Rumor mongering
Rumor mongering
SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2013 - 12:00am

The explosion at Two Serendra Friday evening of the week before last sent the rumors mills churning at frenzied speed. Within hours – maybe even less – there was talk of a bomb being made in the apartment that blew up prematurely (what a sosyal bomb maker!), with some tenuous link to the war of the malls. Another posited that the short-time tenant (he was to stay for only nine days) was from Taiwan (turns out the name of the tenant is San Juan; well, it rhymes with Taiwan), with a veiled hint at retaliation for the Balintang Channel incident. There was some cosmic connection made between the explosion at Two Serendra and the Glorietta 2 explosion of 2007, plus some numerological significance not only of the number two but also of the unit number 501, which meaning totally escapes me.

Rumor mongering is a national pasttime, more democratic than basketball or jueteng. Anyone can join, it’s free, no skill (except perhaps the ability to spin a tale) or other prerequisite needed. And almost everyone eagerly does, throwing in their five centavos’ worth (in truth, most of the talk is worth about that much, or even less) in any and every conversation.

I am reminded of a martial law-era decree on rumor mongering, and thanks to Google found Presidential Decree 90, issued on Jan. 6, 1973 by the late unlamented dictator, which makes rumor-mongering and spreading false information, including gossip, unlawful, punishable upon conviction by prision correccional (six months and one day to six years). It’s been 40 years, but I don’t think the PD has been repealed. So, at the rate we’re all going, all I can say is, see you in jail!

* * *

I have been working on completing the enrollment of my kasambahay with the SSS and PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG and the barangay and whatnot, and I must say government is not making it easy, for both the employer and the employee. For one thing, my helper, who came from the province a couple of months ago, says she does not have a birth certificate. And though she is a registered voter, she is registered in their hometown and did not bring her voter’s ID with her when she came to Manila. So I am trying to get her the requisite secondary IDs so she can be registered. It doesn’t help that the lines are long and the requirements and procedures confusing.

Thus I – and I’m sure many others in a similar quandary – welcome the news that the SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG are talking about a “harmonized” registration, but I wonder why they are talking about it only now, when the law is already in effect. Why did it never occur to them to do that before the law took effect? Indeed, why did it not occur to the authors and sponsors of the law to get the heads of these agencies to knock their heads together to come up with a “harmonized” system so that giving kasambahays the proper benefits would not be such an arduous task?      



Righteous are you, O Lord, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.   Psalm 119:137-143

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