Friday, March 04, 2011


In plain language, Amnesia is a well noticeable disturbance of memory usually due to a direct physiological effect of a particular medical condition – if not on account of the persisting effects of drug abuse. Professional psychiatry commonly holds that there are at least three criteria to conclude for the presence of Amnesia or now called “Amnesia Disorder” – it is: One, impairment in the ability recall of previously known facts and/or informational data. Two, impairment in occupational functioning among other acta and gesta. Three, impairment in memory ability that goes beyond the usual duration of substance abuse or medication. While little knowledge is dangerous, for non-expert in psychiatry it is enough to look into a diagnostic manual of mental disorders to know the above information.

One thing appears certain: Amnesia appears to be the sickness of the times. There are indications that more and more individuals will be thus disabled. Come to think of it, it seems to be a affecting a good number of no less than rather high ranking Officials in the Armed Forces of the Philippines – together with their close friends and aides. This phenomenon seems to be well verified in the relatively long on-going televised hearings instanced by the Senate Committee concerned “in aid of legislation” – and also as an advisory or a help to the Executive Department to eventually know what to do, whom to call and what cases to file.

Another thing seems definite: The Amnesia now making the rounds is rather selective in nature and extent. That is to say: The memory disorder appears well limited to matters of cash and kind. Why does one have so much? Where did it come from? How come the justice system seems dysfunctional in these apparently monumental graft and corrupt practices? Yet there is something that persists in memory, viz., and the invocation of the right against self-incrimination.

No, all the above are in no way meant to accuse anybody, to judge someone, much less to condemn this or that individual precisely suffering from selective Amnesia. This memory incapacity is a personal liability. And strictly speaking therefore, those afflicted by it should be subjects of compassion and objects of understanding. Nevertheless, there is something that should be said by way of a caveat: Hopefully, the recall disorder would be but temporary and would be forever gone – once the truth is all out. It can be said that a memory disorder is usually cured when those who are thus afflicted, recover from their indisposition and once again begin to remember when shocked with solid evidentiary facts.

Perhaps, those watching the individuals suffering from amnestic disorder might find them amusing. The reality however is that they deserve compassion.

04 MARCH 2011