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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Follow me, where I go!

Just got back from my mother's house and learned that something's a-brewing again with the military. Reports said that Gen. Miranda of the Philippine Marines has been relieved. Malacañang denies this saying that it was he who asked to be relieved himself. Well, I don't know what to believe anymore. What bothers me is that Col. Querubin has gone to his "rescue" and calling for supporters to hold a vigil at Fort Bonifacio. Naturally, the president would see this as an act of defiance and has ordered for his arrest. As of this moment, everything is still at a standstill. What is bothersome in this scenario is that the backbone of the military's existence is its obedience to the chain of command. When junior officers begin thinking on their own, defying orders of their superiors, chances are, the foot soldier can do so, too. Simple logic, right? Now what will the AFP be in the future but a composition of cliques, disunited and practically leaderless. Not a very encouraging scenario, is it? My question is, if Gen. Miranda did ask to be relieved, why does he not come out in the open, clear things with his men and tell them to respect and obey his replacement? What is he waiting for? Why would he want this vigil on his behalf go through? My bet is that either Malacañang is not saying the truth or he is enjoying the limelight. As Andy Warhol said, everybody is entitled to at least 15 minutes of fame.

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It's now 10:00 pm and the latest is that they seem to have resolved the crisis. Good! I must be wrong. Thank God. There is hope after all.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

No classes! Should we rejoice?

Classes have been suspended today because of a suspected impending coup. Two high ranking officers were relieved of their posts as they expressed their non-support for this government.

As a teen-ager, I remember the times when I would be very happy over the suspension of classes. There were a number of reasons why classes would be suspended during those days. First was the occurence of strong typhoons. We would have no classes for days because of inclement weather and inundation. i even managed to work overnight (my first time to work ever, I was 14 or 15 yrs old then) for a nutribun factory that was contracted by the government to offer relief to those stranded in central luzon. I remember the whole of Pampanga, Bulacan and nearby provinces in a sea of water and classes were suspended for a week at least. This was probably during the first years of martial law. I remember soldiers waiting for sacks and sacks of bread to be delivered. They were slumped on the floor sleeping or inside their 6 X 6 truck.

Earlier on, classes would be suspended for rallies happening in Morayta, Quiapo, the university belt and the University of the Philippines. Again, being a young teen-ager, I dld not know that this would be known as the first quarter storm. Student activists had died during rallies but still more and more people would march on the streets. There was this Carlos Santana song that goes "Jinggoooo, go back. Go back back go back." which rallyists had adapted and changed the lyrics to "Marcooooos, talagang tuta" alluding to Marcos' beng a lapdog to Amnerican imperialism.

Well, this is well-known history so there is no use writing about it. However, to my young mind, I did not care then. I was just happy there would be no Trigonometry class. However, Doc Emer just texted about the signing of the president of Proclamation 1017 which allows a warrantless arrest of suspected individuals, among others. (I have yet to read the news) This is just like the prelude to martial law when Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus. While I was nonchalant about political upheavals during my youth, I am more aware now as an adult. I look at things and try to analyze whatever information I receive. Will we experience another episode of military take over? I have the strong suspicion that we won't. Marcos has planned his moves well. He has wooed every general to his side. He had the full support of the military who at the time was confined inside their barracks awaiting to be called should there be a war. Looking back, I could just imagine how Being involved directly with civilian concerns like the political arena would have been tempting for their officers. That would mean sharing the limelight with the political leaders.

However, Gloria Arroyo does not have this luxury. Not after Edsa when the people has seen the power of civil disobedience. Not after Edsa where the people saw that the military can be swayed to their favor and defy their officers. Not after several failed coup attempts. As it is, the military is no longer the unified institution that it once was. Its leaders began to think on their own after it has seen the events that has happened since Edsa. Some of these young officers have their own agenda which to my mind is can include taking over the reins of government.

If ever martial law takes in effect, it will mean tremendous bloodshed like what happened in Tiananmen Square or worse, the military split to two and civil war ensues. Hope that never happens. At any event, should Gloria or any of her detractors and other players in this recent event fail, that would mean they will only have to heal their battered egos. We, the poor citizens of the Philippines will have to suffer more. Ganda no?

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Talk about getting busted!

Yesterday's papers caused me to shudder. Well, it's not just bad news that we get plenty of these days. No! We don't get surprised by them anymore. What was shuddering about it was that it happened a tricycle ride (about 5 minutes or less) away from where i live.

I am talking about the drug bust in a 600 m compound of about 40 shanties that happened here in Pasig last Friday. It turned out that inside the compound were "shabu restaurants" with menus and all. Among those nabbed were 250 adults and 59 minors which, are you ready for this, included a baby and a pregnant girl of 12. What is more shocking was that it was just under the nose of the authorities as it was a few yards away from the city hall. Heads are sure going to roll after this. The report says that the precinct commander Senior Insp. Salvador de la Cruz and seven of his men had immediately been relieved. Personnel of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Pasig City police (we have them?!?) have also been sacked. "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" I say.

Most of the minors were used as couriers and as sex workers for the customers who go there, the report said. What makes me tremble in fear is that we all know what shabu does to the brain. It fries the brain and make the addicted go loco afer some time of abuse. Now, if shabu can be had this easily, then, I could say we don't live in a very safe surrounding. Not because I fear that my children can be swayed to go there for I know that they know better. Never mind that the subdivision has a security guard who carries a gun. These addicts had obliterated the "siga-siga" of the 60s into smithereen for a few bucks. These guys are a new breed of gangsters that could kill aimlessly because reason has abandoned them. I am just glad that the place had been found out. I hope the authorities should not turn complacent over this victory for it has been our experience that these things do come back after some time.

Again, the issue here is poverty. What parent, in his/her right mind, would allow his offspring to go wondering the streets, engage in ilicit trade if only to help them eke out a living? Aren't these kids supposed to be in school? Aren't there enough public schools in Pasig? i guess not. Ah, the things that we do on an empty stomach can be harsh but that's life. We all live to survive. Again, we ohly have to blame our political leaders for this. If most of them are not corrupt and greedy for wealth and be serious with what they ought to do, none of this would happen.

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About
MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.


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