And so the frantic scramble for credit begins. Elections 2016 is just around the corner. Gentlemen, start your engines!
First in the queue of credit-grabbers’ list is God. According to hipster “social news network” Rappler, this is the Philippines’ official position on the matter of the suspension of the execution convicted drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso: “God answered our prayers.” After all, as many Netizens have been tweeting since the announcement of the postponement earlier, “miracles do happen”.
But was Veloso’s second lease on life granted by the Indonesian government this morning really a “miracle”? Enter Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. To be fair to the Philippine president, he has been working “hard” since 2011 issuing high-level appeals to the Indonesian government to spare Veloso’s life. So, no sirreeee. Neither God and his miracles nor the world-renowned power of Filipinos’ “prayers” were at work here. It was by the hand of President BS Aquino that Veloso lives and breaths today. Fortunately for God, he does not need Pinoy-style elections to win.
Third in line is the Philippines’ cadre of “activists”. Notwithstanding the whole question of what the Street Picketing Club were up to and what they were focusing on over the last several years before the sudden “miraculous” outpouring of attention towards Veloso’s plight over the last several weeks (that Eleventh-Hour Syndrome that has come to characterise Filipino-style “activism”), there is some merit in the thinking that it is “better to protest injustice even at the 11th hour than not protest at all.” It also helped that Indonesia’s celebrities also pitched in and got their legions of fans pumping to their beat.
Last but not least is Veloso’s supposed recruiter who turned herself in to the Philippine police. That says something about the quality of police work in the Philippines and the governance chops of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). They “successfully” caught the proverbial guava with their gaping mouths when it finally fell off the proverbial tree. Who says Pinoy-Style does not work!
The remains of the day for now are, as some slacktivists have now noted, the calls to action. There are many lessons to be learned from the Veloso circus. The thing with New Years’ Resolutions, however, is that they are easy and even fun to make. But actually ticking them off as the year actually rolls on is another thing.
Ultimately, avoiding disasters and tragedies in general comes down to being smart. The future offers very little insight about itself even to the most cluey amongst us. But it does offer small clues about what it has in store for us every now and then. Spotting those clues is what separates the men from the boys — the ones that go on to make a million bucks for themselves from the ones that doom themselves to spend entire lifetimes in abject wretchedness (and pass on the Poverty Disease to their descendants).
One thing about the Philippines’ future in light of this latest greatest close escape from disaster is the certainty that not much will be learned and that those Next Time Resolutions that people are tweeting about with glee today will not come to fruition anytime soon.
Such is the Philippines’ plight. Perhaps it is true that only a miracle can save the Philippines from its own people. Let us pray…
[Photo courtesy The Guardian.]
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