catharsis, cleansing, purge

i’ve been reading, hearing, the word “catharsis” since the general’s suicide and the prospect of continued senate investigations into corruption in the armed forces of the philippines.

The Garcia-Rabusa scandal … “should be a catharsis for  the entire society, not just military. The issue does not begin and  end with the military.” — Carolina Hernandez

Whatever it was, his (Rabusa’s) decision to testify on systemic corruption in the military has resulted in what many now say is a “catharsis” for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), long vilified as one of the most corrupt institutions in the country. — Carlos Conde

“When all is said and done, the Armed Forces, as an institution, should come out of this reformed, better, a stronger institution. This is what we want. This will be like catharsis.” — Danny Lim

and on strictly politics from pia hontiveros, at one point in the same breath as “villification”, in a question to rabusa re the effects of a continued investigation  (correct me if i heard wrong).

naguluhan ako kasi in psychology, catharsis is a purely emotional thing, usually the relief of emotional tensions (brought on by inner conflicts) whether through psychotherapy or as audience to tragic drama.   but wait, it also means a purging, maybe that’s what they mean, maybe they’re taking it beyond the emotional into the political and systemic.   sana naman.

but let’s not use words that very few understand, let’s not use vague  esoteric terms, let’s call a spade a spade.   para malinaw what the goal is, let’s call it a purge, a cleansing, of the impure, the corrupt, the immoral in the armed forces.  then we have a better chance of success.


  1. angie :-),
    Perhaps, you are right that the use of word “catharsis” is too alien for us ordinary people who wants a final resolution to cleanse the AFP institution of corruption thru legal retribution rather than emotional guilt. The air of corruption (or poisonn) was pervasively implanted by GMA’s greed for political power. I remember my wife’s brother-in-law, an Airforce pilot, relating to me that even before GMA became the illegitimate president, when ever GMA would go on a provincial sortie and using him as her helicopter pilot, he would received privately an envelope, officially or not I don’t know. But this practice of dole outs starts with small amounts. Fortunately, he is now a commercial pilot in US for an ocean fishing business several years ago.