Miriam Enrile

Five Lessons I Learned From Senator Miriam’s Speech

Was it just me, or did Senator Miriam Santiago’s speech also leave you flabbergasted, slightly terrified, and with a horrible, horrible sensation in the pit of your stomach? I didn’t know whether I should have applauded her for doing what she just did, or if I wanted to mourn the death of the honor and integrity the Senate once had, with Miriam’s speech as the eulogy marking that turning point.

(If you haven’t listened to/watched the speech yet, go here. Go here if you’d rather read the transcript.)

In any case, there are lessons to be learned here, and I realize that, notwithstanding the gravity of the situation, this can be a learning experience for all of us.

1. Senators are humans too, in the same way that squabbling seven year old kids are humans too. 

Enrile and Santiago

The games senators play. Photo taken here.

Actually, squabbling seven-year old kids carry themselves with much more dignity, so maybe the analogy is a little unfair.

Apparently, expecting Miriam and Enrile to act like, well, senators, is too much for them.

2. Wisdom does not always come with age.

Do you remember that time when Miriam ran for President and you wanted her to win because you thought she was brave, feisty and morally upright? I miss the old (well, younger) Miriam. It’s been replaced by this immature, largely insecure, and loud personality prone to sensationalist soundbites.

Enrile’s track record as a public servant is spotty at its best, and morally reprehensible at its worst, so this whole debacle from his end is not that much of a surprise.

3. We deserve the leaders that we vote for.

Santiago - Enrile

Daydreaming of those times when being a senator actually meant something. Photo taken here.

To be honest, this is our fault really, since we keep voting these people into office (or we don’t vote at all, which facilitates people like these getting voted into office). We need to stop voting for people based on name-recall, or because they appear the most times on TV or the news.

4. Sometimes, it’s better to shut up.

I wonder what was going through Enrile and Miriam’s heads when they were writing their respective speeches. It would have been nice if they took into consideration the fact that: a) what they’re about to do will drag the Senate’s honor and integrity (or what’s left of it after the pork barrel scam) through the mud; and, b) their respective speeches were a complete waste of time, not to mention an abusive exercise of their privilege speech rights.

Senator Osmena gets it right: senate sessions have now become a source of entertainment rather than an avenue of legislation. Maybe, as Paul Begala once said, politics really is just show business for ugly people.

5. Senators are not above trolling each other on the Senate floor.

Miriam and Enrile

This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Photo taken here.

Trolling, per se, is bad enough, but to do it in the halls of the Senate just seems so, so sad.

Featured photo taken here.

4 thoughts on “Five Lessons I Learned From Senator Miriam’s Speech

  1. Romeo Sirate

    I have been saying it all along that the things that ills our country was our own doing, and it’s going to be like that until some powerful force knock some sense into our head and change the way we think. I admire the intelligent people that are putting their two cents worth in this forum, but sometimes they fail to see that the people are the real cause of what is killing our country. Typhoons and earthquakes are beyond our control, but choosing the people that will take our country in the right direction is something that we can do something about. Unfortunately, the most important thing that we really need in our daily survival has totally left us, our common sense. I’m afraid, and this is just my opinion, our country will be in this mode for a little while longer. Countries that are way behind us a couple of decades ago are now ahead of us in just about everything. Our best export products, mangos and human labor, the latter is what’s really keeping our country from sinking deeper into the sewer.

  2. nestor g zamora

    I can agree and I can also disagree on each of the 5 points. It just depends on what position you would want to take. But, on second thought, why bother. Almost all institutions have already been discredited and it will stay that way no matter what. Just like a very old, dilapidated, and creeky house which is hopelessly irredeemable, this status quo is already overdue for demolition to give way for a new dispensation.

  3. Glenn Gen

    Five things I learned vs. the five things you’ve learned: 1. Our government is being ran by thieves. Everyone knows it but what can we do? The thieves have money and power and 70% of the population is so poor to do something about it. I’m sure the rich will just ignore this and consider it as a waste of time. Besides, they will not sacrifice themselves for the masses. 2. Our leaders doesn’t care about the poor and unfortunate . Our soulless leaders & politicians will just put the blame on the voters on any misfortunes in our politics. 3. Dishonor and not honor is cool for the Filipinos. We all lost it after grade school or during our grade school years. Where are our modern heroes? Nobody gives a cent to them, why will they give a cent back? 4. Generally, Filipinos don’t act in correcting the wrong. It’s not in our culture anymore since Andres Bonifacio died. Even our cops can’t handle us, what more can a citizen do. 5. I believe our current President has given hope for a better future of our country, however, time will tell if he will follow through with his promises. Having that said, Sen. Miriam Santiago, silly or childish she maybe, is the last glimmer of hope for change to many of the Filipinos, especially for the youth…Peace!

  4. pompeyo pedroche

    My regret is: the people who should read this article and understand what it means to them, do not read, can not read, or have no time to read.

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