Category: ateneo

protecting a plagiarist

when mainstream media can and do ignore the scandalous plagiarism of a krip yuson, when he continues to write a column for the arts and culture section of philippine star, if he continues to write for rogue magazine, when he continues to shepherd aspiring writers in the dumaguete writing workshop, if he continues to teach creative writing in the ateneo, if he continues to be a presence in the palanca awards night, what does it say of our mainstream media, our academic institutions, and our literary culture?

at least in social media he has been exposed and excoriated, as he deserves to be, and gmanews online has fired him as editor-at-large.   i am sure it helped that no less than the center for media freedom and responsibility — executive director, melinda quintos de jesus; deputy director, luis teodoro; directors jose abueva, fr. joaquin bernas, fulgencio factoran, maribel ongpin, paulynn paredes-sicam, and vergel santos — jeered at yuson from its website for attempting to legitimize plagiarism.

so again i ask, what does it say of our mainstream media, our academic institutions, and our literary culture when a krip yuson is allowed to go on as if nothing happened?   as if plagiarism by a much-admired writer is forgivable.   microcosm of the macrocosm?   if danding cojuangco can get away with the coconut levy funds, if the marcoses can get away with plunder and human rights violations, if jocjoc bolante can get away with a fertilizer scam, if gma can get away with hello-garci and extrajudicial killings, if the aquinos can get away with hacienda luisita, if the supreme court can get away with partisanship and plagiarism, if the bishops can get away with lying about sex and reproduction, if angelo reyes can get away with suicide, why not krip yuson with plagiarism?

mainstream media and academics and the righteous showbiz burgis were so quick to jump on willie revillame for the janjan episode.   this renders their silence on krip yuson’s plagiarism and arrogance both deafening and shocking.   more so when one asks why kaya the silence, and the only answer seems to be that they are protecting their own kind, condoning their own sins, tell me if i’m wrong.   wonder no more what’s happening to our country.   they are all complicit in this damaged culture.

in the spirit of disclosure: krip and i were friends until we had a falling out over a personal matter many years ago.   i’ve since kept out of his way as he has kept out of mine.   so, if we were still friends, would i be saying all these in public?   given the way he has handled it, YES, and i would not have hesitated to scream at him to his face, or over the phone, for being so stupid as to think he was big enough to get away with it.   not in my book.   friend or no friend.

ateneo after-amiel

ateneo is in a real bind.    atenista the 10-year old 4th grader amiel alcantara who was killed in campus.   atenista rin  the kid(s?) of theresa torres na nakadisgrasya kay amiel.

of course obligado ang ateneo na alalayan both the family of the victim and the family of the victimizer.   the family of the precious amiel because, hey, what a terribly painful death and what a painfully grievous loss, which could have been avoided if ateneo’s traffic & sundo system weren’t so messed up.   the hapless single mother and her kids because, okay, it was an accident, malinaw na hindi sinasadyang matapakan nang mariin ang accelerator at hindi agad nakuhang mag-preno.

the ateneo community is clearly on damage-control mode.    official statements ask for prayers and privacy for the affected families pending an investigation.   an atenista blog prays for healing and asks that the community

… take a conscious effort of going beyond the graphic details of his death. While the tragic circumstances force us to focus on this aspect of his death, we also like to form a more optimistic image in the minds of many of our young impressionable students.

but how can healing happen if the community is asked to gloss over the graphic details of amiel’s death on grounds that negative images are not good for impressionable minds?   that’s like shifting to denial mode, escaping from reality, hardly behavior worthy of a highly regarded educational institution.

amiel’s family should not be expected to forgive and forget for the sake of ateneo and the community.   “malalim ang sugat,” said pepe alcantara on anc.   for such a wound to heal, both ms. torres and ateneo must pay.   it doesn’t help that ms. torres is out on php 42,000 bail.

ms. torres has finally apologized, and rightly so, but that does not make her any less blameworthy for amiel’s death and she must suffer the consequences.   kawawa naman ang mga anak niya, yes, but it’s no excuse to let ms. torres off the hook.   that would send the wrong message all around.  ateneo will just have to help the torres family deal with the situation.

the fact is, if ms. torres had behaved like a mother should, attending to her kid/s instead of taking the driver’s seat, the accident would not have happened.   there is also talk that she had a cellphone  in hand just before she accidentally stepped on the gas — if true, then this is a good time as any for a law criminalizing texting or phoning when one is at the wheel, if only within campus for starters.

as for ateneo, parents have long been concerned about the children’s safety but the admin has been deaf to complaints and petitions.   now they gotta pay.   besides settling with the alcantaras, it’s time to give up lots of nice openspaces to parking lots and, maybe, as an atenista mom suggests, make that entire area in front of the grade school a pedestrian area.

no room for evasion or ambiguity here.    amiel’s tragic death must be faced squarely or there will be no healing, and no end to the bad karma.