Sunday, December 05, 2021

Carvajal: Stare down or sham

Break Point

Hard as I try, I can’t wrap my brains around Maria Ressa’s Peace Prize. Why would she get it for staring down, as Rappler puts it, on President Duterte? How can the Nobel Committee not see that every time she shouts there is no freedom (of the press) in this country she proves there is because she is never arrested for making those gratuitous claims?

A private individual, not the government, sued her for libel and a legitimate Philippine court of law convicted her. Duterte, in spite of his overt antagonism to the press, has not clamped down on Rappler or any media outlet. Congress closed ABS-CBN for failure to renew its franchise within the legal time limit. It’s not a Duterte war against the press, but more of a media war against Duterte.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the person who has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” What fraternity work between nations has Maria Ressa done? What standing armies has she reduced or abolished and what peace congresses has she held or promoted?

There are enough things Duterte does that I do not support, like his alliance with the Marcoses. But as bad as he is to Maria Ressa and her employers, we cannot be done with him by honoring someone who spits, not really on him, but on our sovereign laws. No self-respecting nation would do that.

No, Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize is a sham and undeserved. Shame on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for this (contrived?) outrageous error of judgment.

Simply Christian

For the record, its many vendors are not against upgrading Carbon. They are against upgrading it to world-class level because it will displace daily wage earners the likes of small pushcart vendors, small suppliers of seawater and ice to fish vendors, helpers, loaders and unloaders of big stall holders etc. Do you see them plying their trade in Cebu City’s existing malls?

To prove they are not against rehabilitating Carbon, they have an alternative upgrade—a cleaner, more orderly Carbon that yet retains the informal, no-frills culture of Carbon. They are like telling City Hall to get rid of the rats in Carbon without displacing small-time vendors and workers.

Cebu City should look into this alternative. Instead, it is demolishing stalls before defects in the Joint Venture Agreement with Megawide are cured. Good faith demands that talking points are threshed out before proceeding with the project.

It’s also facile for City Hall mouthpieces to tag anti-world-class vendors and their supporters as “walhun (leftists).” They are with Pope Francis who vows to be a “pest in defense of the poor.” They are simply Christian.


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