[Bodymind] Should we believe Bong Revilla's bullying claims?
Senator Bong Revilla’s privilege speech spoke of the suffering he and his family went through when the pork barrel scandal hit the press. Among other things, he said:
“I, including my family and children, have been vilified and demonized in media. Kawawa naman po ang aking buong pamilya…Dahil sa mga imbentong paratang at paninirang-puri, ay masyado ito dinamdam ng aking anak kaya’t tumigil muna siya sa pag-aaral ng abogasiya…Napakasakit po, Mr President, na makita ang aking mga anak at mga pamangkin, na itinatago ang kanilang pag-iyak, at pilit na nagpapakalakas para bigyan din ako ng tibay.”
(I pity my poor family. My son took all these fabricated accusations too much to heart so he stopped his law studies. It hurts so much, Mr President, to see your son, nieces and nephews hiding their tears and forcing themselves to be brave simply to give me some courage.)
Well, whose bloody fault is that?
Was it bullying or embarrassment?
It beggars belief that the son and grandson of action-stars-turned-senators with real life amulets catapulting them to their unexplained wealth would be bullied. But let’s presume that at least this itty bitty part of Sen Revilla’s speech, where he talks about his son, is true: “tumigil muna siya sa pag-aaral ng abogasiya(he stopped his law studies). (READ: Bong Revilla’s biggest battle)
I am so sorry if Senator Revilla’s son was, indeed, bullied. However, is it possible that what is being characterized as a reaction to bullying is instead extreme embarrassment to having all his classmates know that his father has allegedly stolen our hard-earned money to support his family’s lifestyle?
If I am misconstrued as another bully for speaking about this even further, so be it.
But if a man stands up in the Senate and discusses his son’s alleged bullying we have every right to examine his claim further. We must question what Senator Revilla says, especially since he seems to hope this bully claim will do any/all of the following:
1. Tug at our heart strings so we insist this so called demonizing and vilification end
2. Feel so much for him that we stop pursuing the case of his alleged theft
I doubt these paawa (pity me) tactics will work as well as they did in the past. The greed, shamelessness, and enormity of the pork barrel scandal has made us less gullible than we used be.
Questions for you
Should Senator Revilla’s son (hereafter to be known as RS) indeed have been bullied to the extent of feeling he had to stop school for no other reason than that his father is considered by even more people to be nothing more than a self-righteous thief, well, I think it’s time we looked into his upbringing as well.
Bullying is not my area of expertise, but I know enough about parenting, family dynamics and the dark night of the soul to say the following:
1. It helps a child tremendously if he feels he can tell his parents that he is being bullied. But here are some questions:
a. When did the bullying start? Did it start only when this Revilla-as-alleged-thief hit the news, did it start when Revilla-as-the-rat-who-left-the-ship-of-Estrada’s-presidency-when-this-ship-was-definitely-sunk was televised, or at some other time?
b. I ask because it helps to know how long the parents have known about their son being bullied. Knowing the date when RS' bullying started and the particular reasons it happened will help us better understand how vulnerable RS is/was to bullying.
c. Have the Revillas done anything else to help their son or was making sumbong so the entire nation knows of RS’ plight their only intervention?
d. And didn’t anyone wonder whether it might actually harm, rather than help, RS to make him one of the pivotal points of a speech that took so long in the making?
Think about it. If Senator Revilla’s claims are true, if RS suffered because of the attention students in his school paid to his father’s antics, how much more traumatic might it be to have that attention expand exponentially? It’s quite ironic, to say the least, that RS’ father, who decries the bullying he says was caused by the non-stop scrutiny of the pork barrel scandal, rachets up the scrutiny even more, by broadcasting it to the entire nation in his privilege speech.
Did any of Revilla’s advisers ask RS if it was ok to use him in the privilege speech? Or, as is typical of alleged thieves who run roughshod over their constituents’ needs, were RS’ vulnerabilities not even considered?
2. Your priorities in life are a contributing factor to how damaging being bullied is.
a. So allow me, please, to ask RS’ parents how they brought up their children. What was considered important in your family? Were the perceptions of others something that mattered? I know it matters in getting people to watch your movies, in getting voters to put your name on the ballot, and in getting people to forget what I would call your alleged petty theft if the sums were not quite so big. But in terms of real life, what did you think was really important in life to teach your kids?
b. Unless, of course – sigh – getting votes and wooing fans were what you yourselves considered of primary importance?
c. Because you see, if you, Mr and Mrs Revilla, encouraged your kids to believe that superficial goals like wooing voters and moviegoers were of great importance, then it makes perfect sense that the response of RS’ classmates would matter a lot. This perhaps may have even contributed to RS’ rather strong reaction to bullying.
d. However if you, Mr and Mrs Revilla, showed your children that integrity, honesty and dignity of the human spirit are what really matter in life, then while being bullied might still hurt a bit, hopefully it wouldn’t hurt to the extent of his needing to skip classes. “Sticks and stones” and all that, not to mention fat bank accounts.
3. There is scientific literature that suggests the bullied person’s personality contributes to the nature and extent of his being bullied. So another relevant question is: if the teasing and the taunting started just recently, why could RS not laugh it off the way he did other scandals his mother and you, his father, had been involved in? What mattered so much in this case that he should’ve been affected so badly? Was it the pretty obvious paper trail? Was it the realization that your usual tears and bible quotes would no longer be enough?
And if the bullying started way back, might not one or both of you have sat RS down and explored the possibility that a person as sensitive as he might think twice about being a lawyer? Law, after all, is basically an adversarial profession in many ways and therefore might not be the best choice for someone unwilling to cope with confrontation.
I hope I do not come across as biased, ready to shoot down anything Senator Revilla says. But I am sick and tired of senatorial shenanigans that imply that:
Alleged theft (by the parent) = Alleged bullying (of the alleged thief’s child)
And I want to make sure that the above formula, however questionable, is not, by senatorial sleight of hand, magically transformed to:
Alleged bullying = Let’s no longer talk about the alleged theft. – Rappler.com