OPINION: Credulous, Incredulous, Credible, Incredible

Buddy Gomez -- Cyberbuddy

Posted at Jul 07 2018 05:48 AM

Two current news items captured my fancy, a fancy to poke fun with.   

They are: “AFP claims CPP-NPA planning to oust Duterte by October” (GMA News) and a Malacanang statement: “Killing of two mayors--an attempt to discredit Duterte.” (Inquirer)

Let me use this opportunity for a little vocabulary lesson. Let us use the words “credulous” and “incredulous.” The first means a “readiness to believe,” too trusting, naïve, gullible (as in ‘madaling loko-hin!’). And the second, “unwilling to believe,” skeptical, doubtful, suspicious, distrustful (as in ‘huwag mo akong bola-hin’). Both of which brings us to the word “credibility” which means “the quality of being trusted and believed in.” Let us use them in sentences.

Do the AFP and Malacanang really think that Filipinos are credulous enough that they will fall for such concocted and proferred  information?  Of course, we remember the expression: “There’s a sucker born every minute,”  quoting the American circus master and promoter P.T. Barnum.  Are we not now in the midst of a political circus?

On the other hand, is the Armed Forces of the Philippines preparing the public mind for a surprise of its own? The Philippine military establishment is not incredulous, not naïve and not gullible to the embellishments and enticements that Malacanang is flaunting, after all.

However, the thought that our Armed Forces stands by and will defend the Constitution remains credible! Maybe we just might see that day of reckoning soon enough!

What is a sniper?

As far as the general public is concerned a ‘sniper’ is a rifle-shooting distant assassin from a hiding place, a hidden vantage point. This is of course in connection with the killing of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili during  last Monday morning’s  flag ceremony. The Police Regional Director, Edward Carranza, attempts to educate (or condition the minds of?) the public by saying that the assailant could not be a sniper because the distance between the still unidentified shooter was “a mere 160 meters.” News agencies of course use the word sniper, as commonly understood, which Carranza is attempting to correct. What might he be really trying  to establish?

Carranza is being technical when he said: “When we speak of snipers we refer to a distance of  500 meters and beyond,” citing the Army’s definition of snipers. And that being a sniper requires a special training. ”….once you say the person is a sniper you have to go through a series of training…..and not everybody…handling long firearms can join a sniping course.” Carranza also said that he had ‘training in sniper firing.”

The investigation of the crime is to have commenced but not quite terminated. Is the police already discounting the possibility that a specially trained military or police personnel is the assailant?  Or, put another way, if  perchance a high government official is slain with a high powered rifle from a distance of more than 500 meters, then the assassin must be a trained military or police person? Credible?

‘Consuelo de bobo’

And so, Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) finally yielded to the ‘request’ of Senate President Sotto to take down from its online news site the two contributed articles written by SFO-based Rodel Rodis.  (“The Rape of Pepsi Paloma” and “Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered?”)   Both articles referred to the alleged attempt to whitewash the rape case of a movie vixen, Pepsi Paloma, a minor, back in 1982. Awhile back, we commented that Sen. Sotto ought to  have just “let sleeping dogs lie.” Instead, his publicized letter to PDI simply  stirred a “hornet’s nest, thus reviving  an almost forgotten sensational crime story. A regretful miscalculation.

Well, I can understand why PDI yielded. It is really no skin off the nose of journalism.  It is not even “a brazen attempt to suppress freedom of the press,” as a union of journalists would like to portray PDI’s gesture to placate the Senate President. All it amounts to really is a fool’s consolation.  Consuelo de bobo!   Have you ever tried forcing  toothpaste back into its tube?

The ghost of Pepsi Paloma will still linger in cyberspace, available to the public all the time, for all time! Just try ‘googling’  Pepsi Paloma and the photograph of Senator Sotto also appears!  In fact, the internet archives contain hundreds upon hundreds of entries on the same subject.

Mind you, we must reiterate. The Senator himself was never accused of rape.  It was his participation in the alleged whitewash of the case that has caused quite a stir.

“Boracay, always on my mind!”

President Duterte was at it again. “I will return Boracay to its rightful owners,” he declared, once more extemporizing, as usual ad-libbing, during his speaking attendance Wednesday in Quezon City for the Department of  Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) founding anniversary. Don’t we remember only too well that the President already declared the resort island into an agricultural land reform area? In observance of which, please permit me to throw in this naughty alert.  

It is absolutely untrue that upon orders  of the President,  the 18-hole, par 72 Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club  at the center of the island will be parceled out to caddies, club employees and their families, but only  upon presentation of certified credentials attesting that they are genuine Atis, indigenous minorities  whose forebears  were  old timer farmers of the island dating back before Legazpi  built  a settlement in Panay! 

Duterte repeated his earlier claim that Boracay is mostly agricultural and forestland, adding that the islet “has never been opened to any commercial exploitation.”  Therefore, it would indeed be interesting  to capture the words of Duterte as well as his reaction when he decides to visit Boracay and becomes abreast with reality finally, without any of his trusted side-kicks telling him.

Ultimately, would it not be interesting to know how the President will address and handle his personal dream of breaking up of existing law-compliant establishments like Discovery Shores, the Shangrila and the dozens of other luxury resorts plus the suspended construction of the largest hotel project in the Philippines, Double Dragon’s 1001-room resort hotel, not to mention the property already allocated for his Macau-based investors? Let us also not forget to  mention the 36,000 jobs that vanished since his shutdown mandate took effect. Land Reform will not create new jobs for those he displaced. How now, Mr. President?

Of all capricious dicta that the President has mouthed, I find his Boracay  pronouncements particularly bizarre. Could our malicious political prognosticators perhaps divine the possibility that this Boracay shakedown, because that is what it has turned out to be, is after all a smokescreen for something sinister? With what our President has shown he is capable of, who really can tell?.

In the meantime, not one of his “best and brightest” Malacanang menagerie of  advisers has been emboldened to level with him and advise him about the  ground realities in Boracay.

Incredible….but this is all happening!

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.