The papers continue their reports on the Wowowee tragedy:
Stampede probers find lapses in security setup; Gonzalez: Someone will answer for 74 deaths (Inquirer)
No unified plan to handle Ultra crowd (Manila Times)
Stampede probers summon TV execs (Standard-Today)
Just a little hope, not greed, lured old women to gate of death (Business Mirror)
RG Cruz gives a first hand account of what it was like to cover the tragedy as part of the ABS-CBN network; Jove Francisco gives an account of what it was like among media people when the news broke. These behind the scenes entries provide, once more, a valuable window into media behavior for the public.
The various papers kick in with their editorial take on the stampede, such as the Manila Times, and the Business Mirror.
Pundits weigh in, with Jojo Robles saying Wowowee must be cancelled; Conrado de Quiros, JB Baylon, and Dan Mariano and Efren Danao, and even a psychiatrist who denounces “distorted Filipino values.” Billy Esposo makes a plea for social responsibility.
My own column is An integrated approach, which liberally quotes from The Causes and Prevention of Crowd Disasters, a paper by John Fruin. Read the paper -it explains not only why stampedes happen, but how they can be prevented. And how to go about discovering who deserves blame for the tragedy.
And the blogosphere weighs in, too: Torn & Frayed believes it was an important historical moment, on par with the Payatas dumpsite landslide in 2000.
Most posts wrestle with a question posed by the pundits and the public alike: is there a deeper dimension to the tragedy? Is it the fault of capitalism? A reflection of a moribund culture, religion, and society (read The Filipino Mind’s unrelated but relevant post on Filipino religion and the inevitabilty of revolution)? Something more, or less?
Go Figure thinks it’s extreme to blame poverty; it was a crowd-control disaster. Thoughts, Etc. from Hong Kong has a similar take.
Village Idiot Savant reflects views to the contrary: that the tragedy is a reflection of something deeper and more objectionable. Bulletproof Vest considers the statistics an addition to the overall gruesome numbers on the costs of poverty. AWBHoldings also focuses on the poverty angle. Harvard Street Cubao focuses on the deceit inherent in game shows and their producers.
Red’s Herring writes a requiem, ending with this poignant statement on the hoi polloi’s being viewed as without class (“Wa Class”) and yet aspiring for a classless society:
How simple! How foolhardy! How blight!
To fight for a ticket to heaven
As of the Old, untamed and mighty.
Poor, dumb Wa Class! Dead, crushed and fallen
Before they could fight.
Classless Heaven awaits them, so they pray.
There’s other news, of course:
Arroyo appoints “Brat Pack” member, House ally to Cabinet (also: 2 House men tapped for Cabinet)
Sabio signs up for “shadow Cabinet”
Erap, Cory, Susan meet; unification of forces up
The Civil Service Commission finally OK’s the Palace’s decision to move Mike Luz to another department.
Leandro Coronel and Asuncion David Maramba both tackle the question of bishops and the separation of Church and State.
Randy David blasts Amando Doronila and Jose Abueva.
Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ dissects the House’s constitutional amendments and discovers the framework for a vastly strengthened presidency.
Philippine Commentary believes CNN’s focusing on the horrors of children in prison in the country deflated the efforts of anti-American groups to insist on the imprisonment of American servicemen accused of rape.