Life is Motion

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spell m-o-r-o-n

And we're supposed to be a Democracy?

INjustice Secretary Raul Gonzalez gives his definition of "tolerance and educational freedom."

Gonzalez: UP breeds destabilizers, naked runners
By Armand Nocum
Published on page A5 of the August 27, 2006
issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THIS time Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has picked on the University of the Philippines school system, saying it mainly produces militant protesters and fraternity men and women who run around the campus naked.
“That school breeds the destabilizers that haunt the country year after year. They are acting as if they are the only ones who know how to run the country,” Gonzalez told the Inquirer yesterday.
He made it clear, however, that he was not assailing the entire university population because “there are many students there who are bright and good.”
Interviewed by phone while he was with President Macapagal-Arroyo in Guimaras, Gonzalez pointed to the Oblation run of the APO fraternity as another indication of the kind of students that came from UP.
“I doff my hat to them because they initiate the running of naked people... That’s also one kind of culture that they develop there,” he said, noting that women had begun to join the naked run as well which is held in December.
“Maybe we are going in that direction... there are now women running naked. I will not be surprised if they will go to school with only their books, nothing more,” he said.
Gonzalez made the statements while lamenting that UP was the site of numerous protest rallies and symposia calling for the resignation of President Arroyo.
“In every storm that takes place, UP students are in the forefront,” he said. “As a matter of fact, our history will show that since the martial law years, students from UP were the ones who went underground and fought the government. In fact, many of them went to China and never came back.”
Bomb-making in labs
Gonzalez said he came to see the militant activism of UP students first-hand during the First Quarter Storm of 1970 when then Sen. Genaro Magsaysay formed a panel to look into the violent protests there and he saw pillbox bombs being assembled in the school laboratories.
He said this was not the way the students should repay the government for giving them a world-class education.
“They should consider the fact that the state is the one paying for their schooling. Why fight the state? Why try to bring it down. I think some degree of gratitude should be there also,” he said.
He noted that UP had always been known as a “cradle of leadership” but he was worried that with the way some students there were acting, some serious questions would be raised about the “kind of leaders we will have in the future.”
But he said he was “not degrading UP per se,” but was only questioning the kind of students that came from it.
‘I am well-behaved’
He said the matter of the high “tolerance to education freedom” should be raised to UP officials and teachers during the annual budget hearing for the school.
Asked what school he graduated from, Gonzalez replied: “University of Sto. Tomas... that’s why I am well-behaved.”
Gonzalez is known for speaking his mind on most issues and creating controversy.
Earlier, when he was asked if he was going to arrest the widow of the late presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. for inciting to sedition when she spoke out against President Arroyo, he said she was too pretty to be arrested.
Another time when it was revealed that he was undergoing dialysis for kidney stones, he said that was not what made him launch verbal tirades against critics of Ms Arroyo.
“What does [having the] balls [to say things] got to do with that?” he said when he was asked if the painful passing of stones in his urine was the reason he was grouchy to critics and media people.

This makes me utterly furious with this moronic old bulldog of our Honorable President. But let me present a fellow UP student and former classmate to summarize what UP students and most of the country actually think of Gonzalez:

By Patricia Evangelista
Published on page A11 of the September 3, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

I HAVE recently learned that I owe a debt of gratitude to Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez. “Some degree of gratitude,” must be due to the fact that I spent my college life in the University of the Philippines. I apologize for my omission, and can think of no way more apt than to share what he calls the “world-class education” that I have acquired in the four years I spent in UP. I will attempt to do justice to the underpaid and overworked professors who teach with ancient blackboards where today’s lectures are superimposed over diagrams from three years before. If I cannot, perhaps the good secretary would be interested in taking the class I took in my freshman year—Philo 11: Introduction to Logic.
In a statement just this week, Gonzalez laments the decline in quality of UP graduates. “That school,” he thunders, “breeds the destabilizers that haunt the country every year.”
In the interest of clarity, let us define the word “destabilizer.” A destabilizer, or an obstructionist, is one who deliberately chooses to oppose current norms. They mistrust much of what is claimed, perpetually demand for answers and admit only truths that they believe have basis in fact, logic, theory, precedence or their own personal standards. In the academe, however, they are called neither destabilizers nor obstructionists. The common word for these vile creatures is “scholar.”'
The reason students are sent to school is not to learn how to parrot government memoranda, or memorize the capitals of provinces in alphabetical order. Students study to learn how to think—not just to acquire a sheet of printed parchment to post on the wall. The capacity for critical thought is what separates the man from the beast. A dog can be trained how to sit, a monkey can walk across a tightrope, but it is the man who can choose to stand up and speak.
Contrary to what Gonzalez believes, it is not opposition to the government that characterizes the UP scholar. It is the opposition to passive acceptance, and a compulsion for thought. Gonzalez claims that he is not against all UP students, God forbid, because there are some who are “bright and good.” I assume he means those of us who do not rally, who do not march, who do not choose to side with the Left. By “bright and good,” he means “bright and good to the government of GMA.”
“It is the people’s taxes that is keeping UP alive,” he claims. Agreed. “It is the State that is paying for their schooling.” Agreed. “I think some degree of gratitude should be there also.” Agreed.
There is a difference, however, between the State and Secretary Gonzalez. He is not the State, however much he tries to convince us. Neither is the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The State is the people, the debt is to the people, the gratitude is to those who paid their taxes in the hope that the country’s best and brightest will do some good in the future.
The academe, more than anywhere else, is the hotbed of debate, a place where multiple perspectives clash, and every sort of ideology, theory and philosophy has a place. Disagreement is a norm, and is seen as a manifestation of critical thought. That UP breeds destabilizers is not a bad thing—after all, if stability means the kind of government we have today, then I stand for destabilization, too.
All of us agree on our debt to the country—all of us want to pursue the national interest. But because we are scholars, because we are taught to think, the manner we pursue that national interest and the definition of that national interest vary from student to student. The red-shirted activist in Mendiola is no less aware of that debt than the political science student who plans to join government.
This need to check the government, Gonzalez claims, “is degrading the national interest.” Who defines national interest? To Gonzalez, certainly not the people, and certainly not those who have been shot, strangled and maimed because of the administration’ s relentless pursuit of national interest.
Democracy is not the absence of dissent; it is the tolerance of the freedom to dissent, and the awareness that dissent can check the State’s enormous power. And still Justice Secretary Gonzales, in all smugness, demands that this “high tolerance to educational freedom,” should be raised in the annual budget hearing. I cannot believe I live in a country where education is threatened because it is used.
This is not simply an issue of an old man trying to strut his machismo by aiming potshots at students. It may be hard to believe—as this is the man who, I have a sneaking suspicion, is the opposition’s hired gun, the man who “forgave” Susan Roces because she was “too pretty to put in jail,” the man who told former President Aquino to first take care of her controversial daughter Kris before she opposes GMA; and the same man who claimed that the only reason he didn’t absolve three suspects in the Subic Bay rape case was that he had to “appease the mob.” He is the man whose snappy comeback to the impromptu Oblation Run held a week ago was to ask the fraternity men to “take off your masks and run naked.”
But irrelevant of the man, his denouncement of UP is an attempt—no matter how moronic, and no matter how laughable—to justify actions that would otherwise be unjustifiable. It is one of the dozens of persistent suggestions that the government is always on the side of right, that to oppose it is treachery and that to question it is to go against all standards of morality, honesty and patriotism. And all this is dangerous, at a time when people are tired of marching in the streets, tired of throwing out one corrupt leader after another, tired of the perpetual struggle for the rights and freedoms that are inexplicably being curtailed.
The government thrusts us back into the Dark Ages, where leaders are omnipotent and “the people” do not exist. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and probing into the nature of the “enemy” is assumed to be support for the enemy. Those who oppose policies are “destabilizers,” or “NPA sympathizers” or “oppositionists.” To report truth that will compromise government approval ratings is “inciting to sedition,” a crime of which Gonzalez once accused the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. “Why fight the State?” Gonzalez demands, “Why try to bring it down?”
Gonzalez claims that he is proud to say he is from the University of Sto. Tomas, and that it is the reason he is “well-behaved.” I offer my sympathies to UST, and since I am also aware that there is much that is “bright and good’” in that school, I believe Gonzalez must be a case where good education has failed in creating an educated man. ( I hear you! I came from that school as well, and Gonzalez is a discredit even if he is under dillusions of grandeur!)
If this man is the epitome of what it is to be well-behaved, I’m glad that that’s a compliment I’ve never been paid.


Anonymous Blackjack Trainer said...

And all?

10:18 PM  

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