[OPINION] I’ll defend to death the right to say ‘stupid’


“It is a wise man who knows where courage ends and stupidity begins.” — Jerome Cady

I DON’T agree with Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesman of the National Task Force to End Communist Insurgency, when he red-tagged community pantry organizers.

He sounded stupid.

I also don’t fully agree with him when he claimed that senators who will defund the NTF-ELCAC are “stupid”, but I will defend to death his right to say it.

Parlade’s being a military man does not exempt him from exercising his freedom of speech and expression—unless he intends to topple the “stupid” government.

I believe it’s OK to call some senators “stupid” because that’s how some Filipinos think of their senators, especially in the many issues that they have stood for and in the way they behaved when they were the ones being criticized.

Some of these “stupid” Filipino senators are onion-skinned and think they are holy cows and it’s a mortal sin to criticize them.

Not too long ago, the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago called fellow Senator Juan Ponce Enrile “gago” (dumb) and nobody ran amuck and filed a resolution to censure the fire-spewing lady senator.

If you believe you are not stupid you have nothing to feel bad even if you are a senator, a President, or a king.

I’m not defending Parlade as he is old enough to defend himself, but senators who will pass and approve a resolution censuring Parlade for calling them “stupid” for proposing to realign the anti-insurgency fund will look and sound stupid.


Senator Franklin Drilon called Parlade’s language as “disrespectful and uncalled for” because nobody’s supposed to call the “honorable” senators that way?

“Sa aking tingin, talagang dapat ipakita ng Senado ang kanilang displeasure. Hindi dapat palampasin ito. Otherwise masasanay,” Drilon hollered. “Hindi kami stupid kung sasabihin naming na i-defund ang NTF-ELCAC. Kapangyarihan ng Kongreso mag-allocate ng pera sa ilalim ng Saligang Batas.

It is “normal” for a fellow senator to show disrespect toward a fellow senator and display uncalled for behavior during a formal session and “not normal” for any Tom, Dick, and Harry to do it in exercise of their freedom of speech and expression?

What if Parlade was saying the truth?

Who will censure these panit sibuyas senators?


I didn’t set the appointment but I had to politely say no to the ShopRite Pharmacy of Avenue I in Brooklyn, NYC Saturday (April 24) when their pharmacists “confirmed” my schedule for the first dose of Moderna vaccination at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday.

So sad. While many Filipinos in the Philippines find it hard to get immediate appointments for the COVID-19 vaccines, some people in the United States get double or multiple appointments.

My decision to beg off was obvious: I already had my first dose of Pfizer vaccination at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health Department) COVID-19 Vaccine Hub in Citi Field, Flushing on April 19.

“To complete your COVID-19 vaccination series, you need to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said an email from the Vaccine Appointments NYC.

Why a second dose is required?

“You must receive a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to complete vaccination. Studies show the vaccine is more effective after two doses, so it is important to receive the second dose. The second dose should be given 21 to 42 days from when you received your first dose, or as soon as possible after,” the email further explained.

Are there potential Potential Side Effects?

“You may experience side effects from the vaccine, including soreness or swelling on the arm where you got the shot, headache, body aches, tiredness, and fever. Side effects usually go away within two to three days,” the email stressed.

“Call your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that concern you or do not go away after a few days, or if the redness or soreness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours. You can report how you are feeling after vaccination through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention V-safe smartphone application.”

The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo



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