomfort when streets are flooded, when trains bursting at their seams with exasperated commuters run with open doors, or worse stop in their tracks--this as a better option than risking their lives and property in the hands of street criminals who prey on them--who are in fact blinded. It is those who promise that there is “more to come” from a President on whom they have placed their hopes and dreams who are guilty of an unthinking form of loyalty.
It is those elites who are unfamiliar with the rational calculations of those who are poor who would have the temerity to condemn the latter’s preference for Binay or Marcos as a deeply flawed choice. They derided the Marcos loyalists as blinded fools, and they would now demean my friend and the 31 percent like him who would still vote for Binay as miserably wallowing in blind idolatry.
Yet, it is these people who are willing to suspend their judgment, and rest their hopes on the promise of a surname, on an inherited wisdom of dead parents, as if performance is something that is bequeathed and written in a last will and testament, that are guiltier of blind idolatry.
The poor favoring someone who has a record of delivering concrete results, palliatives they may be in some cases but still palpable, are in fact acting rationally. It is ethically problematic when they overlook the flaws and the corruption of their preferred political figures, but this is rationally defensible when one considers what they value as their urgent needs.
And the elites, most of whom are equipped with a higher education, some of whom in fact have graduate degrees attached to their names, are the ones who base their choices not on the empirical but the symbolic, not on the factual but on the mythical, not on the gut issues but on abstractions of yet to be felt reforms.
Indeed, it is tragic when people are forced to choose between reason and morals. But this is the sad reality, even more heightened when virtuous leaders fail to deliver on the gut issues. 
The poor are simply loyal to their material interests. We can condemn them for their choices, but we could never demean them for acting irrationally against their interests.
It is the elites who are prone to blind loyalty, and have the tendency to elevate into a pedestal somebody who is not deserving of such an esteemed place. It is people like them who are willing to buck the force of constitutional stability, and would dare propose the unconstitutional if only to provide a space for someone they have elevated as a near infallible messiah who they now idolize as having the monopoly over virtue.
They are the ones who would like us to vote not on the basis of a record, but on the basis of a promise. They are the ones who would like us to believe that more is coming from someone that has a lot to explain for doing so much less.
Now, who is guiltier of blind idolatry? You tell me.

"Blind idolatry" ng masa versus "blind loyalty" ng mga elitista. Salpokan ng mga nabubulagan.

The view expressed in this blog article by Antonio P. Contreras, a former dean of De La Salle University, is not just an eye-opener to both the Masang Pilipino and the Pinoy Elites who are blinded by their respective political idolatry and political loyalty, but also this is something for the PNoy administration to ponder upon.