Thursday, January 24, 2008

Of Witch Hunts, Farmers And Fishermen

AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon has less than a month in office. He is currently lobbying to get an extension. To bolster his bid, he concocts a story about another coup. With his cohorts in the PNP, they create a scenario of an alliance between the plotters and the Left. They placed the date to coincide with the farmers' march to commemorate the Mendiola Massacre.

So the day came and went. He now comes out to say that they have crushed the threat. He now says that the destabilizers are losing financiers and that the threat is contained. He is now singling out supposed funders of his imaginary coup. To bolster his claim, they arrested five individuals with three rusty, old firearms. Two have been released and the remaining three are facing illegal possession charges instead of rebellion. I did not know that five people and three firearms can launch a coup.

The PNP for its part is going on a fishing expedition. PNP chief Avelino Razon claims that a lady reporter aided escapee, Nicanor Faeldon. Journalists were illegally arrested after the Manila Pen press conference.This set the stage to a confrontation between media and the police. To save face and divert the attention from an impending human rights case, Razon now floats the rumor that a member of the media is a coup supporter.

To create confusion and of course, intimidate the media, Razon, instead of filing appropriate charges refuses to divulge the reporter's identity. But the Inquirer jumped the gun and named Jiji Press reporter, Dana Batnag. Razon claims she was caught on video by government controlled, RPN 9 cameraman who was covering the incident. The video shows Batnag speaking with Faeldon. So what, she could very well be interviewing Faeldon. Batnag now challenges the PNP and DoJ to file a case against her.

The DoJ's Raul Gonzalez joined the fray by stating that journalist could be arrested when covering events which involves the military and police. The journalists could be charged with obstruction of justice. You may recall that the journalists' presence prevented a commission of injustice during the Manila Pen incident. This forced the PNP to arrest the journalists as they foiled what could have been a rubout. The security forces has this habit of claiming a firefight to justify the killing of suspects.

So Gloria's enchanted is almost complete. She has "farmers" who plant evidences. She has "fishermen" who fishes for suspects. And to intimidate the people, she has witch hunts conducted by her wizards. The longer she stays in office, the more bizarre things happen. We live in dangerous times. We have a government for themselves, of themselves and by themselves. We are mere onlookers, an audience to an unfolding play. We are unwilling riders on Gloria's train.

Now you and I know very well that to stop the train, one only needs to pull that emergency stop. The problem now is who has the balls to pull that lever? Will it be you or me? Or will it be another unknown hero who will do it for us? But we can always unite and pull that lever at the same time can't we?