I would like to believe that there’s a dearth of potential columnists, that’s why the Manila Bulletin chose Floro L. Mercene to rank among its regular writers.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Mr Mercene could give his readers more value and substance in what they read?
Fine, his style is condensing his wording into Twitter update-lookalikes and arranging them in almost-random order (separated by three asterisks); it keeps each of his ideas down to its very basic. Nothing wrong with it per se.
The problem comes, however, when he begins dishing out opinion (because his is an opinion article after all, and often in less than 140 characters, as in Twitter) without sufficient elaboration and citation of facts. In other words, his column suffers from want of more substance. Below is taken from his article today, entitled “Showdown on RH bill” (10/11/10 p. A11):
Congress will defy the church and pass the Reproductive Health bill no matter what.
The church is facing a big embarrassment if it does not change its position.
The church is strongly opposing passage of the RH bill and threatens to excommunicate the President and others who will support the bill.
We have a problem.
And then after the series of pro-RH bill statements, he says:
Archbishop says using the Internet to collect bets for small town lottery, proposed by a franchise holder, will lead to more gambling.
Faster bets, faster turnover of losses and winnings.
Mr Mercene is the author of Manila Men in the New World: Filipino Migration to Mexico and the Americas from the Sixteenth Century, published in 2007 by the UP Press. I would rather hear the relevant bits of that period in Philippine history instead of random rants on current events.