Shake Yer Head…

I feel that I should write something about what has happened recently.

See, normally I wouldn’t really care. I just don’t. Which was funny, coz I even had a streak of activism in me back in college. And while most of that idealism is gone, there are just some things that, no matter how you look at it, are completely, totally wrong.

Yesterday, there was a standoff between Senator Trillanes’ people (who dug out a foxhole for themselves at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati), and the government.

Apparently upset over the proceedings of yesterday morning’s hearings, Sen. Trillanes and his military escorts walked out of his trial (for the Oakwood Mutiny back in 2003), headed straight for Manila Pen, demanded that GMA (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) step down, and enjoined other Filipinos to come join his cause.

Naturally, the government wasted no time flexing some muscle by surrounding the hotel with troops. The result was a 6-hour standoff, that pretty much got everybody glued to their TVs, radios and internet as the drama unfolded.

I for one, am not a supporter of Trillanes. But I believe that, for him to feel this way, he must have gone through so much. I feel for the guy. I’m just saying that he’s fighting for what he believes in, and I respect that.

I believe, however, that he has overestimated the support the military and the civilian populace would give him. It would have been an entirely different matter altogether if, after his public call to arms, the military and everyday people would come rallying to his side.

But that did not happen at all.

I know for a fact that a lot of people are unhappy with the Arroyo administration. I’m not a big fan, either. In my opinion, however, he failed to consider one important thing.

Public apathy.

Most people just don’t care anymore. All we want to do, really, is just keep on working, making some cash so we can pay the bills and put some food on the table.

Yes we’d watch TV, listen to the radio, get updates via SMS and the internet. There would be those who agreed with Trillanes, and those that disagreed. But only a few have really taken to the streets to stand up for what they believed in.

So here was the government, lobbing tear gas cannisters to force out Trillanes and his crew, who stood their ground as long as they could with their makeshift gas-masks.

Now here’s a kicker- what really struck me was an image of a military APC attempting to crash right into the lobby of Manila Pen through the front door. Wow, what were these idiots thinking? Clearly, I don’t see any reason why you should drive a perfectly good (well, obsolete-ish) V150 right smack into a hotel? Man, these guys have been watching too many B-movie action flicks.

Seriously.

So anyway, everybody files out, including Trillanes and his crew, who essentially said something to the effect of, “so that there would be no bloodshed, let’s end this”, media and journalists included.

I expected to see Trillanes get hauled off by the military. But the media? Wow, what kind of fascist regime is the Philippines turning into? They were only doing their jobs; I see no reason for them to be “processed” just like the rest. Heck, go “process” the hotel staff. Or anyone in Makati for that matter.

Later on, a curfew was declared. A curfew. At a time when more people earn their livelihood working at night: call center people, taxi drivers, night shift employees. That night, some 450 people were arrested because of the curfew.

Ridiculous. Do you actually think they’d actually catch some seditious elements that way? Patrolling Emerald Ave. and Ayala Ave. for a few wayward call center employees? Please.

What kind of message is this giving us? It’s buffoonery like this that makes people lose so much hope, shake their heads and walk away.

Or eventually riot. Eventually.

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