There is something fundamentally wrong about an argument between a police officer and the Vice President of the Philippines. It’s bad form. But it is a familiar and normal sight to Filipinos now who have been encouraged since the early 1980s to see policemen as someone to distrust and defy.
So quite funny, indeed, how people are now waxing indignation about the spectacular drama unfolding at the Makati City Hall and the way no less than Vice President Jejomar Binay butts heads with members of the police trying to diffuse the sitution…
It is funny because the precedent for this sort of behaviour was set way back in the old days by the very sorts of people who are now outraged by this scene. Filipino police officers, you see, are members of the Evil Establishment. That was the guidance given to Filipinos by leaders of the parties who are in power today. If you’ve got a grievance against the government, take to the streets! And if police officers get in your way, defy them.
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Unfortunately, the lesson stuck fast in Filipinos’ psyches.
And what is now on display reflects the Filipino character shaped by that quaint old “street parliamentarian” thinking embedded in the Filipino mind over the last several decades of Yellow “people power” indoctrination.
It’s time Filipinos grow up.
First of all, the Vice President is a top-ranking government official. He should not be seen arguing with the police who, in the bigger scheme of things, are his colleagues in government.
Second, police officers should not be arguing either. They have orders and, if they have the proper warrants or authorisations, should simply carry out their orders to arrest people. The place to argue one’s case is in court. It is not an officer’s place to argue once the imperative to take action is clear.
If Filipinos weren’t all a bunch of Drama Queens, clarity of thinking and conviction in actions would reign supreme in this country — not media circuses like this.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.