Bertolt Brecht’s oft-quoted statement “What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?” should now be directed against the ruling class: “What is the destruction of public properties compared with the destruction of thousand of jobless’ lives, the torture and killing of hundreds of human rights workers and activists, and hundreds of prostituted women due to poverty? And when they use the law, we should insist together with Brecht, again: “The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don’t understand it.” — UP Prof. Gerry Lanuza
The photo above was at Ever Gotesco last July 23 hours before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Batasang Pambansa began. The wider distance from the venue itself was apparently a point of contention with the protestors.
Credit goes to Fernando Sepe Jr of ABS-CBNnews.com for this picture. Some of his fellow media men were hurt yesterday too. They deserve all the credit in the world for braving it to keep us informed day to day.
More of Mr. Sepe’s photos from yesterday here:
“Today, it’s not only the President, but the protestors who have to answer a lot of questions. The rest of the Filipino people would like to hear how the protestors intend to explain this to us who they claim to represent.” says a store owner.
“This anarchists don’t realize that they are not destroying the property of the Police, but the property of the Filipino people. All government equipment came from the taxes of the Filipino people, thus they are destroying the our property.” an office worker reiterated.
At the other side of the story, protesters have also aired their complaints in mainstream media and social networks citing physical abuse at the side of the government:
“Regardless of circumstances, regardless of who is right or wrong; don’t you think hitting a person with all might with truncheons and shields 23 times when he is defenseless is justifiable? The intention was clearly not just to pin down “assaults” but to inflict an unforgettable pain brutally.
To those who said ” buti nga”, you have no idea what you are talking about for you were not there. But I do not blame you dahil sa mainstream media lamang kayo nakakakuha ng mga inpormasyon. Probably you should ask some of the activists who were there about what really happened. I hope di nyo rin ito sapitin…By the way, my husband, Nardy Sabino, is a leader of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). 12 church people, including a priest, got hurt during this intense event. I am confident to say that they did not start the violence that occurred.” says the wife of Nardy Sabino, Sec. Gen. of PCPR.
Seriously, if ever this was true, this is in violation of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) own Rules of Engagement. Appropriate complaints and charges should be filed directly with the PNP at Camp Crame and with the Commission on Human Rights. Please ensure that the video or photo footage and medico-legal reports accompany these complaints.
A poem entitled ” Liham Sa Lahat Ng Nanlait Sa Mga Rallyista Sa SONA”, roughly translated as “An Open Letter To All That Mocked The Rallyist During The SONA”, was also spread in social media networks.
LIHAM SA LAHAT NG NANLAIT SA MGA RALLYISTA SA SONA
Kumusta naman ang iyong kape sa umaga,
Habang nanonood o nagbabasa ng balita,
Sa mga naganap sa huling SONA?
A, oo, isisi natin ang lahat sa raliyista.
Isisi natin ang trapik, nasirang gamit,
Dumi sa kalyeng hindi nailigpit.
Oo, pati kasawian natin sa pag-ibig.
Isisi natin ang lahat sa rallyista,
Pati ang ating pamamanhid
Sa duguang mukha
At walang awang pananakit.
At bakit hindi?
Ikulong natin sila sa mga kataga:
Maingay na aktibista,
Ituloy natin ang pagmamaang-maangan,
At ang ating pananahimik
Sa bawat pagdukot at pagpaslang.
Pagkat makapangyarihan ang mga salita:
Maingay ang aktibista,
Mapula ang komunista,
Salot silang lahat, lipuling ganap.
Limutin ang ugat ng paghihirap
At ang pasismong lalong nagtutulak
Sa mamamayan na mag-aklas.
Huwag hayaang ang kape ay lumamig,
Mainam raw iyan sa puso mong nag-uumapaw ang galit,
Sa rallyistang sa kalye ay hindi mawalis-walis.
— JOI BARRIOS
Comments of netizens varied:
“Communist until you get rich. Feminist until you get married. Atheist until the airplane starts falling.”
“If you don’t make it, It’s your own damn fault.”
“There’s alot of ways to express your ideals, Don’t let yourself get carried away of what’s happening to other countries. We still have our values even though we don’t have wealth. That’s why you have Representatives in the Government to be your spokesperson right?”
“The Filipino people should ask themselves, Are we taking part in searching for the solution to our problems, or are we just worsening it and falling into anarchy?”