Some people have already said this, and I had made the same observations to some people, but I think a lot of people haven’t realized how dangerous the Arroyo regime’s reaction to the Manila Pen affair.
Many thought that the PNP’s action was an overkill. Two armored personel carriers, several hundred elite police men, loads of tear gas – is it really an overkill? There are tactical blunders in the police’s action. For example, why force themselves in a sofa-bariccaded front door when there are other entrances that they can use? Why use an APC to force the front door open when they can use other means? I think someone’s ego was seriously pricked, hence the action (that someone’s name sounds like a part of a vehicle).
But no, the medium is the message. The police reaction is precisely overkill because the Arroyo regime is sending a message to its enemies – it will not hesitate to kill just to survive. The queen’s enemies better think twice.
What the police did to media men last Thursday is the worst blunder, the most stupid blunder that they can ever do. And it does not end there.
Earlier today, Plinky Webb (one of those “processed” by the police) interviewed the Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Avelino Razon. To be honest, he seems to be the most media-savvy PNP chief since Babylon, and he appears to be a decent chap. Apparently not. In the interview, he said that if media people decides to file a case against the police, they will have no choice but to file a countersuit.
Yes, that is called blackmail.
And probably the most scary part for the Arroyo regime – the military. How afraid can the queen be of her armed forces? The official action was entirely a police matter. Logically.
But there is one thing that was buried deep by the usual propaganda crap and litanies by dogs and monkeys. Remember that Trillanes et al were escorted by military police at the courtroom. How were they able to pull the stunt off? It scared Hermogenes Esperon so much that the AFP chief by default claimed that they were ordered to go along. Fool.
Hence the absence of the AFP in last Thursday’s affair. The Arroyo regime is deeply scared of the possibility of the military supporting Trillanes instead.
The reactions to the Manila Peninsula Affair reminded me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I don’t know why. Maybe I should reread that novel. If you can connect the two, please let me know.
Maybe it was because of Vivian Yuchengco.
Speaking of Yuchengco, her reaction is typical of those who have a lot to lose in a big social upheaval. Understandable, but her family’s reaction to the Pacific Plans fiasco, however, puts a damper on Yuchengco’s credibility. Her reaction is not surprising. Remember her family’s reaction to the PEP Coalition? The Yuchengco family filed libel cases against the officers of the PEP Coalition.
Niloko na, kinasuhan pa. Still want the status quo? It can happen to you.
I am currently re-reading John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope. I had read this once, and I was re-reading it, since I think the book’s contents are relevant to how the current Roman Catholic hierarchy is acting (or not acting).
Have you read this book? What is your take on it?
Finally, as I have said, the regime’s later actions after Trillanes surrendered are disturbing. Let’s outline them:
* The media being treated as suspects and some of them being handcuffed. Read the following accounts for context:
– From Manila Pen to Bicutan: When the Media Became the Story
– Hours, media grit in the Manila Pen
– ABS-CBN reporter: No one told us to leave Pen
* The PNP declared a 12AM-5AM curfew for a rather large area of Luzon.
If there’s one thing that Gloria Arroyo has learned from this episode, it is this: she can declare martial law anytime and no one would bother crying foul. Well, some few people would cry foul, but not enough to deter her.
To end this post, let me quote Ederic Eder:
“Sa kaloob-looban natin, gusto rin natin ng pagbabago. Ngunit nagagalit tayo sa mga mapangahas na nais gumambala sa maalwan nating pamumuhay.”
I could have not said it any better.