It is in the Philippines that the “Foot In Mouth Disease” has its consummate expression and has even acquired its serious nature. More than just a simple malaise, an ordinary illness or a sickness of deleterious standing, the disease is a big disgrace to the individual afflicted with it and a curse as well to everybody else who relates with the same, one way or another. The naked truth about the disease is that the higher in public office someone becomes afflicted by it, the bigger social cost it becomes to the people who repose their public trust on the same. This is also true for those occupying high positions in the hierarchy of business and industry. Although in a relatively lesser degree, they too when affected by the disease, contribute much to the disgust and frustration of people patronizing their produce.
In other words, while the disease is markedly shameful and disgraceful to the characters stricken by it, the latter in turn become really more disgusting than simply funny to all others who have a sample of its reality and implication. Trying too hard to appear credible or honest, talking too much against the dictates of prudence and the boundaries of truth, reeking with patronizing gestures and flattering pronouncements contrary to simple reality and other uncalled for acts and words that in a way “make the stomach turn” – these are some of the main diagnostic features of the disease.
Question: What is the “Foot In Mouth Disease”? The answer to this can be not only profound but also lengthy as well. But in short and plain language, the other name of the disease is none other than “Lying Through One’s Teeth.” Needless to say, this peculiar malady usually manifests itself among those individuals who indulge in graft and corruption as a matter of course, who engage in deceit and falsity as a fact of life, who think they are not merely omniscient but also omnipotent. In short, this is a certain group of persons who do not believe in the saying “You can fool some people of the time, but all the people all the time.”
The most sublime and exemplary manifestation of this disease is the now immortal declaration: “I am sorry!” Done with over-rehearsed and thus likewise overdone face expression, and even accompanied by a too prepared almost funny quibbling voice, the dramatis persona can well have the affliction. More recently, there was also somebody who no less than on the occasion of a supposedly formal prayer, dared to say with a straight face that may someone still hold the already over-held office, even after 2010. And there was even an elderly and supposedly honorable public official who had the strange audacity to compare his boss to the Lord Jesus Who suffered much. Countless are the concrete examples to prove that the “Foot in Mouth Disease” is a relatively common psycho-social infirmity in the Country – specially among those supposedly in position of high public office but so not have trust of the public.
It is however possible that the disease is not really incurable. It may be severe and thus devastating to the good name, integrity and credibility of those afflicted by it. But in all probability, once they are removed from pubic office – either by operation of law, by deliberate option or by plain forcible eviction – the disease would also be gone as a collateral benefit to the people in general.
January 30, 2009