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December 02, 2019 - Monday 4:12 AM by JD Vergara

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I’m sure you’ve tried that game before. It’s enticing not just to kids but to adults as well. It’s very simple. You strike down the protruding mole with a mallet but as you do other moles would pop up and you strike that one too until your time is out. It’s called “whac-a-mole” and was invented by Kazuo Yamada in 1975. The game seems nonsensical but it’s good for your heart.

Just as you think she’s down and out, she protrudes like a “whac-a-mole.” It seems that no amount of mallet smashing would put her away. Leila de Lima is at it again, protruding with a mouthful to say: “Huwag muna nating intidihin, sa ngayon, ang mga mandarambong at mga walang kwentang opisyales ni Duterte na nagpataba na ng kanilang mga pitaka gamit ang okasyon na ito. Wala na tayong magagawa pa sa kahihiyan nila. Pero maari pa nating maisalba ang kahihiyan natin bilang mga Pilipino.”

Speaking of “kahihiyan,” de Lima’s cohorts appear shameless in their seeming concerted attack on the SEA Games via fake news. In my view, a concerted attack on the integrity and dignity of our nation partakes of treason. Admittedly, this is quite a stretch of imagination but think about this. The evil behind treason is betrayal of one’s country so that the latter’s dignity and integrity is undermined. When people or institutions show concerted efforts to undermine the dignity and integrity of the nation, there can be treason. Yes this is just thinking out loud but I feel there’s good sense in this thought.

I often wonder why the critics fail to see the good things that have so far happened in this country. This is not just seeing the insignificant dot in a white sheet of paper but scrapping the whole paper altogether because of it. The fact that we are able to create these sports facilities, which are superb in my view, and are able to host this project that boosted our national image are reason enough to be proud of our country. But instead, the critics are desperately trying to pick stones and pebbles to discredit the whole national enterprise. Whac-a-mole!

I’m not a fan of the CBCP (Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines) but I like what Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos has said: “Let us all together, one and united to show our true face, that is, our caring and compassionate hospitality. We are all welcoming and endearing Filipinos, and so let them experience from us warm, concern and friendship.” Yes, “one and united” which fits perfectly with the SEA Games theme: “We Win as One.” Why can’t de Lima and the others be one and united with the administration’s good works? Yes of course, I am being naive. I must be nuanced.

This reminds me of Judas. He had been given the privilege of being one of Jesus’ disciples. They were many who followed the Lord but only 12 of them earned that privilege of being in the inner circle. Gradually, however, Judas saw that Jesus did not fit in his ideology. He was a zealot, a political radical with an aim of overthrowing the Roman Empire. But Jesus had a different ideology: “my kingdom is not of this world.” When Judas saw that Jesus was diametrically opposed to his values, he sold him to the enemies.

Despite the words of life, healing, and multiple miraculous acts, none of these could convince Judas to abandon his ideology. He upheld the latter and disregarded the former. In the end, he simply rejected his Rabbi and found no use to him anymore except to have some kind of financial gain to compensate himself for the time he wasted being his disciple. His mind being fixed, no amount of evidence or arguments to the contrary would convince him otherwise. I see this situation played out in our country today.