Don't forgive, Don't forget?
Business tycoon, philanthropist, and board chairman of Ateneo De Manila University, a leading educational institution in the Philippines, Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) is being criticized for plagiarizing his speech before the 2010 graduates. He lifted parts of his speech from famous persons like President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling, and Conan O'Brien. Admitting his mistake and taking full responsibility of his actions, he issued a letter of apology to Fr. Nebres and offered to step down as the board's chair. The scam became a buzz in social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Now, it has reached international exposure.
I admire MVP for being a gentleman, accepting his fault and did not point a finger to anybody. True, it was a scandal in one of the most respected educational institutions in the Philippines but how often do we see such gestures these days? How many public figures and leaders are known to have committed illegal and immoral acts in office and yet had the audacity to escape from such acts?
We take pride in being the only Catholic country in Asia, and yet many are so unforgiving. Are these reflections that many are merely professing Christians? What do those people want him to do? Do they want him to kneel down before them and beg for forgiveness? The Lenten season was just few hours passed and many seem to forget what it means. I am not religious, for the record. But I cannot understand why many of my countrymen boast being Christians and yet could not forgive those who ask for forgiveness.
Whereas it is embarrassing in the short term, I think MVP will be remembered as a man who was humble enough to say sorry despite his stature. What about those who could not forgive him? Happy Easter to all!