Tag1986 EDSA Revolution

A Gall Meter

A Gall Meter” was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 5, 2016 (Pilipino version: “Sukatan ng tapang ng apog“)

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte sharply rebuffed the idea that presidential candidates should disclose their medical condition: “I won’t reveal my medical records. Ano ako, tanga (Am I stupid)?

Whatever malady Duterte may be suffering from, it is unlikely to be hoof-in-mouth disease. His comments, however provocative, do not appear to come from slip of tongue or mind; they seem intentionally spoken for effect.

Duterte’s response implied that voters were tanga to expect him to reveal any infirmity. But he has discovered that such comments do not invite censure; they attract amusement, media coverage, and free advertising. His approach is not likely to change. Behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated.

Duterte is not alone in scattering sound bites that insult the electorate. With weeks of campaigning to endure, we can expect more outrageous comments directly from candidates or exposed by their critics. I propose a Gall Meter to rate which candidates produce the most galling statements that provoke among the public the sharpest spike in blood pressure or acid reflux pain.

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Edilberto de Jesus
Edilberto de Jesus is a former Secretary of Education. He is also professor emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management.

Forces that made People Power possible: The role of the press

From a Speech at a Conference “Overcoming Dictatorship: 30 Years of People Power” organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at the Discovery Primea, Makati City.

I guess this is the time of the year when Filipinos of my age are drawn out of the closet as it were for some airing – so we can share Memory. I am happy and honored to be here, to fulfill one of the roles assigned to the older generation, to help the nation recall milestone events in our history so we can learn from the past.

A knowledge of the past helps us to better understand the present and guides us as we move forward into the future with care and with wisdom.

Those who lived through those years know that the events of February 1986 did not erupt out of a vacuum.

The force of People Power drew from diverse resources, energized by different stakeholders, as individuals or in groups, who having lived during the extended period of the Marcos regime, determined it was time to act to change the course of history. There was a process involved to make it possible for the nation to come together in collective strength.

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