Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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By Atty. Howie Calleja

BOO is a cry of frustration; and is a perfectly understandable human reaction to contempt and disapproval. As an opposite to YEHEY, for a job well done. It connotes our discontent for things poorly done. So, it came as a surprise when Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes was booed by the Filipino crowd before the game against Italy at the Araneta Coliseum. Why so? Following the successive losses of Gilas Pilipinas in the fiba World Cup we are now struggling to win even one game and or even qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Sadly, our compatriots’ BOO is somewhat misplaced. I know it was heartbreaking loss; but to ventilate such anger and disappointment towards someone who is obviously doing his best is uncalled for. Basketball is a team sport — from the management, coaching staff to the players — so, not a single individual can be solely blamed for a defeat. Most especially, when everyone has placed their hearts, minds and souls in the game.

Winning is not always a victory; and losing is not always a defeat. When a player or team puts their heart and soul into the game in representation of our motherland; the result is immaterial to the spirit of sportsmanship to which our athletes stood for. So, if we want vent out our frustrations and BOO someone, why not do so to those who plunder our country’s resources? To which obviously is more detrimental to our welfare as a nation.

Why not we BOO THE LIES? The lies of a fake college degree and lies of economic prosperity epitomized by 20 pesos worth of a kilo of rice. The lies of saying that we are experiencing economic growth vis-à-vis the fact that the 6.4% growth in the first quarter was the country’s slowest since it exited the pandemic-induced recession in 2021 and that the 6.4% GDP growth in the first quarter was still a sharp two-point drop from 8.3% for the same period year-on-year. It was also slower than the 7.1% booked in the last quarter of 2022.

Why not we BOO THE CORRUPTION? From the anomalies in the awarding of contracts totaling P11.5 billion to Pharmally for the supply of face shields, face masks, test kits and other medical items for the government’s pandemic response; let us Boo bad governance bad political dynasties and boo fake news and historical revisionism.

And, why nor we BOO THE POOR SENSE OF NATIONHOOD? The Pro-China insinuations vis-à-vis the arbitral award the Philippines has clearly won. The rubber stamping of confidential funds (e.g., DEPED desire to allocate 150 million to conduct a police or military function in conducting surveillance operations on students and teachers in relation to the obvious need for more classrooms). The extravagant and frequent foreign trips to which only $88 million worth of investment pledges are seen to materialize this year. And, the ratification of a lopsided Maharlika Investment Fund.

Yes, we can be critical about our standing in our FIBA stint; and be more critical on coach Chot and his basketball style but to BOO him is clearly uncalled for. Instead, we should redirect our frustrations on the things that matter like food security and post-COVID economic recovery; to pursue justice for EJK victims and to ask for accountability from our government leaders — transforming our BOO into a YEHEY!

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