Merriam Webster defines blasphemy as the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God or irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.
During Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia said, defending Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, “More than 2,000 years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified because of an opinion survey. Pontius Pilate presented our Lord to the crowd and said, ‘Whom would you prefer, Barabas or Christ to crucify?’ Our Lord Jesus Christ lost in the survey. Is that how we are going to judge our President because of an opinion survey?”
Just last week, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Jesus Dureza prayed before a Cabinet meeting, “Bless the president so we will have forebearance, good health, the tolerance to lead the nation up to 2010, and perhaps who knows, even beyond.”
It seems that Garcia and Dureza really idolize Mrs. Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo herself professed divine intervention when she announced her intention of running for presidency.
Sometime in September 2003, Mrs. Arroyo made an official visit to Europe where she met Pope John Paul II. She said in Rome, “We want to pursue our goals for the country in ways that we perceive more akin to how God would want us to do it. That’s the greater conviction I received after meeting again with His Holiness.”
Nine months earlier, in December 2002, she also announced that she will not run for President again. She even said her decision not to run for president is God’s will.
Probably, Garcia and Dureza are among the few who experience heaven during Arroyo’s reign. The majority of the Filipino people, as evident in Mrs. Arroyo’s plummeting popularity surveys, are going through hell.
The economist in Malacañang has failed to resolve unemployment, hunger and poverty. Mrs. Arroyo has opted to continue implementing globalization policies that have wrought havoc on the nation’s economy.
Unlike Mrs. Arroyo, Jesus Christ was never accused of stealing billions from public coffers. He was not charged of implementing a policy that allows extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave human rights abuses.
Mrs. Arroyo’s style was not original. On March 19, 2003, when US President George W. Bush announced the US war on Iraq, he said, “My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others. And we will prevail. May God bless our country and all who defend her.”
The so-called weapons of mass destruction are nowhere to be found in Iraq. Bush asked for his lord’s blessing to invade Iraq and kill millions of innocent civilians in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror.’
In the 1900s, the Philippine-American unequal relations also started with a prayer. President William McKinley told the US senators debating whether or not to invade the Philippines, “I am not ashamed to tell you, Gentlemen, [of the Senate] that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance that one night. And one night later it came to me this way… There was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos and uplift and civilize … them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.”
More than 600,000 ‘uneducated and uncivilized’ Filipinos were brutally killed in the US’ Benevolent Assimilation.
One wonders to whom they were praying to. Bush’s and McKinley’s prayers led to slaughter of innocents. Dureza’s prayer and Garcia’s statement send shivers down everybody’s spines.
When will the shameless idolatries and blasphemies from the country’s highest seat of power end?