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Of Naked Runs And Free Speech

March 5, 2009


Senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel is a master at making headlines.

So now even as the debate over his Right of Reply Bill continues he’s pounced on another issue, one that’s eliciting more guffaws than any serious consideration.

That ala-UP Oblation Run stage in Sampaloc’s University Belt by members of the Alpha Pi Omega Fraternity in tribute to their iskolar-ng-bayan kinsmen.


But is Pimentel’s dander really up or is he just prepping to become a social commentator when he graduates from the Senate?

The venerable senator fails to realize that these naked runs, flashing as it’s called in the First World, is really considered just another way of exercising freedom of expression.

Hey, If Pimentel is so scandalized he shoud sue to have even the Oblation statue torn down. But that would rouse even the long-resting spirit of Fernando Poe Senior who is popularly thought to be the model for Guillermo Tolentino masterpiece.(According to a book tribute to Guillermo Tolentino, it was actually a student apprentice ,Anastacio T. Caedo, who served as the model for the sculpture.)


It depicts a man facing upward with arms outstretched, symbolizing selfless offering of oneself to his country.

As Tolentino himself described his work:

The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night. The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The “katakataka” (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. “Katakataka” is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines.

Having this knowledge, would Pimentel have the humility to cool down and focus not on assaulting free speech but on fighting the greater, more insidious scandals plaguing Philippine society?

Or if he still wants to extract headine value from the Sampaloc stunt he can file a paxpayer’s suit against the youngers for indecent exposure or alarm and scandal.

But I doubt if any of the witness, specially the shrieking ladies, will join Pimentel.

As for his own ‘stunt’, the RORB, Mr. was insisting on Che Che lazaro’s Media In Focus show that he simply feel journalist should be taught where their right ends and where responsibility is of greater import.

He insists media responsibility can be legislated.

As Congressmam and journalist-of-the-first-order Teddy Boy’ Locsin said during the show, “prior restraint is also when you mandate what journalist must write to satisfy a law/”

And he says “even if Pimentel’s RORB becomes law, journalists will, and should, simply ignore and defy it.”

Hell there should than be a law making it illegal for public officials to hang  their mugs on power lines and advertise themselves in projects paid for using taxpayer money!

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