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Computer Games

Computer Games
Ronald Roy — March 4, 2015

The pending Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) took over five painstaking years to be crafted by the Philippine government (PG) and the Muslim Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the purpose of stemming an ostensibly imminent major conflagration between them. Numerous meetings were staged abroad, principally in the Muslim country of Malaysia.
Although the PG did not have to come down to the level of a mere region ( ARMM, or the Automomous Region of Mindanao), whose residents are Filipinos who therefore not only owe allegiance to the PG but also are subject to all its laws, the PG, as a sporting concession, if not under duress, has constantly agreed to hold in that Muslim country the dialogues needed for concluding an acceptable peace agreement. That was how we then confidently hoped it would be: an equitable and just peace pact.
But, alas, the savage massacre of 44 PNP-SAF commandos last Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao has, through a series of investigations, effectively opened a can of worms: the cultural difficulties in dealing with Moros, the one-sidedness of the BBL, the incompetence of the commander-in-chief, his breach of public trust for asking his buddy, then PNP Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima, to ignore the Ombudsman’s order of his suspension, Purisima’s answerability for usurpation of authority and obstruction of justice, along with P-Noy’s impeachable participation therein and, most of all: the bugaboo of a full-blown civil war in the country.
In hindsight, we now know whom to blame for a probable dismemberment of the Republic, namely: 1. Noynoy, for his no-brainer of a go-signal to hold peace negotiations abroad under the watchful eyes of Muslims, and for having assembled government’s pro-MILF peace panel behind our backs — both in hot pursuit of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize that would crown his ego at the end of his presidency in 2016, and 2. the MILF, for its “bad faith”, as evidenced by its forces’ barbarous murder of the “fallen 44”, theft of their possessions, and return of the SAF’s weapons in cannibalized condition, among other oddities.
I am sorry, but I do not have a good reason to believe that “good faith” is one of their virtues. Often, for instance, Moro leaders have promised they would surrender breakaway Moro culprits who had committed murder, arson, kidnapping for ransom, etc., but they have never ever been true to their word. Years ago, they pledged to surrender terrorist BIFF Commander Kato, but just recently, Kato was discovered to have been holding camp just outside the MILF neighborhood. Moros have always been untrustworthy, and I have to be naive to think their signatures on a peace pact will change that.
The whole Mamasapano episode begs the question as to P-Noy’s fitness to handle crisis situations. It’s quite probable that, with advisers and resources around, he can solve a crisis if he wants. But he doesn’t, preferring to imagine, e.g., a hostage drama as an exciting computer game, and prolonging it to his bizarre delight.
Remember the Luneta hostage drama that saw the senseless killing of 14 Chinese tourists by a crazed discharged soldier? As the entire nation sat in horror before their radios and television sets, there he was in Malacañang, engrossed in his own viewing, and enthralled as he was once seen laughing with his finger pointed at the TV screen. What brought about the crisis? Well, the former soldier was begging for a review of the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing him from the service. Holding hostage a busload of Chinese passengers on their way back to Hong Kong, he stressed that a review was all that he wanted.
But Noynoy reacted in a puerile way when he allowed (or ordered) a SWAT team in full battle gear (against one man?) to surround the bus. The disastrous consequence of this misadventure was embarrassing front page stuff around the world. There was a simple solution: Since there was an open cell phone line provided by the “amok”, P-Noy could have used it to pacify him with a promise he would personally try to secure a review of his case. But he didn’t, obviously choosing instead to remain a spectator of a thrilling bloodbath in the making. Asperger’s syndrome?
After the massacre, P-Noy refused to do what the grieving families wanted: for him to personally apologize to them. It was Manila Mayor/former President Erap Estrada instead who flew to Hong Kong to apologize to them. Parenthetically, it was Erap’s humility that maintained good relations between HK and Manila.
In contrast, arrogance brings P-Noy to challenge his anti-BBL critics to provide an alternative measure. Well, I propose that the BBL be watered down to reasonable levels, then submitted to a national referendum, after which he should resign. Of course he’ll reject this idea because he’d rather “serve” out his term playing bloody computer games.


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