THE public apology was too long in coming and most people knew that imbedded politics had largely been the culprit. And when the aggrieved but victorious presidential candidate launched a tirade against ABS-CBN for not airing his political ads, it now seemed President Duterte had picked a fight even if he had not gotten his facts and figures straight.
The stunning silence of ABS-CBN executives for four years over the blunder of not owning up and on enabling its adversarial belligerence and discourtesy as the nation’s top broadcast network throws off the highest leader of the land had fed intensely on the President’s ego more than anything else.
For the first time since ABS-CBN had been restored by the Cory government, it had to contend with a less menacing strongman in Malacañang who network executives thought could be ignored or muzzled just like his predecessors. The President’s frequent rants against ABS-CBN have instead portrayed him as the remarkably-piqued Malacañang tenant who could not get over that ABS-CBN had invariably mixed business with politics as he shunned foolishly the bigger reality that most media agencies are in the same boat. But, lest he forgets, the political game hit the gutter a hundred years ago and its hard lessons never seemed to turn anyone away..
The next time Sen. Bong Go cries for fairness and balance in the reportage and commentary of ABS-CBN, he should make sure that his voice is heard by the PNP which has kept much of the EJKs away from the media glare.
At the Senate committee hearing last Monday, Go was complaining specifically about the airing of the anti-Duterte political ads that centered on his profanities and their effects on children which was, of course, allowed under the Fair Elections Act.
Go should know that elements of a news report such as balance and objectivity do not apply to political ads. ABS-CBN is just as vigorous as GMA 7 in ferreting out the truthful details of more than ten thousand of what, from all indications, had appeared to be cold-blooded killings in the ongoing drug war. The news reports would lurch with the brutality and with the crumbling pursuit of justice repeatedly obscured by deliberate impunity and official cover-ups.
How about the good senator compelling the Internal Affairs Section (IAS) of the PNP to regularly disclose its investigation of drug operatives in EJKs for “balance and objectivity”?
Would he rather maintain that the President continue to show his “worst” to these “bad” people or those gunned down?
People no longer remember EDSA for its liberating power – the ouster of the dictator Marcos and the bloodbath that never occurred. Its commemoration has become distant even from the lives it has so touched and saved, with reminiscences becoming woefully tired and minimal.
The mass of people then had no choice but to involve God and hungrily implored His mercies and protection Whether they truly believed in the Creator and Savior of the world did not really matter. They just prayed on and on for four days without being sure if their lives depended on their forced piety. For the past 34 years, the People Power commemoration has not involved God, except for several token masses before few uninspired congregations. Christ who was an active party to the incredible turn of events in 1986 has been sidelined farther.
The volatile situation in front of Camps Crame and Aguinaldo on EDSA was primed for violence and death. The real powerful prayer in the rosary was the “Our Father” which was said countless times during the four-day people’s revolt.
The divine intervention was palpable, indeed a revelation that a powerless or suffering people can be saved not through the devices of man, but through the power of God. When we come to the part “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done here on earth as it is heaven…” we are reminded that people who come to God this way become real inheritors of the Kingdom where there is no pain, no fear, no sickness, no tears, no violence, and no death or destruction. The calm and peace on EDSA that day were not of this world. And yet, none of these seems meaningful today.