It was a good joke but with a reason. It was real fun but with a point. Those who mentioned it had their good laugh but were not entirely happy. Those who heard it did not really mind it but neither were they altogether amused. Needless to say, the "Malacañang Diocese" is both a pun and a punch. It is the former as far as many people are concerned that is in conjunction with Church leaders. But to more perceptive individuals, it is the latter that is in relation with the leading Malacañang occupant.
At first glance, the phrase seems to be some kind of a slap at certain members of the Church Hierarchy in the Philippines, viz., those who are said to frequent Malacañang, those who are seen as close to its principal resident for one reason or another. But upon closer analysis of the new interesting and intriguing nomenclature, its real brunt appears to be directed to someone in the Palace who is bent in winning as may key Churchmen in the Country as possible. This is why there was even a recent scheming move initiated by the administration bluntly asking the competent ecclesiastical authority in Rome to name more Cardinals for the Philippines as if such would make the Church in the Philippines essentially more pastoral and substantially more effective as if these attributes came from mere human agents and not from Christ Himself.
From all the above rather new play and ploy, there emerges one apparently well tenable conclusion. Here: No matter the means and the costs, Malacañang is bent in winning everybody possible and having everything available for one and only one fundamental reason, viz., to buttress its seriously eroded name and integrity and thereby much distrusted and depreciated leadership. This basic desire and pursuant design become even more progressively urgent as the ominous year 2010 is fast approaching—a year that could unduly prolong or legitimately end the already too long reign of the national leadership.
If only Malacañang provided the country with honest and upright and thereby credible and respectable governance during the past seven years or so, if only it worked for the common good of the people through the rightful use of the big public funds they themselves provided the government with, if only it safeguarded human lives, promoted human dignity and respected human rights—then, it would be the Churchmen themselves who would be grateful, appreciative and whereby supportive of Malacañang. No need to buy loyalties. No necessity of paying for supporters. And the newly coined "Malacañang Diocese" would be a complete nonsense, a totally irrelevant phrase.
The above observations are made more in promotion of truth rather than in defense of certain Churchmen in the country. If Malacañang still has avid followers from the ranks of laity, the religious and the clergy, this is the fortune of the former and the right of the latter. So is it that in these times and with the disturbing and depressing national situation of long standing, there many members of the laity, the religious and the clergy who are not only uncomfortable but also resentful of the ruling administration on account of its one too many grave moral aberrations that continue to impoverish the common tao, deter integral human development and undermine the national patrimony—notwithstanding all proud and loud official oratorical pronouncements to the contrary.
1 February 2008