Why Give a Hero's Welcome to Bacani?

By Syke Garcia
The Manila Times [Philippines]
Downloaded August 28, 2003

YOU'VE got to hand it to Bishop Bacani. He is accused of sexual harassment by his secretary but now instead of admitting his crime he is magnanimously forgiving her as if she's the sinner not the one who was sinned against. And since he has not admitted his guilt, we suggest that the girl should go through the process of filing the formal charges to the police with the help of a lawyer.

In the USA, the Archdiocese of Boston is offering to pay $65 million to hundreds of young men and women who had filed sexual abuse charges against Cardinal Bernard Law.

Here, the accused Bishop Bacani wants to forgive his accuser so he can go scot-free without paying a centavo to the girl whose reputation is now being further maligned by the Church by hinting that the girl is having relations with a married man. Ano ba ito?

Have you noticed how priests and politicians invariably flock together whenever there is a crisis that involves one of them? How does the saying go? Birds of a feather, etc.

It's funny the way the bad bishop is willing to forgive his victim, without admitting any wrongdoing. Under this principle the Marcoses should not forgive the Philippine Commission of Good Government without admitting any wrongdoing. What do you say now Cardinal Sin, is this the new policy of the Catholic Church?

The way media panders to Bishop Bacani is enough to make one throw up. Here is somebody who is charged with having sexually harassed his helpless secretary and here he is being given the hero's welcome and adulation by the press. The public relations adviser of Bishop Bacani and Brother Mike must have handed out a lot of fat envelopes.

Foreign consular officers are exploiting the rabid desire of Filipinos to visit foreign countries by charging a ridiculous amount for visa application fees, which are oftentimes summarily rejected, but only after the processing fees have been collected. A law should state that if the visa application is denied for no justifiable reason, then the fees should be returned. Otherwise the collection becomes a simple matter of fraud.

Mr. Cojuangco may not run for the presidency but he will most certainly run for Congress in the 2004 election and who knows, he may yet give Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. a run for his money.

If he decides to run, FPJ may yet turn out to be the ideal president honest, hardworking who will truly champion the cause of the masses. He can perform the ceremonial functions which consume a considerable amount of the chief executive's time as the "king" of the people. What needs to be done is to have him elected president and as soon as he is installed he should call for a constitutional convention or constituent assembly, which will amend the Constitution to transform our political system from presidential to parliamentary.

One way to discourage newly rich politicians from building magnificent mansions is to do what they do in Singapore: Require those applying for a building permit to include in the application, the architect's and contractor's estimate of the cost plus a copy of the prospective owners' income tax returns for the last five years to justify the source of funds. How about it Mayor Binay

Back in 1979, the peso-dollar conversion rate was P9.10 to $1. In 1983, when Ninoy was killed, it reached P13.06 to $1. In 1986, when the EDSA revolution took place, the rate was P16.23 to $1. Today it is P55, an average annual depreciation of 7.5 percent. Question: Isn't it time to replace our government monetary and financial managers who apparently are unable to stabilize the value of our currency? How come the Hong Kong dollar has remained at the 7.40/7.60 level for the past 20 years? At the rate we are going, by the year 2012 Mr. Lucio Tan's prediction of P100 to $1 will come true!

Now is the time for the PCGG to show that it can really accomplish its mandate. The media has already published the names and number of government officials apparently amassing ill-gotten wealth. Can the PCGG now initiate sequestration proceeding like they did to the Marcoses and cronies?

Will it take the PCGG another 17 years to finally accomplish its alleged objective of recovering what is claimed to be ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses? We say it's about time the PCGG is abolished and its never-ending job transferred to the Department of Justice, and then give the Department of Justice 12 months to finish the job or consider all cases against the Marcoses and cronies as prescribed. Then the nation can focus all its energies and resources to more productive activities.

What sounds incredible in the Arroyo messenger's testimony is that Big Mike would trust his messenger to withdraw up to P500,000 in cash from Jose Pidal's bank account. We don't know many people who would entrust such huge amounts in cash to their messengers. Gulat ako!

If you still doubt that priests and politician belong to the same breed note how the Iglesia ni Cristo filed libel charges against the Philippine Daily Inquirer for publishing that the religious group was hiding Senator Honasan. All the INC needed to do was deny it but if they think that they're suffering from a credibility gap then the easiest thing is to file a libel suit, just like politicians do.

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