I am one of the persons who are least expected to show sympathy to the 44 slain policemen in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
I can never forget how the PNP victimizes the innocent: from kotong cops who prey on jeep, bus, and taxi drivers; to those who are members of criminal syndicates; to ‘civil disturbance’ units who brutally attack informal settlers during demolitions and those who participated in the Hacienda Luisita Massacre.
Back in my college days, I was even on the receiving end of police violence as a participant in street protests. I can never forget the overjoyed expressions of the cops as they busted our foreheads with their clubs, or while they chased as until we could barely breathe.
Also, I am uncomfortable with calling the SAF 44 ‘heroes’ as it reinforces the black-and-white view that all Muslims/Moros are evil.
But really, it’s hard not to feel any sympathy towards them, even if I don’t consider them heroes.
I’m sure the 44 believed that being part of the PNP was a contribution to the common good. It’s not something I agree with.
But I’m pretty certain that they did not consider part of their ‘contribution to the common good’ being sent to a suicide mission just so the corrupt PNP chief could score some pogi points with the public while Noynoy and company pockets the $7 million bounty for the alleged terrorist.
I’m also certain their ‘contribution’ did not include being used as an excuse to scrap the peace talks between the MILF and the Manila government, plunge Mindanao back into the horrors of all-out war, and earn more awards and opportunities for corrupt generals to enrich themselves.
The police are some of the few remaining Filipinos who willingly believe, listen, and obey to the ‘President’ of this Republic as their commander-in-chief: either because they believed he was knew what he was doing, or because that was how they were trained. Either way, the person they died for couldn’t even tell us the whole truth of what led to their deaths. He couldn’t be there to ‘welcome’ the fallen as their caskets were unloaded from the C-130s. When he arrived, he was late and gave an insincere apology.
They believed, they bled, and they died. All in the mistaken belief that their Commander-in-Chief was worth the sacrifice. If this is how the ‘President’ treats his most trusted men, imagine how he treats everyone else.
Quote of the Day:
A soldier was speaking—from the Five Hundred and Forty-eight Division, wherever and whatever that was:
“Comrades,” he cried, and there was real anguish in his drawn face and despairing gestures. “The people at the top are always calling upon us to sacrifice more, sacrifice more, while those who have everything are left unmolested.
“We are at war with Germany. Would we invite German generals to serve on our Staff? Well we’re at war with the capitalists too, and yet we invite them into our Government.
“The soldier says, ‘Show me what I am fighting for. Is it Constantinople, or is it free Russia? Is it the democracy, or is it the capitalist plunderers? If you can prove to me that I am defending the Revolution then I’ll go out and fight without capital punishment to force me.’
“When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we’ll know we have something to fight for, and we’ll fight for it!
– 10 Days that Shook the World, John Reed