So many advertised meetings here and there. So many exuberant announcements through so many media outlets. So many ceremonial smiles, clapping, self-congratulations. So many promises and proclamations made. So much hope was raised for so many times. So many grandiose affirmations announced and so many loud proclamations made. So many partisan political comrades clapped eagerly, repeatedly and loud.
But angry groupings with this and that title remained in place and kept making their fearful presence known. Bombings and murders took place as a matter of course. Guns, bullets, and bombs were kept. Violence was nonchalantly noted. The extremist remained as such and much greater extremism even was reported alive and well. People waited and hoped. Unity, however, was nowhere confirmed and peace remained but a dream.
And recently, a good number of PNP SAF officers and men were deployed in that danger zone – for one reason or another. But no one supposedly responsible seemed to really know why. And for one reason or another as well, many of them were done away with – readily killed, eventually gunned down if not gravely wounded. Now their families are grieving. Their relatives are angry. Their friends are restless. People in general are disgusted.
On one hand, honors are promised. Promotion are completed. Money grants are even talked about. But the dead remain dead. The wives remain widows. The children remained sadly fatherless, pitiful orphans. On the other hand, those who personally know the what and they why of the debacle are angry. They know some things were wrong – very wrong. What are they thinking, what are they planning? Only they know what.
Explanations were made. Justifications were forwarded. Allegations were voiced out. But just the same, big questions and serious doubts remain. There are however some things that appear certain: The present government is strange – with strange ideas, with strange plans, with strange options. It wallows in the thoughts that it is the gift of the gods to the people. It considers itself as all-knowing as well as almighty.
But more and more people are asking: Where is the present government going as it appears to be running around after its own tail? Why are people taxed from birth to death and yet public service is at its worst? What is now the stand of the government about Sabah? Why is it ominously silent about it? How come statistics say that the socio-economic development of the Country is at its highest level while poverty is widespread on ground reality?
Hopefully, everything is all right and nothing at all is wrong. Hopefully unity and peace are still possible even in Mindanao. Hopefully, considering that so many things are down, they have no other way than to go up. But as things are, it bears saying “What now!” and asking “Now what?”