“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
There are many who applaud Lito Lapid’s speech during the Corona impeachment trial as a big thumbs up for the common man. I see it as a victory for the jologs. They are like children. They want everything, they want it now and they don’t believe that there is a price attached.
Let me start by saying Lapid fulfilled his role as a Senator/ Judge by basically telling the court fact-finding process to “F” themselves since all that did not register anyway in his evaluation process. Then use his speech to play to the masa then render a verdict anyway. He basically said “I have no idea what went on since I am uneducated but allow me my vote”. The whole process of coming up with a verdict was a lot like Lapid’s academic record. A joke. Do you really believe the masa is better served? Do you consider him taking up space and still delivering an uniformed opinion as an achievement ? I hate to see your definition of epic fail.
He makes himself out to be like them to the point it compromises the essence of why he is elected in the first place. Everywhere you look the culture glorifies dumb. The fact-finding process is microcosm of what was wrong in the first place. They arrived at a conclusion without a transparent efficient process.
Can we agree that any organization is defined by actions. By observing actions you can usually define what an organization’s true values are instead of what it’s stated values are. I thought about this notion long and hard three years ago when all these people claimed that Efren Penaflorida represented them. In my gut I knew that was hogwash. The people who this society valued were not people who contributed to the cultivation of intellect but to its stagnation. For me that has very real ramifications at the ballot box and of course the politicians that end up representing us. Intelligence is not considered an asset. Being an action star is. Look at the shows that rate here. What mentality do they encourage? We as a country I truly believe are poorer because of the values we have and the values we don’t have. And it’s all there in plain daylight for anyone to see. And some believe it’s fine. Like Lapid’s speech which basically says he has no reason to improve, don’t appeal to my intellect because I don’t wish to develop it and ignorance is bliss . I believe this post represents authentic Filipino values.
In the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
You can quickly grasp the important difference between the two jf you envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jangle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. Theyâ€™re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle developÂment programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up (working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, “Wrong jungle!”
But how do the busy, efficient producers and managers often respond? “Shut up! We’re making progress.” As individuals, groups, and businesses, we’re often so busy cutting through the undergrowth we don’t even realize we’re in the wrong jungle. And the rapidly changing environment in which we live makes effective leadership more critical than it has ever beenâ€”in every aspect of independent and interdependent life.
(Steven Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People page 101)
I am not sure about you but that analogy could probably be comprehended by a student who is in early highs school. I am also not sure about you but given the fact that Lapid was elected as a mayor, governor and now senator that there should be some leadership expectations thrust upon him. Why do I get the feeling given Lapid’s Sammy Sosa like no habla ingles routine makes me suspicious that he has never lived that analogy of leadership? He is just flat out saying that he is as unsophisticated as the common man. Yet he presumes to lead them.
What Lapid did by giving the disclaimer that he is as dumb as a box of hammers yet he is still worthy of providing a legitimate vote is akin to someone saying to you “Hi, I worked all day tending the soil, I won’t wash my hands but let me prepare your dinner from scratch.” As Ilda has said earlier this week. Only in the Philippines is this behavior applauded.
The guy is 57 years old. He has been in public service since 1992. In a country where the newspaper of record is in English and the tabloids are in Tagalog he somehow manages to avoid learning even some functional English. In his speech that concludes a six month trial he talks about being limited to high school. Given his age, his stature and his responsibilities his speech and attitude insults:
a) himself saying he should not have to improve, learn or pay attention in decades of public service.
b) his constituents by saying they are dumb and he is with them, don’t improve,
c) his position, by demeaning the demands of the responsibility.
d) his service to the country by not putting forth necessary effort.
The fact very few jump on that just proves the country’s predisposition to ignorance. That it’s normal and expected. Standards are low. Hence the point of the Efren Penaflorida link. People here love, appreciate and support dumb. That’s what I see living in this country so that is what I said and Lapid crystallized that concept.
I believe in thinking and I believe in originality. I hope that any of you who have taken the time to read me in the past and might continue to be curious about what I say in the future will be rewarded with some evidence of thought and originality in my work. I am no legal expert. But I can give some perspective what it’s like to be a juror in a legal case.
Back in the Spring of 1994 I was given notice to attend a cattle call for jurors. If I recall the task of the court that day was to stock five separate cases with their own juries consisting of 12 people per case. The task of prosecution and defense at that point was to agree just by physical appearance and presence who would be “fit” for their jury. If your name was called the opposing lawyers would both have to approve you to be in their jury. I could only assume their criteria would be if just by the look if the person would be willing to go with their reasoning. In the event you are not approved , you would go back in the common pool to be eligible for the remaining cases. It’s been eighteen years but I do not recall any cross questioning as part of the selection process.
It was maybe a week or two before your real case began. The case I was on involved a man who was charged with five counts of domestic assault. As much as I resented being chosen it soon dawned on me I was given this responsibility based on the legal system of my community to “judge” if this complete stranger was guilty or innocent. I seem to recall that this case cost me about 5 days of my life in the outside world. Including one night spent in a hotel since we were sequestered. Since this was a low profile case we were only really isolated once the deliberation began. What that means is that we could not even talk to family, all communication to families and friends were hand written then given to the bailiff for them to call.
I tell you this story because the stakes where I was part of a judicial team were much lower than what this country witnessed the first half of 2012 in the form of the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice. So at least I can tell you what it is like to wrestle with a decision and to hash it out with 11 other people all looking at the same evidence and testimony. The case was being funded by tax dollars from my community and it was my duty that we saw that case through given the system we had. I had no personal agenda nor was I operating from any mandate from above. There was the evidence and the testimony presented by the two lawyers then ultimately the jury had to hash it out. And the whole trial does not resume until the jury decides on all the charges. Each charge can result in either guilty, not guilty or can hang. As it turns out we produced all three. Guilty on three charges , not guilty on one and a hung jury on the last charge. On the hung jury the tally was 11-1 guilty. One of my associates refused to budge on that one charge. A man probably went to jail because of our decisions and no one but the twelve jurors knew what we went through to get to our conclusions. I know we hashed it out, took notes and scrutinized everything that was given to us. Ultimately even though we came up with a decision on all five counts, we were not obligated to come up with a justification.
Unfortunately Lito Lapid had to justify his verdict. He pleaded ignorance and used the masses as a human shield. Like saying “if you label me ignorant what are you saying about the people I represent? ” Only in the Philippines can one stand on a soapbox and declare himself uninformed to make a decision but makes it anyway and he is lauded for days. Lapid has had no formal schooling since Richard Nixon was in the White House. Apparently he has made little effort to improve on his learning and communicating skills in the interim. But he is in a position to determine a verdict that kept the nation occupied for half a year. You think given his admitted lack of academic development that he had a clear vision to know where to stand? The only thing he seemed to stand for was his right not to cognitively improve himself in forty years. Our future is in good hands. Apparently in good brains too. They have hardly been used.
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