Sharing with the distressed

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    ‘Shouldn’t GMA-7 acknowledge such a rare good fortune by sharing its bounty with the distressed?’

    GMA-7 is the major beneficiary of the closure of ABS-CBN, with a Channel 7 board director attesting to the significant increase in ratings the network now enjoys. Nanette Gozon-Valdez says they have not received any feelers from any of the 11,000 employees and talents who lost their jobs at ABS-CBN. She says like most everyone else “her heart goes out to our industry brothers and sisters” and like everyone else she feels compassion or sympathy but is unable to show it.

    The Kapuso network is suddenly “blessed” through a great misfortune that has struck other people. Its spike in ratings and the abundant revenues that go with them have virtually come from a default caused by an opponent forced out in the middle of a tournament for a major violation of the rules. There is little reason for GMA-7 executives to bask in victory for fully dominating the ratings and revenues of a business competitor, apparently the bitter fruit from the shutdown of an opposing business and the misery of 11,000 industry workers and their families. Shouldn’t GMA-7 acknowledge such a rare good fortune by sharing its bounty with the distressed? Through its genuine public service to help the needy and the jobless or through job options.

    From prominent lawyer Atty. Rowie Daroy Morales. “A father ignoring his noisy and very small and unkempt kids running around in an LRT train. When they had reached their stop, the kids rushed out screaming and eager to leave.  What was in the minds of the people who saw this? Grabe namang tatay ‘yan, pabaya, nakakahiya. Hindi man lang nya maalagaan mga anak niya. What was really happening: Father and kids just got back from the hospital. They spent more than two weeks at the hospital grounds, with hardly any shelter or food, waiting to be allowed inside to see the wife and the mother as she struggled for her life. That day, she died of COVID-19.”

    I half-expected that it would turn out to be a highly-disappointing SONA of President Duterte that could hardly take the place of important things I had to do last Monday. The lack of empathy no longer surprised me as this has characterized his various speeches and press cons at the height of this huge health crisis. But what was equally distressing was his lamentable lack of interest for the social and economic uplift of his people. Through the middle of his speech while tackling new social and economic programs, he blurted out, “Kung hindi nyo naiintindihan mga sinasabi ko, mas lalo na ako.” There was some forced laughter from the few legislators at the Batasan plenary hall. Those watching at home online shook their heads vigorously.

    Has the President’s state of helplessness, which he himself describes as “inutil” if he is forced to confront China at the West Philippine Sea, now extends to his national governance? God help us!

    From writer Calixto Chikiamco: “I was struck by the lack of empathy expressed in Duterte’s SONA. Empathy for the millions who have lost their jobs, the OFWs who were forced to return home, the families who are going hungry. Instead, he resorted to the usual vituperative attacks against the political opposition and oligarchs. Instead of giving the Filipino people hope and optimism he fed them fear and anger.”

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