Impeachment circus and the death of virtueBy Minyong Ordoñez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
How can we possibly deal with Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment without being traumatized by the death of virtue? How can we be dumb to disregard spirituality that breathes life to virtues?
Delicadeza, dignidad, maginoo, walang dungis na pangalan were virtues that ran deep in our DNA, until the age of technology ushered the trendy life of practical materialism and attachment of vices: avarice, envy, lust and gluttony.
One thing is obvious. Our very souls are wounded. We are hurting bad. The impeachment hits our raw nerves. And it’s not about Chief Justice Corona’s fat bank accounts and big discounts on Bellagio condos. It’s got to do with our spirituality, our individual and our collective spirituality.
We are in deep mourning over the death of virtue. Our forefathers, gentlemen of the old school that they were, paid obeisance to virtues in order to live a life of honor, dignity and coherence.
The Corona Impeachment is our latest force-fed purgation causing societal regurgitation. It is cathartic to our highly involved middle class but eschewed by our pandemic and downtrodden poor. For our army of overseas migrant workers, the impeachment trial is another political circus that regularly occurs back home.
Cocky attorneys of the defense and prosecution are compulsive bone-pickers befuddling pedicab drivers, fishmongers, trash scavengers, Ermita whores, rice paddy farmers, Abu Sayyaf terrorists, “at lahat ng patay-gutom.” We have no homogeneous will. As a people we cannot collectively grasp, much less be enlightened, by the function of the impeachment trial to strengthen our democracy and to hasten our maturity as a respectable republic.
There exists in our society huge disparities, sectoral fractures, and systemic dysfunctions. Blame our decades of severely damaged sociopolitical maelstrom that inflicted different degrees of injustices on our tiered eco-classes.
Our small middle and business classes are keen on social and political reforms. They habitually exercise their right to suffrage, hoping against hope that the next government officials they elect will eliminate corruption, serve the people more professionally and efficiently.
Decades of predator politics, incompetent governance, and constituent deprivations simmer every election year. The people endure the vicious cycle.
Among our downtrodden poor, the Corona impeachment is a non-issue. They live in a morass of hunger and scarcity. They are blasé, indifferent and fatalistic. They respond only to the urgencies of gut issues: food, shelter, clothing and medicines. They couldn’t care less if Chief Justice Corona’s US dollar accounts were protected by the law on secrecy or not.
How many cabinet secretaries, bureau heads, senators, congressmen and customs bureau “bodegeros” have US dollar deposits in more obscene volumes than Chief Justice Corona’s alleged US dollar deposits?
There’s a class skepticism from our migrant manpower, scattered by millions in lifestyle countries of the West, East, and the oil-rich Middle East, countries vexed by demographic holes caused by state-funded infanticidal socialism.
Our big population, as assets of productivity, have made the appointment with their globalized destiny; A huge Filipino diaspora to provide, business and production expertise, family home care and industrial manpower to foreign countries beset with demographic winters.
Our global manpower opted to transplant themselves around the world to earn good wages to provide material support for their families left behind. Their ties to the motherland degenerates into nostalgia. Their sense of constituency becomes nebulous, their family fractured. To them the impeachment trial is the latest big joke back home. There are no jobs waiting. They can’t go home.
In “The Abolition of Man,” C.S. Lewis writes: “For the wise men of old the cardinal problem of human life was to conform the soul to the objective reality and the solution was wisdom, self-discipline and virtue. For the modern the problem is how to conform to reality to the wishes of man and the solution is technique.”
Many of us watch in stupor the impeachment trial—wondering what earth-shaking change will touch the lives of a people whose future is in hock—if Chief Justice Corona is booted out, resigned or exonerated.
So sorry, honorable members of the jury. Virtues can’t be legislated.