Soberano case: There has to be a method to doing good
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - October 26, 2020 - 12:00am

I will not go into whether or not Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade actually "red-tagged" actress Liza Soberano for speaking at an online forum on gender-based abuse hosted by the group Gabriela. If you go strictly by what the media quoted Parlade as saying, I think he was actually doing the actress a huge favor.

But put the military and the communists, or any suspected communist front like Gabriela, in one picture and there can be as many interpretations as there are sides to take in that picture. So I will not go there. I have long realized the futility of engaging in a discussion that is clearly without any end. The only end I see there is when one side prevails over the other with a finality that silences any further discussion.

But I do have my two cents worth on Soberano speaking at a Gabriela forum. Assuming, in all sincerity and without malice, that Soberano is as she has been described --a staunch advocate for women's rights, gender-based abuse, and other related issues-- she could have chosen to speak at a much better forum hosted by a far more credible organization, of which I am sure there is no shortage of in the Philippines. Even if it is not true that Gabriela is a communist front, it is still too politically tainted for most people to trust the genuineness of its professed advocacies.

For someone as prominent a personality as Soberano, it is incredible that she should seem so unaware of the true nature of Gabriela for her to lend her person to any of its activities. Even if it is not a communist front, Gabriela is too all-embracing of everything against the government. Not once has it lent any form of support for government even at this time when government needs all the help it can in fighting a pandemic.

There are many advocacy groups out there that embrace a broad spectrum of concerns that Soberano might be interested in, groups that pursue their work with genuine apolitical passion, groups that steer clear of other issues that might possibly taint their good name and ascribe malice to the good work that they do.

It is to these groups that Soberano should have gravitated to. Not that anybody could dictate on what she can or cannot do. For all its shortcomings, the Philippines is still a free and democratic country. Soberano is still free to do as she pleases and associate with whom she wishes. But for God's sake girl, you should also look before you leap.

Just because you are free to do anything doesn't mean the consequences of your actions will always be to your liking. Even if Soberano genuinely believes in Gabriela, certainly she could not have been blissfully unaware that the organization is in the crosshairs of the military. And as an adult person, she surely must be aware that there is an insurgency going on, with Gabriela in the thick of it as a suspected communist front organization.

If Soberano was aware of what she was getting into, then she got what she asked for and should not be complaining. But if she went into what she did without thinking what she was getting into, then sorry but there is no way to call it other than reckless naiveté. Just because one is motivated by the desire to save someone drowning does not mean it is okay to hitch a ride to the middle of the lake on the back of a crocodile.

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