The death of civility

9

THE one outcome of the extremely disruptive public protest staged by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) over the past few days everyone can agree on is that it has revealed just how ugly the national mood has become.

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Everywhere one turns, people are seemingly responding to offenses real or perceived in an extreme way; the INC protest is simply a large-scale manifestation of violent overreactions that occur countless times every day on an individual level. One particularly sad example of this was the reckless jeepney driver who nearly struck a pedestrian in Makati last week and instead of being subjected to what in a civilized society would be considered a reasonable reaction – angry name-calling, perhaps, and maybe a complaint to the nearest traffic warden – was shot in the head for his transgression.

We place the blame for the death of any semblance of civility in this country squarely on the shoulders of our divisive, vindictive President BS Aquino 3rd and the Liberal Party machinery that has sustained him in office. From his very first moment in office, “if you’re not with us you’re against us” has been official policy – those who are personally favored, those who dare not offer anything but effusive praise for president and his vacuous concept of the “straight path,” and those who are perceived to have the ability to perpetuate the regime’s hold on power are accommodated even to the point of ignoring the basic laws of the land.

Those who have the temerity to question the heir to the “Aquino legacy,” or are even simply unfortunate enough to have the wrong last name are persecuted in the most niggling way, or at best – as is the case with the great mass of people who do not, for example, see appalling traffic gridlock as a sign of progress – rudely dismissed or pointedly ignored. The message from BS Aquino and his cabal from the very beginning has always been, “There’s our way, and only our way; your way is not only wrong, it in fact does not even exist.”

Is it any wonder why everyone, individually or collectively, feels they have to shout to be heard, and that any disagreement is a mortal threat?

A healthy democracy is a unity of differences, and today, when we observe our Araw ng mga Bayani – National Day of Heroes – we commemorate those who strove in different ways to unify and uplift the Philippines. It is the saddest of ironies that the official observance of the national holiday will be led by one who has strove to do precisely the opposite, and in the process poisoned our entire culture with a sense of selfish entitlement and exclusivity.

Bringing the country together will be the greatest challenge for our next president, because if the damage from six toxic years of Aquino “leadership” cannot be undone, nothing else will be accomplished. Whether any of those now aspiring to the office truly understand this remains to be seen.

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9 Comments

  1. The INC protest manifest the true evil intent of the group. They think they are above the law and can dictate our leaders because of their so-called block vote. They felt that people are scared of them . They think they are pure because they read the bible and interpret it the way their leaders want them. They don’t have mind and decision of their own. They are like ZOMBIES , the walking dead.

  2. We are slightly fortunate that there still remain shreds of civility in this society. We write about its death, and there are still people who believe in the rule of law. Otherwise, when one listens to the news or reads about it, all one sees are extreme reactions. Just this morning, I heard of a father killing his 3 children and then himself, simply because his wife left him, taking a small child with her, after an argument. In more civilized times, both of them would have taken the time apart to cool off, and then returned to the family home and their children, having given their anger time to dissipate. If the writer of this editorial lays the blame on this present administration, he is not to be faulted. It is only now–or in the last five years–when extreme reactions are unfortunately becoming, it seems, a way of life, instead of as a last, final and fatal resort.

    • Technically speaking, they are the same.
      In practice, the breakaway group is usually referred to as a cult by the original group.

  3. No matter how long the string, it always has its end. Salamat na lang, the Aquino presidency is almost over.

    • Everything can be rooted in PNoy?
      If I may say, YOU are the problem. The defeatist culture, negative and everything is wrong because I say so is what makes this nation so down to earth….it is literally going down. All becomes political. It is time to change ourselves.
      God bless Manila Times.

  4. Tanong (pinaikli): Muslim, hinatulan ng parusang kamatayan sa pamamagitang ng pugot ulo, sa kasalanang pangmomolestiya sa babae na isang muslim din… puwede ba syang lumapit kay De lima ng DOJ or sa anomang sangay ng Gobyerno? Dahil siya ay pilipino at nakatira din sa bansang pilipinas?…. at sasabihin nya ngaun “saklolo naman, Sec. De Lima ng DOJ”!… “hindi makatao ang relihiyong ito”, maliban na sa akoy nilalatigo tuwing Friday ay ikinukulong pa bago bitayin. ***Wala namang pugot ulo na punishment sa ating batas ngunit sa sa batas ng relihiyong Islam o muslim ay meron!… puwede kaya na pakialaman ni De Lima or nang Gobyerno ni Pinoy yan?… kahit ang UN at ang United States ay pumapalag diyaan o hindi nakikialam sa mga bagay na yan dahil iyon ang batas ng Muslim “internal laws” nila yan sa loob ng Islam”