Friday, November 30, 2007

Hero Syndrome

Yesterday, Trillanes held the country hostage once again to try and justify the means to his ends. His arrogance knows no bounds as he proclaimed that the Filipino people support his cause. Although it is true that the Filipino people is wary of the string of scandals that continue to hit our current administration, an overwhelming majority of the people don’t condone nor approve of his theatrics and methods that placed innocent lives in danger; majority of us still believe in the rule of LAW.

As if this is not enough, some senators, media, church personalities, old trapos and other cause oriented groups joined the circus to give their own two cents worth of unsolicited advice. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Leah Navarro (Black and White Movement) proclaim on national television that these people (Trillanes et. al.) have the right to express themselves in the way they believe is right. Navarro is a perfect testament to the statement that wisdom does not come with age. Bishop Labayen, Teofisto Guingona and artists lending their physical support should not be treated differently as they clearly encouraged seditious activities inciting people to a revolution. Is Guingona hoping to be installed as the “president” if by some insane chance Trillanes succeeded? I’ve just had enough of these people laying claim to a moral highchair, someone should knock them off before they believe the hallucination triggered by the teargas fumes.

In a way, I admire these people wanting to show their alliances. My respect for some high profile personalities (aka the 2010 candidates) just took another dive that can rival the performance of the American dollar: Binay is quiet and did not even respond to the crisis that is happening within his own backyard. A Chief Executive should be in the scene of the crisis to lend important moral, legal, logistic, and administrative support – not cavorting in another city in an obvious dry run for the 2010 elections. What is Binay doing to protect the business in his turf? He brags about running the country when he can’t even be expected to be present in a crisis. This leads me to think that this is too “convenient” and deserves a deeper investigation. Where is Roxas? Legarda? Lacson? Jinggoy? Madrigal? The CBCP? The deafening sound of their silence is as hollow as their platform. USA was able to voice their unilateral support for PGMA, a country with decency to show their alliance whereas some of our politicians can’t even muster a statement.

The only group I truly admired are the students featured in News Central (Ateneo, UP) that succinctly declared that they understand the cause of Trillanes but do not agree with his methods as it is more disruptive than constructive. Yet, another proof that wisdom does not come with age. This sentiment is echoed by several publications as the Philippine press denounces the rebellion.

Everyone is quick to jump the bandwagon and condemn how the government reacted citing it as excessive and overacting. In a state of emergency, decisive decisions have to be made to address the threat to civilian and public safety. I understand the necessary caution that the AFP/PNP had to impose even with members of Media – it is standard protocol that people in the scene of a crime needs to be processed for statements, it is standard protocol in a crisis situation to secure the perimeter as the possibility of the real perpetrators escaping can happen in the confusion. Perhaps they should have done a better job of explaining the rationale to reduce the confusion, on the other hand, the PNP/AFP should be lauded for their relatively orderly, swift and coordinated movements. Our soldiers are not good at customer service, otherwise they’d be in Call Centers.

One question hangs over my head like the proverbial sword of Damocles, how were they able to secure a venue, stage a presscon, conveniently have “media” present and Brig. Gen. Lim read a statement that has obviously been edited, proofread and so obviously prepared? Every Juan and Juanita wants that question answered.

The unnamed troops from the PNP and AFP that responded to the crisis are the real heroes in this drama, PGMA rightfully said that this “standoff is not an act of heroism”. Arrogant Trillanes is not another Ninoy. He should get off this hero syndrome, of wanting to style himself as the savior of the Philippines. I suspect he only wanted to get free accommodations in hotels – he could have simply made arrangements with the PR or Marketing group as they would gladly give him complimentary nights instead of having their fa├žade torn down, locked up, shot at and scarred by the irresponsibility of his actions.

I’d like to borrow the words of Spanish King Juan Carlos to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: “SHUT UP!”

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