Cong Corrales .
“The masses are not bound to society by their shared values but by coercion at the hands of those in power.” – Margaret L. Andersen, on conflict theory, Sociology: The Essentials, p21
IT is quite appalling to see how we, as a people, have come to be this way. A polarized nation with nothing but prejudice and vindictive pride.
As a friend and colleague Inday Espina-Varona puts it, it seems that the sycophants of both polarizing ends appear to be coming from the same sewage. It is overwhelming that I cannot help but feel helpless and useless at the same time.
While our economy is in the rut, physical violence runs rampant in many parts of the island. I feel like this administration is hell-bent on killing its constituents, directly and indirectly. What’s worse is that some people who I used to consider as people of conscience, some are even outright religious, are the ones in the front seat applauding the demagoguery. Well, at least that is how it appears in the echo chambers of various online social media networks.
A case in point is the latest rant by the president against the church on Sunday. Manila Bulletin quoted the president as saying: “There’s a developing story in Itogon, 43 persons… Nag collapse yung church… Alam niyo, kung pinalitan ninyo ‘yung pari diyan, hindi magbagsak ‘yung simbahan diyan. Bobo ‘yung mga pari.”
Let me point out why I know the president is misinformed about what happened in Itogon and you can also do this too with a simple Google search and searching for subsequent corroborating articles on the Internet.
First, it was not a church. It was a bunkhouse of miners. Second, the priests have nothing to do with the landslide. It is the mining operation in the area of Benguet Corp. for the last hundred years. Third, a church might have been one of the structures that were destroyed by the landslide but it wasn’t a Roman Catholic church.
In a report by Micaella Ilao of ABS-CBN, Itogon mayor Victorio Palangdan said the landslide destroyed the bunkhouses of Benguet Corp. which were being used by the miners. “We know for a fact that this area is dangerous because there is a big tunnel mined by Benguet Corporation a hundred years ago,” the report goes on in quoting the town mayor. This news report is corroborated by other news organization who covered the story.
We have heard a lot of ad hominems, nonsequiturs, and outright lies from the president but this one, at least for now, is by far the most calloused one yet.
However, this administration’s army of trolls was quick to deflect the instantaneous avalanche of hate comments against the president. They point out that if the “delawans” are capitalizing this latest foot-in-mouth for the president’s supposed ouster, then who would replace him? They then push to further deflect by pointing out that the vice president should not be one of the choices because she is incompetent. At least, that’s what the president told them.
It is tiring to see that some friends and even close relatives (read: the first degree of affinity and consanguinity) post religious passages on social media yet defend all the insensitive crap the president has been spouting at a heartbeat. Be that as it may, however, I will still continue unmasking the truth behind this administration. Just as I’ve have done with the previous administrations, without fear or favor. I believe I owe it to the readers to know the truth.
I believe this is the second prong of the two-pronged approach against disinformation. One is to debunk while at the same time continue with the truth-telling in all of our reportage. How do we do this, you ask? It is only through multi-sourcing that we get the facts straight.
No matter what I feel about this administration is not important because it is not about me. It is about informing the public so they, in turn, can make intelligent decisions. Especially so, that next month will be the start of yet another circus show for the acquisition of power and avarice.