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OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales on Friday offered sharp and powerful messages on the most contentious issues in the country today. In a speech before the University of the Philippines Law Alumni Association in Makati City on November 25, Morales said:

On the precipitate burial at the Libingan ng mga bayani of deposed strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Morales said:

“with As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to write a new one. Much worse, there are a lot of people who simply do not want to read their history [period (.)].

“This alarming attitude is appalling, to say the least, which opens a large portion of society vulnerable to a revisionist-distortionist proclivity. It is an affront to our collective consciousness as a nation, aside from adding insult to injury to the entire citizenry as collective victims of the kleptocratic act of stashing ill-gotten wealth as judicially ascertained.”

On finding the truth, amid the contentious discourse, Morales said:

“The monstrosity of supremacy and the trappings of power aptly explain why great people fall as prey and transform as predators themselves.Just because you can, does not mean you should. The relevant message is that we cannot pretend to end impunity by clothing ourselves with impunity as well.He who enforces accountability must himself be ready to assume accountability.

“What happens then in a post-truth era when truth becomes irrelevant: discussions become irreverent. This is exactly what is happening.Now it is not only truth that has become elusive, even reason has escaped us.

“With the advent of social media in the country saw the birth of post-truth politics where emotional impact rather than truth is what matters. There is a lack of demand for truthful and honest discourse. Facebook has become a searing battleground for propagandists, apologists and trolls to foment dissension to a vulnerable, ill-informed young population that acknowledges Google as the sole and primary source of information for just about everything.

“A big part of the population would rather believe and share fake news sites and echo the baseless assertions of dubious bloggers and flamebaiters. They no longer care to verify the veracity of these allegations. When supposed “truths” about martial law and the purported “progress” that the Philippines enjoyed during the regime are considered more fact than fiction, then we see a transformation of our values as a people.

“With no effort to set the facts straight, quite a number consequently fail to discern, distinguish and detect misdeeds that deserve to be denounced. This comes as a great cause for concern. The people should be bothered when the leaders themselves equally could not figure out what is right and wrong.”

On the intrinsic link between human rights and good governance, Morales said:

“Back to basics.Thou shall not steal.Thou shall not kill. When leaders seem to send the message of promoting rather than condemning reprehensible acts that transgress basic human rights, the people ought to be concerned about it, rather than cheering for it either out of sheer ignorance, callous conscience, blind loyalty or gorgonized fanaticism.

“In linking corruption and human rights violations, one study concludes that when corruption thrives, human rights are denied, and correlatively, when denial of human rights continues, corruption persists:

“…The country needs good men and women who can respond to the call for principled leadership with not only competence and courage but also compassion, conscience and consistency.”

— PCIJ, November 2016

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