Monday, October 14, 2013

The Luneta Fiasco – Once More with Feeling

There it was again. It happened long since but it remains painful and disgusting to the people concerned. When the Filipinos seem to have forgotten it altogether, the co-nationals of the pitiful victims of the mortal debacle still harbor anger and disgust – not to mention the painful perplexity why a big nothing is heard from the Philippine government about the repulsive phenomenon when much foreign blood was poured in the local soil. That was why, given the occasion, some foreign journalists -- still harboring pain and fury over the downright slaughter of their co-citizens – repeatedly shouted questions to no less than the Chief-in-Command of the country when they personally saw him in a foreign land. Answer, he had none. Explain, he did not. Smiling, he remained.

The so-called “Luneta Hostage Crisis” – or something the like – was the way the atrocious and fatal event is called and remembered. It however requires no profound knowledge to conclude that it is more than a mere “crisis”, the episode was a downright massacre of helpless people who simply wanted to tour the Philippines and hoped to enjoy the occasion. Instead, they were killed without mercy, without remorse. Yes, the killer was killed but only after he killed others. The major questions then asked, which to date remain unanswered, are the following:

Q1. Where on earth was the newly appointed DILG Undersecretary for the PNP back then? Where were the PNP members who were supposedly trained and therefore knowledgeable in handling such a high critical situation? How come only PNP amateurs arrived at the place, without knowing what to do, where to go, how to respond to it – as televised all over the land?

Q2. Why did the Commander-in-Chief – with curiosity and a smile – arrive at the place after the killings were done and over – with the former DILG Secretary in tow? Still, the then DILG undersecretary for the PNP remained invisible, after the killer atrocity was over, after the dead were taken away, after the tourist but was left with bullet holes, broken windows and the like?

Q3. Was that distinct and dismaying, historical and monstrous faux pa that took place rather early after the assumption of the office of the administration, nothing less than the clear signal that the latter would be slowly yet surely taking the People of the Philippines down the drain of leadership incompetence, confusing decisions, questionable options up to the now infamous Pork Barrel scam – PDAF, DAP, etc. – that eventually ended in the presumably august Halls of Malacañang?

It started in the Senate. It followed in the House of Representatives. It has now reached the supposedly hallowed Office of the President who is now the target of ire – the treat of Impeachment included. Is the Luneta Fiasco after all, the bad omen of bad things to come – before or after 2016?