Evil has a distinct quality. It does not hurt the victim alone, it infallibly victimizes others as well. Such are the nature of cheating, lying, stealing and other vicious deeds. The cheater, liar and thief degrade not only their agent but also the objects of their evil acts. Evil has its collateral damage.
This is exactly the case of Filipino athletes doing well in the SEA Games yet being suspected or accused even of cheating. Sad but true: the sins of their parents have a way of getting transmitted to their children and this is exactly the painful experience the SEA Games participants are having.
They trained well. They gave up much. They did their best. They won medals. Yet all these are undermined by disturbing comments and painful jokes. And all these are not because of them but on account of their President.
Rightly or wrongly, the President is under suspicion of having cheated during the 2004 elections. What she says is suspect. What she does is distrusted. And while evidently unjust and unfair, that presidential liability is appended to the Filipino athletes.
Let them know that they did exceptionally well. May they be aware that people are praying and cheering for them. They are the pride of the country. It is only their President that is the actual target of criticism and disgrace.
All these negative factors can be traced to the Gloriagate and Juetengate scandals. Until these fundamental national issues have their definitive closure, the Filipinos should be prepared to be the indirect object of foreign depreciation and ridicule.
5 December 2005