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Feb 07

There oughta be a law

The news continues to fly thick and fast, mainly along the lines of this headline: Probers: Show staff triggered stampede (Standard-Today)

Even as ABS-CBN issues a new statement on its activities, the grim and remorseless criticism continues: a good summary, particularly the kind emanating from National Democratic circles, is Luis Teodoro’s two-barreled blast against capitalism and religion (though typically, they aren’t beyond dragooning religion into The Cause when useful). Alternation 101 weighs in, says all the networks are guilty of using the poor, and rather hopelessly calls for an advertising boycott. In Mindanao, Aveen Acuna-Gulo wants a change in programming. In her column, Connie Veneracion recounts online reactions to the tragedy and her own analysis of shows like Wowowee -built on the cunning assumption that there’s no limit as to how low people will go for a prize. Myla Iglesias talks about prizes -the best one being the discovery of a relative who survived the stampede.

I got a surprising number of text messages and such from people in response to my column yesterday, besides some highly-appreciated links (thanks, Four-eyed Journal and The Unlawyer). Many were asking for more details about the paper from which I liberally quoted.

Really, there ought to be a law providing for:

1. The study and certification of venues for crowded performances;
2. The certification and accreditation of Certified Crowd Managers;
3. and incentives/requirements for large venues to have Certified Crowd Managers managers.

Speaking of laws, the bLAWggers are pushing foward the debate: Punzi’s Corner Blog as usual, packs an intellectual wallop with his explanation of criminal negligence and anxillary topics. Responding to statements by the Secretary of Justice, Edwin Lacierda discusses the need for a sober investigation and wonders if the network can be expected to have the same liability as, say, an airline or steamship company. Still, the question of culpability is now the central one, and as World Famous in the Philippines points out, may extend to the host of the show, Willie Revillame, himself.

On other subjects:

Timely, considering the President of India’s state visit, is The Unlawyer on India’s bad rep in the Philippines; the Indians may not have such a keen opinion of us, either: there’s Philippines? Why, it reminds us of Bihar, from the Times of India, which extensively quotes Indian embassy reports on the political situation. I myself wish there were closer ties between the two nations, which achieved independence only a year apart, and after the most remarkable, peaceful independence movements in the colonial world.

My editor in the Arab News newspaper, who’s in the UK on a grant, wrote that Re-publishing cartoons is stupid and offensive (in response to the controversy involving Danish editorial cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed). Today, Rasheed publishes responses to his article, ranging from the reasoned to the impassioned.

Mindanews on the anniversary of the burning of Jolo, 1974; Mindanao Alerts has another eyewitness memoir. My own thoughts on Mindanao.

Arroyo’s US trip uncertain? Interesting that all the effort is being made for a non-event: addressing the National Press Club in DC is no big deal, unless part of a larger state or working visit.

MediaShift has interesting online video search results.

Bambi Harper discusses Alfredo Roces’s latest book: an overdue defense of the Ilustrado as Filipino.

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13 comments

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  1. sky

    This morning Miriam Santiago called for a revision of the Penal Code to penalize lapses in crowd control (and management too) and subject offenders to reckless imprudence.

    I wasn’t able to catch the whole conversation in dzBB but I hope there should be a legislation (and make it quick, not a time for aggrandizement) for crowd management and control which I saw in your column.

  2. juned

    Hi
    PCIJ came out with an informative post about the theories of a AGHAM about how the disaster happened.

    Panic-induced stampede aggravated by narrow exits, lack of exit and crowd control plans — scientistsFebruary 7, 2006 @ 11:00 am
    Posted by Alecks Pabico
    http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=587

    Understanding how it happened will surely help in indetifying those responsible, help in preparing for suc events and hopefully prevent them from happening again. This of course relates to the physical event itself. Not the social phenomenon.

  3. cvj

    When man first became self-aware and realized the inevitability (and seeming finality) of his own personal extinction, he was compelled to find a way to cope with its implications. When others disturb that ingrained coping mechanism even with something as seemingly innocuous a medium as a cartoon, rationality breaks down. For humanity to survive in a globalized environment, it has to find a way to outgrow religion and accept uncertainty. The alternative is bouts of mutual annhilation or the uneasy stability of regional fascist enclaves.

    The immediate lesson here is that Western Culture with its ‘in your face’ attitude doesn’t help its own cause. We learned from EDSA3 that we mess with others’ symbols at our peril…

  4. Jon Mariano

    The Mohammed cartoon is not a done issue yet as of today. It just shows that the world has not learned its lessons well regarding religion, religious tolerance, and religion related wars. Some things might be lawful, but may be destructive.

    The editorial cartoons are lawful, but look at what it has done, so far.

  5. jhay

    hmm, what sir cvj said reminds me of the idea why the robots in will smith’s movie “i,Robot” went hay-wired and turned against their human masters. They said that they were protecting humans from themselves, because we seem to have an iherent nature of destroying our selves. Similar to what agent Smith in the Matrix told Morpheus, “Man is the greatest disease this planet has ever known.”

  6. Carl

    mlq3 on his thoughts on Mindanao:

    “My personal, unpopular, belief is that the history of Mindanao itself, and the history of Muslim minorities in other nations, makes it impossible to integrate Muslims into a Filipino state. We have tried since the 1930s but only turned ourselves into little brown imperialists in the process.

    Muslim Mindanao should be given independence, with an indemnity to set any such state firmly on its feet, and then securely cordoned off. If possible, Christian areas in Indonesia should be swapped for our Muslim areas and then people might actually then -and only then- learn to live in peace.”

    While I think mlq3 takes a very logical, pragmatic and elightened approach to Mindanao, I believe that the question regarding Christians in Mindanao still has to answered. While Muslim aspirations should be respected, the following facts cannot be ignored:

    1. Of Mindanao’s approximately 25 million population, more than 3/4 of this, between 18 to 20 million, are Christian.

    2. Most of these Christians consider Mindanao home and have been there for 2 generations or more. They will not budge from where they are and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

    3. Even some of the areas considered “Muslim” Mindanao have Christian majorities or a significant Christian population.

    4. While Christians and Muslims in Mindanao generally get along, Christians will not allow Muslim laws, customs and religion to prevail in predominantly Christian areas. The issue of “ancestral domain” will be a very sensitive one, as Christians view this as a reverse land-grabbing mechanism.

    In my view, any solution to the Mindanao situation must take into account its Christian majority. They are far too many to be ignored. As a matter of fact they are the majority. Because they have not been belligerent, they have not attained recognition as a party to any negotiations. Instead the GRP, which is weak and not attuned to the aspirations of the Mindanao Christians, negotiates in their behalf. Mindanao independence is not a prerogative of Muslims only. Must the Christians become belligerent, too?Sadly, governments are so frequently insensitive and out of touch that groups or sectors in society have to be forced into violence before they can be heard.

  7. Paquito

    IF THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE A LAW ON CROWD CONTROL, THE POLICE WILL USE THAT LAW TO JUSTIFY DISPERSION OF RALLYISTS and FIESTAS, THINK ABOUT IT!

    Lots of people died, too bad. Water under the bridge. But the government shouldn’t take away my right to get myself asphyxiated when I want too! I’m planning on going to the Obando Fertility Rites and Black Nazarene Fiesta on Quiapo and to protest… whatever in the coming months! And I don’t want no police telling me I have to disperse for my own benefit! I got rights here you know!

  8. Karl

    We have lots of laws about discipline and traffic signs on the road..it is a law to obey traffic signs and what’s that ignorance of the law thing escuses everyone or I mean no one…

    Pag nahuli ka una mo sasabihin sorry boss next time di ko po alam….

    Kung tayong pinoy ay pasaway at ang batas ay di para sa lahat…I don’t know what to say …

  9. cvj

    If you have leaders like Serbia’s Milosevic, USA’s George W Bush and Iran’s Ahmadinejad or clumsy organizations like the EU Press, then there will be trouble anyway even with partition. In contrast, India has a significant Muslim population yet people are able to coexist with the Hindu majority reasonably well. I read that the President of India who recently visited is a Muslim who reads the Bhagavad Gita. We have nothing in common with the Christians of Indonesia so there is no point in incorporating them into our territory. That makes as much sense as incorporating Bali into India. What we badly need more of are Gandhis and Mandelas to bring back some level of sanity or lacking that – an asteroid hurtling towards us to put things into perspective.

  10. Carl

    I agree, swapping Filipinos for Indonesians can’t be part of the solution. If enough investments come in, and Mindanao can be made even more productive, there is more than enough land for all. There really is no problem regarding Filipino Christians and Muslims coexisting as long as religious intolerance and fundamentalism don’t get into the picture. The important thing is to clearly outline boundaries where laws pertaining to each faith can take precedence. In cities like Cotabato, Marawi and Zamboanga, Muslims and Christians coexist peacefully.

    Much of the problem stems from the fact that Moro leaders frequently take advantage of their position for personal gain. At the most, only their clans benefit while the rest just slave along. The same can be said about the Christians, who get sold down by their leaders. Christians have little faith in their government, especially in negotiations with the MILF or MNLF. History has proven that the GRP can easily be intimidated and can sell out for temporary concessions. They feel government does not really carry their best interest at heart.

    However, there can still be peace in Mindanao if it can be carved out into separate federal republics, free to practice their own laws, customs and religion. In regions where Christians are the minority, they will just have to abide by sharia laws and Muslim practices. The same will be expected of Muslims who are the minority in Christian regions. Clearly, this is the future of Mindanao.

  11. joey

    paquito, maybe that’s being to paranoid.it’s disturbing that everytime we need to come up w/ a law like the antiterrorist law that is much delayed only because those dedicated to bringing the goverment down who also happen to be the say people who must craft the law are more concerned w/ protecting themselves.
    all we really need is an effective crowd control managment system.it’s a full time job that needs properly trained people.something that every metropolis needs.
    sadly we are so busy politiking that we don’t attend to the proper things to do.we are always in a riactionary mood insted of anticipating potential problems.

  12. Richard Dimaano

    Certification of venues for crowded performances? Try the National Building Code and the Fire Code of the Philippines. I believe there is enough provisions there regarding sizes and numbers of entry/exit points for every type of building structure….

    Another thing that the Ultra lacks – parking spaces! although the wowowee crowd apparently didn’t need much of them.

  13. cadillac

    hay politics…..whatever…..bottomline is this blog is bravo! 😛

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