By RHEA VILLARUEL
Member, Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth)
Manuel Buencamino’s open letter to Prof. Jose Maria Sison (“Don’t be so ‘pikon’ and so yesterday”, Today, 14 January, Opinion Page) didn’t belong to a broadsheet usually read on mornings. His rehashed potshots against Prof. Sison were so old they must have been printed before on old newspapers best read during siesta time. Alam mo na, to summon instant drowsiness.
But the article’s shallowness and senselessnes may induce nightmares, as well. It is not recommended reading at all. Kaya, ‘wag na lang.
The trouble is, I was not able to avoid the said letter. I love Today so much, I just got to read every article in it. Ang aga kong inantok!
In an approximately 700-word article, Buencamino repeatedly made kantiyaw to Prof. Sison, the New People’s Army and even communism. However, he did also manage to highlight the peculiar quirk that characterizes ‘intellectuals’ of his type – once cornered in debates, they try to slither their way out through tasteless witticism and sourgraping masked in sarcasm. Para “gwapo” pa rin and not dyahi kahit already bisto.
For what it is worth, let us pick up and elaborate on some of the more intriguing, albeit tired, lines that Mr. Buencamino did mention.
Mr. Buencamino, after quoting Prof. Sison (4th paragraph), proceeded to add “Bello and Rosales now have real reason to be afraid. They have bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, and everyone can see the paintbrush in your hand.”
First of all, so salamat to Buencamino for unconsciously recognizing the fact that Prof. Sison and the NDFP have always pointed out that Bello’s and Rosales’ “fears” from the diagram released in Ang Bayan are not real but just mere phantoms created by overactive imagination and overestimation of one’s worth. OA na ba?
However, he made palpak when he made dagdag the second point. Prof. Sison only pointed out an objective and historically accurate analysis of what the extremely anti-communists in the military and the police may do. Then, in a stroke of preposterous logic, Buencamino turned the tables again and blamed Prof. Sison if the possibility does happen. Ridiculous, di ba?
Instead of warning the anti-communists not to do it, there he was conveniently reproaching Prof. Sison while placing the anti-communists off the hook. What happened to putting the blame where it should belong?
Then again, seeing his obvious disdain for communists and communism, he sees everything as a communist plot or more precisely, a Sison plot. Wala sigurong ibang magawa but repeat what others have already said, lambast Sison, and attack the revolutionary movement? So like a sirang plaka. Saka if he is indeed in touch with current sentiments in the Philippines, he may even see the absurdity of his claims. Few could be more pitiful than a do-nothing kibitzer, a miron ng kanto, who can not think originally.
In this same light, because he is so pikon with Joma, it is understandable that Buencamino does not buy Prof. Sison as a consultant of the NDFP. Well, that is his problem na.
Second of all, while a superficial reading of Buencamino’s letter may give the impression of disgust to the Arroyo government, careful scrutiny will show a sly defense of the ruling setup. While ostensibly criticizing Arroyo’s policies, it actually attacks the revolutionary movement by saying, “Hey, this is worse!”
Hindi na bale if the accusations against the NPA are unfounded. Bahala na if the Philippine government and its military apparatus use the same charges to discredit the principles and integrity of the revolutionary movement. It does not matter if what all Mr. Buencamino can use against the NPA and the revolutionary movement is trumped-up propaganda and hearsay created by anti-communists who have not seen how the revolutionary movement carries out its programs for the people.
It does not matter for Mr. Buencamino, maybe out of ignorance or calculated moves only he knows, has allowed himself to be made a tool of the government for perpetuating the sick system in the Philippines.
One may call it rabid. One may call it cheap potshots. One may even call it character assassination. Then again, the truth is harsh and always hurts. Di ba?
Rhea Villaruel, 22, is currently taking up BA Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is a proud member of the Kabataang Makabayan, a comprehensive revolutionary youth organizaton founded by Prof. Jose Ma. Sison in the '60s.