There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the public insults being hurled against each other by the two highest officers of the land – Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Renato Corona. The two have been embroiled in personal attacks since the pro-Aquino House of Representatives impeached Corona.
The most recent insult was when the country’s top magistrate challenged the President to produce his psychiatric report after he lambasted Mr. Corona for unexplained wealth and partiality toward the person who appointed him. Now, the derision of the two has become mutual, playing out for the world to see.
What should have been a clash of principles between leaders of two of the three branches of government has degenerated into personal, insolent mudslinging. Some may see this as a people’s propensity to reduce honest discourse to the level of private affront.
The public spat of these two powerful men – one elected by some 20 million Filipinos, and the other appointed to a lofty position by outgoing President Arroyo who is now the subject of accusations of corruption and voting irregularities – has descended to the level of fishwives.
Some 114 years after forming and defending the Philippine Republic and 26 years after EDSA People Power, many ask whether Filipino leaders have matured or are still squabbling like fishwives trying to out-heap insults on one another? An ancient Greek philosopher had declared, character dictates our fate. (rjj)