While the papers focus on the statement of investigators concerning their findings and recommendations on the stampede (and the efforts of the lead investigator to subsequently moderate his initial remarks), resulting in a p.r. snafu for the government which now seems more interested in exacting its pound of flesh from ABS-CBN ( the network head’s outraged reaction indicating this emerging sense of the government’s priorities), my Arab News column for this week is Ultra Complex Not Suitable for Large Events. Which is true, but the larger point is the unrecognized role Imelda Marcos played in the recent stampede.
Commentators continue to focus on the reasons behind the tragedy, and also on the effort to glean more from the grisly event than easily comes to mind. Gail Ilagan condemns commercialism; Jake Macasaet insist the tragedy must not be separated from other, including natural, disasters; Mike Tan focuses on the tragedy throwing a spotlight on a disturbing trend: the increasing meanness, and rudeness, of Filipinos from all walks of life; Newsstand echoes Tan’s discomfort over the behavior of so many involved, and considers it unhealthy to romanticize the victims; Big Mango considers the tragedy a glaring failure in leadership and also, a tragedy of the commons; while Howie Severino is incensed over the arrogance of the police, who must bear some culpability, too.
Carmen Guerrero Nakpil eloquently, and sensibly, appeals for an end to too much angst about being Filipino.
Ricky Carandang discerns an angry nation, and wonders how much longer things can continue without some sort of national jolt to the system. It seems some leaders are concerned the country is headed towards the brink. Cory Aquino, in what may be a last-ditch effort, has reiterated her call for the President to resign (and now the Vice-President, too), though attention is also being given to her continuing rejection of coups or People Power as an option to resolve the crisis. I think though, her basic message is clear: if the President doesn’t step down, the entire system is headed for extinction. Johnna Villaviray-Giolagon has an opinion piece expressing the dire need to take a leap of faith and undertake changes -despite the risk it will be seized upon by radicals.
But in response, it’s business as usual in the Palace: as the Inquirer editorial puts it, a system of Continuing payback. There are more of the usual ploys of dangling carrots before the opposition. Officially, the Palace remains unfazed by emerging unity in the opposition.
Filipino Expat discusses the negative views Filipinos have of Indians.
And here’s a timely article: How to fool a wiretap.