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Politics in reporting the dead from typhoons

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths…” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, the Holy Bible).

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POLITICS IN REPORTING THE DEAD FROM TYPHOONS: If the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) refuses to accept the number of people who died from Ruby coming from the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), why then can’t it not give its own actual body count even if all cities, towns, and provinces in the country have their own disaster councils which have been monitoring those who died from the typhoon?

PNRC reported early Tuesday that, as per its own count, some 23 or so people  died from Ruby’s ferocious rains and flash floods. But NDRRMC has been contesting PNRC’s numbers with hammer and thongs, as it were, saying there is a need to wait for confirmation from local disaster councils, maintaining that as per NDRRMC’s count on December 09, 2014, only three persons died from Ruby.

So, which of the two—NDRRMC and PNRC—must we believe? Is it true, as some are now saying, that politics is now shaping the reports of casualties during typhoons, in the light of the desire of the Aquino government to project a “zero casualty” scenario so it could not be accused once again of incompetence and inefficiency in dealing with disasters, just like in the case of Yolanda in 2013?

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MARKET! MARKET!’S WRONG MESSAGE TO DRINKERS: The management of Market! Market! at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City made a mistake in relieving two of its security guards who were reported in social networking sites as having pointed an armalite rifle and a baseball bat at a group of late night drinkers who engaged in a melee Saturday night at its food court. This is sending a wrong message to the guards and to drinkers who can’t handle themselves.

You see, the reports are clear: the guards were forceed to point the armalite and the baseball bat to the combatants because they refused to be pacified and to heed calls for them to stop their fight, which endangered other shoppers and patrons. At that point, the safety of other people was already at stake, and the guards obviously decided to exert reasonable force to preserve order, prevent harm, and uphold the safety of shoppers.

The guards, therefore, merely acted pursuant to their duties and responsibilities. Indeed, the combatants stopped creating trouble. Yet, the guards were sacked for doing this. I guess that next time a riot or a melee erupts at Market! Market!, guards would just simply look the other way already. This makes going to the mall extremely dangerous, because there would no longer be someone to keep the peace when violence erupts.

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LACK OF DISCIPLINE NOW PREVALENT AMONG PINOYS: But what was more bothersome for more people about this incident was the reaction of some netizens. It was clear the netizens saw only the supposed “abuse” by the guards, but failed (or, perhaps, refused) to recognize that the “abuse” in the first place occurred because of the lack of discipline of the food court’s drinking patrons, and their unconcern for the safety and well-being of other customers.

Who is the right-thinking Filipino who would indulge in drinking and then, after getting drunk, engage in a hand-to-hand combat in a place filled with shoppers? The answer is, there should be no one who should be doing this. It was therefore clear that those who roughed it up with one another at the Market! Market! were not in their right minds, as many Filipinos are won’t to be, after having downed a drink or two.

The problem, really, is that, many Filipinos have lost their capacity to be good and civil towards one another. Many Filipinos now act as if they are not going to die someday, and so they do everything wantonly, recklessly, and, more often than not, criminally. And this is all because many of us no longer have fear and love of God in our hearts for a long, long, time, making us capable of even the most despicable act!

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REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com, melaniolazomauriciojr@outlook.com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com.  -30-




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