Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The flawed notion of Filipinos' non-negotiable entitlement to information

According to Inquirer.net columnist Conrado de Quiros it is Filipino first, world second; referring to his disagreement with President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's decision to provide the IIRC report on the Mendoza hostage tragedy to the Chinese government before it is released to Filipinos.

In a previous article I posed the question to all who want to have first crack at this report which I shall present in an even more insightful form today:

Do you all seriously believe that there is anything in that report that will tell us something we don't already know?

Interestingly enough, de Quiros in his piece yesterday wrote about "responsibility". In that article, he cited how a Japanese financier of the Cherry Hills land development in Antipolo that was hit by a disaster that killed several residents was in tears, feeling profoundly responsible for the tragedy.
As he spoke of it, his eyes welled up and tears trickled down his cheeks. For which he kept apologizing. Look no further, he said. In the end, he personally was responsible for those deaths. In the end, he personally was to blame for those deaths.

It was my first time to encounter face-to-face something I’ve only read about in books, something I’ve never really been able to wrap my mind around, a force so powerful it can drive someone to lock himself up in his room and quietly disembowel himself. Gaping into the chasm between two cultures was like gaping into a void.

... quietly disembowel [one's]self.

Considering that de Quiros expressed deep admiration for a culture and society that can so sublimely express contrition with such finality, I find it a bit bizarre that he could so soon come up with this whole "Filipino first!" written diarrhoea.

As de Quiros himself observed...
Filipinos do have short memories, made worse by media giving them an information overload. But things that are kept hidden are not forgotten, they are remembered. Things that are withheld do not produce disinterest, they spark curiosity. Secrets are the greatest attention-grabber of all. Suspense is the greatest interest-retainer of all. The report will hound P-Noy all the way to the US. It will hound P-Noy all the way back to the Philippines.

...which is why Filipinos are better off bumped down to second fiddle in this investigation. We have time again proven that we are woefully unable to deal with The Truth even when it is staring us in the face. For that matter, so much have we been indoctrinated by the Philippine Media with the notion of a non-negotiable entitlement to information that we have become desesnsitised to the banal risk to innocent lives of the behaviours such attitudes encourage in our "reporters" -- until now, that is.

Perhaps when the truth is routinely withheld from us once again, we may develop a renewed appreciation for it.

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