Looking beyond bitter mistrust

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    ‘But there was another enemy within their ranks that had stalked them even after the rally, forcing many of them to the ICUs of hospitals already swamped to full capacity.’

    UNARMED, they were ready to face the truncheons, tanks and guns of an oppressive government. More than five thousand activists braved the rains to hold a noisy rally at UP Diliman against President Duterte’s SONA. Instead, about a hundred of them were felled by COVID-19, contributing to the horde of patients that continue to burden overworked hospital frontliners.

    The rallyists didn’t care much about the deadly virus in keeping with the fearlessness and reckless zeal that have marked the tradition of countless protest actions since martial law. But there was another enemy within their ranks that had stalked them even after the rally, forcing many of them to the ICUs of hospitals already swamped to full capacity. Endangering their own lives meant endangering those of others who have been in a battle saving other peoples’ lives. Looking beyond bitter mistrust of government during this miserable time should equal compassion and restraint.

    From an exasperated ally of the President, Sen. Richard Gordon: “This government really, really appears to be not capable of fixing problems involving corruption and peace and order. I know that’s a hard thing to say but I am saying it because walang na so-solve na crime halos. Kakaunti lang naso-solve na crime halos. The government is quick to go after the likes of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and media giant ABS-CBN but slow when it comes to killings that have become increasingly rampant.”

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    John D. Lake was a revivalist evangelist in the 18th century during the Bubonic plague when a hundred were dying by the minute. He was known for his healing crusades and prayer meetings. At the height of the pandemic then that would kill 25 million, he would send his pastors out in the streets and towns to pray for the very sick and suffering, ordering them not to come back until the people they prayed for were healed.

    Lake would venture into hospitals without any face mask or protective gear and would be stopped by doctors warning him that he would surely get infected and die. He would reply, “The power of the Resurrection is more powerful than any disease,” and proceed to lay hands on and pray for the patients  To prove his exceptionally strong faith, Lake allowed two doctors to put the deadly bacteria on the palm of one hand which Lake rubbed with the other. They then watched from a microscope as the bacteria died. Thousands streamed daily into Lake’s Church at Spokane, Washington. Pastor Todd White who heads Lifestyle Christianity in the US today preaches often about Lake and his 100,000 healings that had been properly documented, 80,000 of which were terminal cases.

    * * *

    Please allow this rejoinder on the cyberlibel case filed against me by Sen. Bong Go. I failed to include in my apology (in a past column) that his statement did not include that he allegedly preferred or wanted Chinese workers to take over the jobs of whining Filipinos which I quoted without verifying from an erroneous FB post that was apparently from an anti-Duterte group. My apologies, too, to my readers.

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