Once more, without feeling


THE response of President BS Aquino 3rd to the ‘violent dispersal’ of the farmers’ rally was so sadly predictable, we could have written the news story about it as soon as the first shots were fired in Kidapawan City last Friday.

Once more, without feeling: Instead of displaying some empathy toward those who were injured or killed, Aquino had, at least as of midday yesterday, absolutely nothing to say. Instead of reassuring the nation that he does, in fact, understand that something went terribly wrong and that there is no circumstance in which people appealing for food aid should be met with gunfire, Aquino trotted out a functionary to offer an oblivious statement about the dangers of people “making hotheaded statements” and “rushing to judgment” about the massacre.

The only thing anyone wants or really needs to hear from the President of the Republic at this point is, “I am sorry this happened, and I will see to it that those affected quickly receive the aid and attention they need while we determine what went wrong and take immediate steps to prevent it from happening again.” But no such words of empathy came from him; instead, this President just let his spokespeople mouth blandly insincere phrases like “don’t rush to judgment” and “there were leftist agitators among the protestors” from the obsolete operator’s manual for authoritarian regimes.

For Aquino to apologize or even express carefully-worded regret for the incident would be to acknowledge the failures of his government—down to the level of his vassals in local government units—to respond effectively to a natural calamity.

North Cotabato, normally a productive agricultural area, is part of the region in Mindanao that has been laid bare by the drought sparked by the El Niño. The farmers there have not only lost their livelihoods—something which should gravely concern us all, as it puts food supply from that region at risk—they cannot even feed themselves. To be fair, even the government was aware there was a crisis as long ago as the beginning of this year and declared a state of calamity, but just as has been the case in different kinds of natural disasters, has hopelessly bungled the relief effort through either incompetence or misplaced political priorities, or both.

If the regime had the discipline to set aside its ulterior motives and do its job effectively, 6,000 desperate, starving farmers would not have felt their only recourse to obtaining the most basic assistance would be to block a main highway for several days. The so-called “leftist elements”—and we are under no illusions that there aren’t at least a few of those who do take political advantage of these kinds of circumstances—would have no reason to be there nor find support among the rural people, if the regime would do the job it promised.

As of yesterday, there were no fewer than seven different videos from witnesses to Friday’s violence making the rounds on the internet, each one with the same message to the viewer: “Here is a record of the incident. Watch, and draw your own conclusions.” We did, and we invite all of our readers to do the same. But as you do, ask yourself this: Which is the bigger issue, who drew first blood in the melee, or the conditions that made it almost inevitable in the first place?


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  1. Let’s not blame the President. Let’s not play blame game. We Filipinos should start looking to ourselves whether we are helping the situation or part of the problem. Whoever puts fuel into the fire are evil doers and is not worth calling him a Christian or a Muslim.
    There were injuries from both sides and let the police and local government investigate.
    definitely the trouble has erupted because someone from the group wanted to start a fight. It can only the work of people who wanted to destroy the relationship between the authorities and people who were protesting. Let’s calm down and think the best solution.

    • The blame is not entirely on the president. It is just his duty as the head of the state to acknowledge the faults of the administration in this issue [many articles to prove this] and assure the concerned of an immediate solution to this pressing problem. So don’t simply look at the article as simply aggravating the issue. People’s proactive and critical stance is a huge factor for ensuring accountability and for making the real solution.
      The trouble has not erupted just because some people wanted to get into a fight. The fact is that the trouble has already begun when the farmers were in dire need for several months suffering from no harvest and hunger, and yet those who have the power to dispense the much needed help didn’t do what they have to. The farmers only did what they could to survive–to unite so that their voices may finally be heard!
      Similar incidents have happened in the past i.e. Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita Massacres [jsyk] proving how history seems to repeat itself proving that the farmers’ problem remains unsolved.
      Finally since you have involved religion here, I must say that the one who is truly not worth calling a Christian or a Muslim is he/she who stays blind to the situation and deaf to the cries of those oppressed!

  2. Nasaan yung mga pera na sinabi nilang ginamit sa mga farmers. Yang mga PDAF, DAP and BUB na yan….alam ng may drought, anong ginawa! What about DFA? Saang bulsa nailagay lahat ng pondo para sa Agricultura? Tuwid talaga ang daan sa kabulastugan itong pamahalaan. Pababayaan ba natin ipagpatuloy ang tuwid na daan sa bulsa ng mga kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan, kamag anak ng mga hacinderong yan?

  3. Aquino’s first response is not to respond at all, to hide it out until the news die down. He has done this so often its too predictable. Magaling lang mang insulto, magparinig sa mga kalaban, magsermon, magbintang pero pagdating sa crisis, deadma. Ito yong tinuturing na Ama ng Bayan natin.

  4. Again, for the NTH Time, I say it again and again, THESE Aquinos are the TRUE and REAL Scourge of this Poor, Oppressed people of the nation.

  5. How can we expect Aquino to sympathize/empathize with the victims when he must have a bipolar medical condition in which they don’t feel emotions towards other people, only to themselves. This must be the secret psych diagnosis he had in the US, BPD. He is self centered and does not want to be told, he thinks highly of himself and he believes he is always right. That is why his hold on power through roxas should be stopped. And I don’t think Poe will know how to sympathize either because she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth that is why she is behaving like a prima donna when no newsmen are around. While we, the poor people cry our heart out for the dead farmers, life for the rich and the powerful continues as usual. Very sad! Time for true change!

  6. Like mother like son. Pagkaupong-pagkaupo ni Mother, more than 40 farmers were massacred in Mendiola. Nang aalis na si Son, may 3 farmers ang na-massacre sa Kidapawan.
    The shortest distance between bobong mother and son is Daang Matuwid.

  7. There is one thing about Noynoy Aquino..he is CONSISTENT! No heart, no soul and no brain.

  8. opinionated na pinoy on

    Shooting and killing unarmed demonstrators? President Aquino should be tried in International Court at Hague, when he steps down as president.

  9. Edong Mapangarap on

    no amount of lives lost will make him understand……
    as ive said over and over again….. HE’s M-E-N-T-A-L
    only a certified medical psychiatrist will be able to explain this heartless behavior……..
    prepare yourselves for acquittal for reasons of insanity……..

  10. Elcid Pelayo on

    how so many Filipinos elect such a mental case which would display signs of instability from the start till the end of the term?

  11. Pati mga kumampi sa kanila sa EDSA kalaban na rin. Kailan pa matatapos ang ganitong klase ng pamumuno? Kung ang mananalo mga tuta ng KAMAG-ANAK INC. ganito rin mangyayari sa susunid na 6 na taon. Mag-isip po sana tayo. Pang matagalang pagkakaisa ang kailangan natin para umasenso at maging napakagaling na bansa ulit

  12. Dinia Santod on

    To hell with Aquino. I just want to see the day that he will reap what he had sowed. and when that day comes I will have no mercy for him. He deserves whatever suffering fate eill give him. And he had the nerve to demand from Bongbong an apology for the martial law when Bongbong had no part in it. Where is his brain? Is he that sick?

    • Parang he is proving that he is not the voted President by the Filipino people parang tayo ay sumugal lamang sa kaniyang kasikatan na hindi inalam ang kanyang kakayahang mamuno. Kung ang nanay niya ay nadiktahan ng “Demonyong Kadugo” upang ipagkalat ang kasinungalingan sa ating bayan. Hindi paghihiganti ang ninais kundi isakatuparan ang nais ng kanyang angkan na nakawan ang tunay na sa atin ay nagmahal at tayo ma’y nakawan.Nagtagumpay silang ikalat ang kasinungalingan hanggang sa bagong salinlahi. Nagtaasan ang lahat ng bilihin at serbisyo pero wala man lang taong napala bagkus ay inilubl;ob tayo sa sarili nating mantika. WAKASAN NA YAN!