Only a scumbag of a netizen would take pride in spreading the video of the wounded SAF officer pumped with bullets by a thug masquerading as a Muslim rebel with neither qualms, mercy nor remorse. What pervert would rejoice in spreading and sharing the suffering of others, more so a police officer on a mission to make this country a safer and a better place?
Given the nature of the Internet—its positive side is often blotted by the trolls and wackos unleashing their grievances against the world through keyboards in their darkened rooms – such a video is sure to go viral within minutes. Such video feeds on the basest of man’s instincts, which are, exactly, the instincts that dominate the crazes in the cyber space.
That wacko was found to find a vast cyber audience. Sure enough the views of that gory video have reached millions of views by the last count. From the original wacko who uploaded and released it, the video has seamlessly streamed into the phones and mobile gadgets of millions of heartless voyeurs. In some sections of the Internet, the civic culture nurtured through centuries has no apps.
Do you have a clear mental picture of vultures hovering around a place of death to deal to the dead or the dying a torturous second death? It was a vulture that hovered over the fallen SAF officer. Two or more vultures, rather. One made the merciless killing. The others snapped videos to spread the imagined glory from that moment of madness. Truly, only one with the conscience of a vulture could prey on the wounded, then take a video recording of it. Conscious of the fact there are millions of crazies in cyber space who would lap it up.
If you were man enough, and you don’t have anything to do with that video at the official level, you will not have the conscience to look at it. For what?
This we have to admit. Internet has changed the world for the better. But every so often, it does not abet and promote man’s better angels.
We also have to admit the sad truth that we cannot legislate against this moral turpitude in the cyber world. We are helpless against cyber-induced insanity. Malacañang’s appeal to the netizens, that they stop the spread of the gruesome video around, has fallen on deaf ears.
Malacañang, in the first place, does not have the moral ground to appeal to the netizens to stop the spread of the SAF overkill video, the video of a suffering man. You know why? Over the past four years, Malacañang and its chief tenant have been largely insensitive to anything that is related to suffering, want, deprivation and the hopeless and wasted lives.
I have written this a countless times: The constituencies of Mr. Aquino do not include those mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount: those who are weak and meek, those who suffer and those that are being persecuted.
How can a leadership that is deeply allergic and insensitive to suffering appeal for sensitivity from its netizens?
It is a question of priorities.
Mr. Aquino’s ideal is a new nation built on the foundation of high growth rates and impressive fiscal health. He is essentially a technocrat of the 80s, those employing the tenets of the Washington Consensus (a market-driven economy that is deregulated and liberalized) to achieve the benchmarks that would bring joy to the multilateral institutions, which new version is now the Davos crowd. Nice graphs on robust GDP growths and credit upgrades from the Big Three in the CRAs, are what give Mr. Aquino the high.
Plus, those puff pieces from foreign journalists who have been turning out an endless stream of articles on how this wonkish technocrat has produced an economic miracle.
In the rush to make the articles of an economic boom a self-fulfilling prophecy, Mr. Aquino dealt, and has been dealing with, Ayn Rand’s “creators”—those who supposedly create wealth and push the GDP charts higher. He is a “ growth-at-all-cost” president and a “ good news president.”
Mr. Aquino’s Cloud Nine takes place when he inaugurates soaring office towers, assembly plants, giant BPO centers, new roads and bridges. His photo ops are with people associated with success: captains of industry, “outstanding” youth, overachievers, private sector and public officials with impressive CVs and academic credentials.
To the credit of Mr. Aquino, his more than four years in office has created a new class of Filipino dollar billionaires, those in the category of the “they-can-buy-a-small country-rich.” His Central Bank governor is often proclaimed as the best central banker. His finance secretary is often cited as the best finance minister.
But anything that smells of poverty, want, hopelessness and tragedy is beyond the attention span of the President. Look at his photo-ops. He seems to disdain any association with failure and the segments of society that are truly vulnerable.
Even a great tragedy such as typhoon Yolanda has failed to move the President and raise his level of sympathy and empathy for the underclass.
No wonder, the netizen-voyeurs just ignored the appeal of the leader for them to understand what suffering is.