The tension in Makati is over. The tear gas is gone. The guns are silent. The soldiers, police and their tanks are back in the camps. A plush hotel suffered some damage. The lead personalities are held secure. Makati appears calm and quiet. But as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the saga is definitely not ended, the last chapter of the story is certainly not yet written. The national realities behind the event are still alive and about. The fundamental factors that caused the riveting drama remain the same. The perceived morally bankrupt and callous government continues to be in power. The same markedly questionable individuals with busted values system remain holding the high critical public offices.
What thus took place in a key city in the country must mean many things to many people. Just as there were those who welcomed and cheered it, so did others looked at it with reservation, apprehension if not condemnation—especially those who might suddenly lose their public profitable offices or juicy positions. It is however true that there are definitely big lessons learned from the sobering if not chilling episode witnessed here and abroad by millions of people in living colors and real time.
First lesson: The present government is the problem and the culprit. It is the principal author of corrupt acts and practices, the fearsome killing machine of cause oriented men and women, the primary origin of deceit and injustice. It is a government that effectively divides people and amply gives them strong reasons to distrust and disapprove. It makes money from even the poorest of the poor while nonchalantly appropriating huge public funds to promote its own political interest and concerns. With such a government, reconciliation is an empty word, national development is but a dream, and social peace remains a moral impossibility, hence the long existing unrest on the part of the governed from the left, from the right and from the center as well. It is the present government itself that foments continuous dissent and big resentment to the point of the Makati attempt.
Second lesson: there are more and more people who are alienated by the existing government that does as a matter of course what it should not, and avoid doing what it is precisely paid for and expected to do. The dissatisfied and downright disgusted people are numbered among the elite and the miserable, the professionals and the unlettered. They are found in the academe and the slums, the world of business and labor—even in the ranks of the AFP. While most of them do not actually join protest marches and rallies, they are neither that happy much less contented with the present administration. But even these will not “stand down” forever.
Third lesson: The great majority of the Philippine media persons remain the sign of courage and the voice of truth. That is why they are hated by people who wield power simply through weaponry—a symbol of brute power and the tool of dictatorial figures. They are a constituent element of the hope of the country, a much appreciated partner in confronting the abuses of public officials. May their tribe increase. May they remain firm and stay whole
Meantime, the crusade for truth, justice and peace continues.
3 December 2007