Ron­ald Cardema did noth­ing wrong

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

SaUPPOSE for a mo­ment that you're par­ent with a son in his late teens, thereby mak­ing him a young adult. You work hard to see that all his needs are met, and so he at­tends a de­cent univer­sity and gets a gen­er­ous daily al­lowance to boot. In spite of all this, you find that lately he's been talk­ing back at you, spread­ing dirty ru­mors about you, and even in­sult­ing you to your face. How­ever, be­ing a lov­ing par­ent you try to brush it all aside. “Per­haps it's just a phase he's go­ing through,” you say to as­suage your­self as you die a lit­tle in­side.

But the phase hasn't gone away. If any­thing, it's got­ten much worse, what with him scream­ing ob­scen­i­ties at you when­ever he doesn't get his way, break­ing plates, teacups, and vases to make a point, and steal­ing some of your valu­ables to pay for his vices. And now he's even threat­en­ing phys­i­cal vi­o­lence against you and your spouse – his own par­ents, of all peo­ple.

As a par­ent, how would you re­spond to this? Would you do noth­ing and con­tinue to tol­er­ate this hideous and ap­palling be­hav­ior, or would you put your foot down and draw a hard line? Most par­ents, be­ing sen­si­ble, would opt for the lat­ter and be­gin to take firm mea­sures against their re­cal­ci­trant child's be­hav­ior. Usu­ally they'd start by cur­tail­ing priv­i­leges such as al­lowance or ac­cess to the fam­ily car, and this usu­ally suc­ceeds in re­mind­ing the brat why they should never bite the hand that feeds them. If that still doesn't help, then it wouldn't be un­rea­son­able to fi­nally have their un­ruly teenager pack his things and leave the house.

Ron­ald Cardema, who cur­rently serves as the chair­man of the Na­tional Youth Com­mis­sion, is most def­i­nitely not per­fect. How­ever, he is not wrong to call for the re­vo­ca­tion of gov­ern­ment schol­ar­ships of stu­dents with com­mu­nist ties. No mat­ter what an­gle you ap­proach it from, this is a jus­ti­fi­able move; af­ter all, why would you want to sub­si­dize the very peo­ple work­ing tire­lessly to­ward your down­fall? To al­low these stu­dents to re­main gov­ern­ment schol­ars af­ter all they've done would be a kin to will­ingly pay­ing for the rope that will be used to hang you.

And note this well: Cardema is not say­ing that the ‘reds’ ought be ex­pelled or barred from halls of higher learn­ing, nor is he call­ing for them to be ar­rested or maybe even worse. Nev­er­the­less, the peo­ple who re­main adamantly op­posed to the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion and ev­ery­thing it stands for seem to ig­nore this, and right on sched­ule squeal that it is the Mar­tial Law era all over again. Manila Stan­dard colum­nist Dr. Jenny Or­tu­oste stretches out this premise much, much fur­ther, com­par­ing Cardema to evil Nazis on the ba­sis of his use of strong lan­guage and his de­sire to keep close tabs on “red” stu­dents.

All these ac­cu­sa­tions and pre­sup­po­si­tions look ut­terly pre­pos­ter­ous in light of what was said to have hap­pened to left-lean­ing stu­dents and oth­ers dur­ing the Mar­tial Law years. Tak­ing stu­dents' schol­ar­ships away on the grounds of sedi­tious ac­tiv­ity is noth­ing com­pared to the atroc­i­ties Raissa Robles writes about in her book Mar­cos Mar­tial Law: Never Again.

Any­way, it is well within peo­ple's rights to openly dis­agree with Cardema, but to con­flate the things he merely said (and it must be pointed out that there have been no re­vo­ca­tion of schol­ar­ships as of now) to the bru­tal deeds at­trib­uted to tyran­ni­cal regimes would be an in­sult to the mem­ory of those who ac­tu­ally suf­fered and died. Yes, honor the vic­tims of the past by all means, but you can't just sim­ply trot them out when­ever you want to make some­one out to be an evil vil­lain wor­thy of James Bond.

Ro­drigo Duterte, who is hated more than Cardema, came to be elected Pres­i­dent of the Philip­pines be­cause he promised to set up a rev­o­lu­tion­ary gov­ern­ment for the pur­pose of clean­ing out Philip­pine pol­i­tics of ut­terly in­ept and cor­rupt un­de­sir­ables – nat­u­rally, this would mean yet an­other dic­ta­tor­ship. The peo­ple who keep com­plain­ing about how things are should be on their knees thank­ing God ev­ery day that such a thing did not come to pass, and that Duterte has been will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate and com­pro­mise even though they them­selves tend to be in­cur­ably faith­less when it comes to treaties, cease­fires, and other agree­ments.

It is in­deed un­for­tu­nate that grat­i­tude is the last thing you can ex­pect from these types, as they will al­ways find some tri­fle to kvetch about even in the most pleas­ant of cir­cum­stances. They would rather keep play­ing the vic­tim to drum up sym­pa­thy for their cause as they con­tinue to un­der­mine our na­tional se­cu­rity and tear apart our so­cial fab­ric.

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