The outpouring from the Philweb libel case against me has been humbling.
A gentleman whose pregnant daughter is battling cancer to save the baby and the mother; called from the hospital to express his unqualified support. Where does he get the emotional strength? What is a libel case compared to this?
Parties known and unknown to me have offered their prayers, wishes and resources, meager or much, for the defense.
People of reach promise to watch over me. God has still to call in.
The suit is ironical in three respects. One, rather than smother the story, it revived it. It transformed a blog with a modest audience into a ’cause celebre’. Those unaware of the subject are now following it and rooting.
Two, I (and, I suspect, my readers) had gotten tired of writing about Mr. Ongpin and had turned to other more weighty subjects like the potential collapse of the euro (“A Financial Armageddon?) and the Supreme Court issue ( “A Group Hug Everybody”). The suit now returns him to my doorstep.
Three, the trial could allow for the open discovery in court of the facts and the protagonists in the Philex, MRT, Petron, and Meralco transactions, information the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is struggling to obtain. Through the coercive court process, this information could be efficiently unearthed, unfettered by political considerations. In a media spectacle, the accused could become the accuser.
I do not nor care to present the technicalities of libel especially since the complaint is really no longer about me nor Mr. Ongpin. It is now about freedom of expression, the affirmation of beliefs, and the public’s right to know.
I do not have to do what I do. I started this blog just prior to the 2010 elections because I felt the time was right and necessary for this nation to change. The possibility, I wrote then, of a President, Noynoy, who was honest could be the beginning of a journey of promise. I wanted to walk with him in this path.
For a while no media group thought my work worthy, I considered stopping, baying in the wilderness can be tiring; until ABS-CBN asked to carry me, at my request without contract or compensation.
My contribution, I am told, is the ability to present complex business and economic issues with clarity, insight, education and independence. My guideline is to call it as I see it. When frustrated or bored, I admit to occasionally succumbing to silliness for which I seek my readers’ indulgence.
My blog in a sense is not about what is said or how, but about what is possible, that any voice however small will at some time resonate. Every Filipino should therefore not fear to speak in support of a calling or in the presence of injustice whether in his daily life or in national issues of import.
There are those who will seek to muffle us, particularly the weaker ones, by whatever means. What they do not understand is they are in the wrong end of history. The time is no longer when the clamor for truth can be suppressed. People see in the case against me a test of this premise.
My wife says, “Consider you have been given the honor to be a vessel of change. God chooses to give people only an opponent of their worth.” (Now you know why I married her). There must be easier ways to be honored but, I guess, what is, is.
There is no greater force, it is said, then the power of an idea whose time has come. I suggest this time is upon us.
And this is the idea: That a nation is defined by the strength of its values; that these values are the sum of our individual behavior like love, work, and respect for our neighbors; that people are essentially good; that good trumps evil; that justice is not for sale; and that the ultimate measure is not what is necessarily legal but what is right and true.
I sense the winds of change in this country. With P-Noy there is now a breath of fresh air billowing in the plain, the feeling that we are finally embarking on a voyage of transformation. But this journey needs each of us to stand up for our beliefs and to contribute to the collective good, in the Marxian phrase, according to our abilities.
The road can be arduous and lonely, the road less travelled always is, but we must endure because the end is worthwhile. We must believe we can become the nation we want to be, better than we are.
Merry Christmas to all and again, thank you.
(P.S. This blog will go to hibernation for the rest of the holidays)