President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (BS Aquino) delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to mark the opening of Congress for year 2013 last Monday, July 22. As much as the content of said address (all 102 minutes of it), what’s also being discussed by the chattering classes is what our politicians wore to the said event. Frankly, neither the unremarkable speech itself nor such blatant display of ostentation should be really surprising anymore; life goes on and our politicians remain the same, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Outside of the Batasan complex the riot police were deployed to keep any and all protesters at bay, and as far away as possible. And came the protesters did.
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Such stand-offs eventually degenerate into violent encounters, and this year was no exception. Amid the rock and truncheon throwing and crowd dispersal, photojournalist Rem Zamora described a sight he thought he’d never see in such a situation:
It was a long and tiring dispersal. People were injured. But amidst all of this, I saw a scenario which I thought I will never see during a dispersal.
A foreign protester was berating a policeman asking him why were the policemen hurting the people. Why were they pushing them. The officer simply stood ground and said he is a policeman it is their job to maintain peace and order. That they were given orders and they had to follow.
Suddenly the officer cried. The foreigner kept on shouting at this officer. He was still crying. He was trying to hold his tears but he can’t.
A second round of dispersal erupted and while every other anti-riot policemen are pushing and shoving trying to remove the protesters from the ground, the crying cop simply stood ground. He was still holding his shield firmly. Still weeping. Sobbing.
I approached the policeman and asked him his name. He said he is Joselito. A quick glance at his name tag reveals he is Policeman Joselito Sevilla. He said he is a private and his uniform patch reveals he is from Marikina police unit.
When asked why he is crying he replied, “Sa gutom at pagod. Walang tulog. Walang pahinga. Dalawang draw na kame nakadeploy dito. Tapos ganito nagkakagulo.” This was also PO1 Sevilla’s first dispersal assignment. (Because of hunger and no sleep. We have no rest and we have been stationed here for 2 days already and now it’s getting violent.)
The other stand out this year, also pointed out by Zamora in the above passage, is a foreigner joining the fray. Apparently, his Facebook profile and open letter to policeman Joselito Sevilla seem to suggest his leanings towards communism. He insisted that the protesters were entirely peaceful, and that the escalation to violence can be entirely blamed on the police. It makes you wonder, what was a visiting foreigner doing in a demonstration, essentially interfering in the internal affairs of this country?
Perhaps we will never truly know who started the violence first. The protesters will stand their ground that the police started beating and pushing them back first, and that throwing stones was a response in kind. On the other hand, the police will say that they are tasked to exercise “maximum tolerance” and that the protesters started throwing stones first, though they may have been unwittingly provoked by the protesters into “dealing the first blow”, so to speak.
At this point, that hardly matters.
Amidst the turmoil going on, Zamora wanted to highlight that in the end, we are all human beings. Though on opposing sides of a conflict, the involved parties can still show compassion towards each other. Sevilla may never be able to get rid of the “crying cop” moniker, but his “ordeal”, if you may even call it that, clearly underscores something lacking among the many interest groups in Filipino society: peaceful, rational, and sincere dialogue.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to highlight that with communists, dialogue is a bit more difficult. They want nothing less than to violently overthrow whichever government is in power, and replace it with one of their own. They frequently emphasize the “armed revolution” part of their ideology, but I digress.
As Zamora pointed out, men in authority, in particular, are expected to be firm and not show emotion.
Well, welcome to the Philippines, the land of contradictions, I say. This is the land of “just grin and bear it” hard times, while at the same time, Filipinos are some of the most emotional people in the world. Filipinos are supposedly people who avoid confrontation, yet are not hesitant to resort to violence just because of a perceived slight. Filipinos are passive-aggressive complainers, yet when given the chance to air out their grievances directly, they beat around the bush. Filipinos love gossiping about other people, but they can’t take direct and constructive criticism. Obviously, Filipinos love to do a lot of talking, what we call in the vernacular dakdak nang dakdak; but when it’s time to listen to the other party, they suck.
Such conditions present in a contradictory society can break even the most stoic Filipino citizen. Why bother with a country whose citizenry is apprehensive towards peaceful dialogue? Why bother with a country whose people are easily riled up? Why bother to talk to people when it will degenerate to self-aggrandizing noise? Why bother with this country, when it is easier to get away from it instead?
Do you still wonder, then, why issues take a long time to be resolved in the Philippines? Why the same old shit happens every year? People aren’t willing to look past their differences here. Very few are willing to listen to the other side genuinely. There exists here only self-interest, enlightened or not. The concept of a greater good and win-win situation is all but alien to the Filipino mind.
It’s all about what the Filipino wants, to satisfy his baseless need to be more important than everyone else.
When you find yourself in a country full of self-aggrandizing and self-important people, it’s hard to remain stoic and to just “grin and bear it”. Sooner or later you’re going to want out. Such is the sad truth about Filipino society.
It’s enough to make a grown man cry.
[Photos courtesy of: Rem Zamora]
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.
33 Replies to “The crying cop story and how Filipino society can break even the most stoic citizen”
ive learned a new word, stoic. thanks!
You have to understand that progressives and especially fringe ones come from all over to get involved. These are radical anarchists, commies, and just general people mad at everything. Like I said in another post you can get someone to protest a ham sandwich. These people want violence so they can show the video and get more money so they can parade around the world on someone dime. If I was the Pres I would ban foreigners from protesting since they have no skin in the game.
We are, by a specific immigration rule.
But yet there he is and not arrested or detained.
why ban that foreigner? he is a foreigner whatever he defend himself in the FB, regarding the freedom of speech, damn him he is a dutch, and he has no right whatsoever in this country…therefore why ban instead put him in the PRISON….
I thought that is what I said maybe you misread my comment. Freedom of speech is all well and good but in a foreign land that does not apply only to citizens of that state. Some countries allow from anyone and some don’t, I don’t have a problem either way. But they need to know their place and not get special treatment because of the group they belong to.
“He has no right whatsoever in this country”
Than what about those Filipinos who protested at the Filipino Independence Day Parade in New York. Accusing the USA of trafficking Filipinos among other things. They are are also communist sympathizers who blame the US for most of the problems Philippines are having. Why not put them in to jail or just declare them Persona Non-Grata?
Large number of Filipinos are over-stayers and that is breaking the law. They are not paying taxes and taking jobs away from legal residents. They have “no right whatsoever in this country” either. No double standards please!
The only reason I can see any foreigner protesting in the Philippines, would be due to the inferior electrical service. I made the mistake of moving to Mactan Island. The local electric company, MECO, has to rank among the worlds worst. And the postal service is not much better. What makes all of this more intolerable, is that no one does anything about it.
“blatant display of ostentation”
What does that exactly mean? Vulgar vulgarity?
“Apparently, his Facebook profile and open letter to policeman Joselito Sevilla seem to suggest his leanings towards communism.”
And where did you get that idea? It appears you have a particular bias against communism (perhaps due to your own childhood brainwashing about that political style), and as if your own political and economic style is better than it. What is your political philosophy, and does it stand the test of reason, the survival of the species or the greatest benefit and happiness of mankind? Or does it just serve your current selfish interests and position in society?
“It makes you wonder, what was a visiting foreigner doing in a demonstration, essentially interfering in the internal affairs of this country?”
Maybe to showcase to the world what kind of police brutality we have here or how backward our democracy is until now? Some people devote a lot of time embarrassing the ignorance of others, you know. Or maybe the guy is just working for some human rights NGO whose main focus is to alleviate social conditions (that’s what the mainstream news said).
“Of course, it doesn’t hurt to highlight that with communists, dialogue is a bit more difficult. They want nothing less than to violently overthrow whichever government is in power, and replace it with one of their own.”
Those are not really communists. They’re probably NPA’s partly supported by our very own military institutions and partly supported by politicians, or maybe historical “communist soldiers” or Mao Zedong’s brand of communism which are not really communism but party dictatorship. FYI, the constitution of the Philippines in most sections is actually communistic and liberal-socialistic.
“There exists here only self-interest, enlightened or not.” Which is the main weakness of capitalism, albeit its main enticement as well. We are selfish animals, partly altruistic when humanized. And any political system that capitalizes more on our animal natures can only make us worse.
This cracked me up! Good job for making me stop lurking, hahaha.
This one isn’t as funny, though :P:
He does love the red too much…
COMMUNIST SPOTTED! Get ready to shield yourselves from pelted materials!
What does communism have to show for the world? Perhaps the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Tienanmen Square Massacre, and perhaps China’s eventual embracing of capitalist economics.
One word: failure.
did the foreigner even say he is a communist? and if he did, does he even know what that word means?
Sana tumigil na ang mga aktibista, o siguro kayo rin para wala nang ganitong nakakalungkot na nagaganap. Magkaisa tayo kasi isang direksyon lang naman ang pupuntahan, mapakontra ka man o hindi, at ang direksyong yon ay ang “Daang Matuwid”.
You’re barking on the wrong people you dumkopf. We’re not even commietards bakero. Unlike those Vox Populi insects, we’re just realists talking about real solutions that you, them and your precious president always ignores. But you know what’s ironic? Your Father Comstock, I mean your precious president is actually helping one of the commietards. Don’t believe me? Have you even saw the news about him giving millions of taxpayer’s money to the MILF? Now that is betrayal to the Filipino people. Sige kumontra ka pa’t mag-summon na naman ako ng mga uwak para pagtutukain ka nang brutal.
What an idiot, you think that we are with the commies?
You should read up on what your president’s father did when he was still alive. FYI, he’s a COMMUNIST.
Don’t believe me?
here, read them and WEEP again moron
Oh yes, I can already see you weeping. Fill my bucket with your tears. They are very delicious.
TROLL HARDER, bida kapalmukha
Eh di ba kamag-anak ni Leila de Lima yan si Joma Sison? Si Ninoy rin communist sympathizer. Si abNoy walang silbi. Hanggang propaganda lang magaling supporters niyan.
Katulad nga ng sinabi ni Gogs, kung magaling talaga si Aquino, hindi na niya kinakailangan ng mga troll na katulad ni “kontrabidang tanga at bobo” para lang mag kalat ng propagandang kasinungalingan.
Thank you. You get my point JD. The trolls are there to make up for the lack of ability, accomplishment, intestinal fortitude and experience in that miserable shell that is BSA III. A true , competent and confident leader will see trolls as a weakness. Noynoy sees them as a necessity.
Yep, this straggler from the malacanang troll group fails to see that their propaganda will never cover up the truth about their bald boss in malacanang for that long.
More and more people are already wising up on Aquino’s incompetence.
Communists only concern themselves with overthrowing any government that runs against their bigoted philosophy. The Dutch kid is patently communist, as well as the rest of his kind in Congress masquerading as party lists. They do not represent the real plight of the people (who work hard and pay their taxes). The NPA are more that contented in staying in the boondocks with frequent extortion of legitimate businesses under the guise of “revolutionary taxes”. Communism is an outdated ideology and communists will always be seen as troublemakers and anarchists by both rich and poor alike.
The best thing that a communist can do is to stage a rally in any random street in Manila or to complain about ANYTHING that the government does. They do not have concrete solutions or ideas to solve the problems they say the “peasants” are suffering from. Instead of being productive members of society, they’d rather destabilize the country and wait for the day when they can overthrow it. Representatives of the masses or just plain anarchists? I’m betting on the latter.
They don’t even complain in the right way, to identify the problem and see where approaches to solutions can be made. It’s all “the government is evil,” period.
You make them sound like they’re more “anarchist” than “communist,” Chino.
Do these leftists ever ask themselves whether they’re seen as a nuisance with a irrelevant ideology? I truly wonder.
the half-truths stated above deserve no challenge.
JUST LEAVE, as fast as you can. the ship is sinking, get off it while you still have a chance..
Expanding or even exercising the mind is clearly beyond the vast majority of filipinos, so the repetitive retort is to shut out any criticism, however true, and continue to wallow in a state of sheer fantasy, isolation, and ignorance rather than think or debate, and therefore, no surprise, remain at the bottom of the 3rd world league table, but expect a platform when abroad, and naturally expect aid from abroad, and foreign countries to provide jobs which the country itself is incapable of doing.
The double standards, interminable whining, and constant begging make the philippines not only the butt of jokes but also demonstrate no self-respect or ability to change.
With the corruption and barbarism under aquino the rest of the world will declare the philippines country non grata, and simply a liability which contributes nothing, but are just petty hustlers
We’re not quite at the bottom of the third world league table if you are actually keeping tabs on what’s happening everywhere else, but there’s always a risk we’d fall there if we’re not careful.
However it DOES NOT excuse the state we are in, and it frustrates me and the people I know who believe that this country can do so much better! Right now, I’m not in the position to effect change in this country so I am focused on improving myself and finding a niche in this society first before I try to enact any kind of change.
For fucks sake. How can a grown-ass-man, Shrek-Look-a-Like-Brawler, cry like a Big Pussy? Surely, not because of physical abuse/torture.
It’s simple. It’s because he is reaching his Mental Nosebleed Limit.
“Please don’t English me. I’m panicked!”