‘Malacanang will have to contend with the towering, uncowed and combined leadership of the two most powerful media networks in the country.’
DANGLING a reward of P50 million for someone who could kill President Dutrete was all a public school teacher in Sto. Nino, Zambales could do after hitting the roof. Certainly, many share the angst of Ronnel Mas, who apologized and said he just wanted some public attention. What else could he say after he was arrested by NBI agents other than he did not mean to have the President killed? In another Facebook post, a soldier cussed the President for closing down ABS-CBN and pummeled his TV set with a hammer for suddenly becoming useless. A Ronald Quiboyen from Boracay, brandishing a .45 pistol on Facebook, doubled the amount to P100 million and so did a tattooed man and his companion.
Facebook has been swamped with expletives against the President and his top officials, intensified by the shutdown of ABS-CBN and his hugely-enamored coddling of China while this Wuhan virus scourge continues to bring death and despair to his own people.
Untouchables Mocha Uson and Sen. Koko Pimentel, exempt from penalties for openly breaking quarantine restrictions, would not go the way of Mas who was promptly collared and jailed.
The President has relished bestowing criminal impunity only on those he favors. There was no stopping Mas’ homicidal thoughts against the President, convinced as he was that the Chief Executive had ignored the dangers of the virus outbreak in Wuhan last January that caused the deaths of covid19 victims.
With that kind of curse brought upon his fellow countrymen Mas became infuriated no end he never thought that tweeting about killing the President and offering a reward for the assailant was already a crime.
Philosopher and evangelist Ravi Zacharias is suffering from a rare and aggressive cancer on his back called sarcoma that has metastasized. His doctors said nothing else could be done and had sent him home in Atlanta. The most prominent Christian apologist today has spoken to countless audiences the world over, never retreating from any public confrontations with known skeptics, agnostics and atheists.
At aged 17, Indian-born Ravi was about to commit suicide when he chanced upon the Bible that changed his life forever. With his powerful insights on culture, history and Biblical truths he did not mean merely to win arguments, but to win the souls for Christ of those who attacked the Christian faith. His speeches were full of heartwarming anecdotes from his countless travels since he was 20 years old. He was in Vietnam while the war raged, crisscrossing the country up to the frontlines, exhorting US and Vietnamese soldiers to prayer. He loved to tell of his devoted Vietnamese interpreter who would lead prayers so heartfelt they would move the soldiers to tears.
After the fall of Saigon, the interpreter, falsely accused of being a CIA agent, was arrested and thrown into prison. He was assigned the wretched task of cleaning the latrines. In his troubles he started questioning God and if He was true at all. Eventually he would find himself picking up from the trash bin pages of the Bible which the camp commander had been using as toilet paper. He would hose them clean, read and mediate on them each night.
The first torn pages were passages from Romans 8: “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Eventually, he was able to escape on a makeshift boat and his four guards went with him. When Ravi talked about life’s dark side he would not forget Elvis Presley who was so deep into drugs his body bore 90 doses of cocaine, LSD and other toxics. He would say it was fame, not drugs, that destroyed the life of the world-famous singer. When Elvis’ popularity started to plummet he was overcome with depression so relentless he overdosed at age 46. Elvis could not live a life away from fame.
The utterly rare show of solidarity from a fierce industry competitor for nearly four decades has shocked ABS-CBN’s officers and employees. Many in the shuttered Kapamilya network were in tears as their unbelieving eyes stared at the Facebook Kapuso-posted gallery of its news and public affairs personalities with Kapamilya’s signature closed fist on the left chest. Many burst out in delight, “Talagang may puso ang mga Kapuso!”
GMA 7 executives had been shaken by the assault on ABS-CBN which was a huge blow to the whole broadcast industry. GMA7’s act was particularly iconic considering the rampant brickbats and mudslinging between the two top TV and radio networks. Malacanang will have to contend with the towering, uncowed and combined leadership of the two most powerful media networks in the country.