25 March 2007

Patricia Evangelista and Joker's glass house

INQUIRER'S Patricia Evangelista has indeed come of age: from a champion public speaker, to a bratty columnist accused of writing for self-gratification, to the brave solitary voice of her generation who, unlike Tim Yap, dares to tell the world that our empress and her generals have no clothes on.

Her column today at the Inquirer is painfully spot on, particularly the following paragraphs on my favorite Bikolano senator and the glass house he has built around himself:

I interviewed Sen. Joker Arroyo, whose defense of human rights is his platform for reelection. I ask why he has been silent, and why he chooses to still run with Team Unity whose figurehead is GMA. He is offended. He was the first to speak against Palparan, he says, and the one who continually rails against human rights violations.

There are other issues, there are other issues, he repeats, labor and finance and education, and a whole host of other matters. Why must his performance on the political killings be a standard by which I should judge him? He tells me, at the end of his rant, that he expects me to be objective. I tell him I cannot be, as I am not a reporter, I’m a columnist with my own biases. And he is angry, and he walks out and tells me to do what I want.

And here I will tell you why I ask that question, why I believe that condemning political killings is the highest priority. I agree that there are other issues. I agree that labor and the economy and a thousand other matters must be considered. I believe, however, that this issue is at the forefront; and that condemning is far different from acting; and that men like Joker Arroyo, by virtue of both their records and their claims, cannot afford to be neutral in their actions, if not their words.
Patricia's prose today is dark and brooding, a stark departure from her hopeful take on the Filipino diaspora that won her the 2004 International Public Speaking competition conducted by the English Speaking Union (ESU) in London.

But as apologists for the administration and the military establishment are wont to say, we are but a reflection of our times. Only that they are inside their glass house, and we are not. And so we need not take refuge in that last argument of the indefensible.


cvj said...

With more young people like her, we might yet have reason to hope.

dave (",) said...

Tsk, Joker shouldn't have done that most especially to an Inquirer columnist.

Hmm, is Pat Evanglista back to her old hard-hitting form? Back in her PhilStar days, I thought she deserved to be in the opinion column beside the greats like Soliven and Benigno instead of the regressively shallow Young Star (YS) writers. However, due to that Faye San Juan hoax (uncovered by Pascual, another Star opinion columnist) and her subsequent transfer to Inquirer. I thought she had fallen from grace, especially when now that she is in the opinion pages, she writes more about topics as shallow as those in YS.

By the way, that youngradicals example of Pat-bashing is not a good one.