Monday, March 14, 2005

The Carnival of Manila

Readers who think I exaggerate the incompetence of Manila should read veteran Filipino columnist Max Soliven.

Throughout the day the nation had to listen to the demands of people who had just killed three jail guards and were on trial for multiple murder and kidnapping. They even found allies in the usual publicity-hungry politicians and human rights advocates who were falling all over themselves to get into the picture and sabotage police negotiations. And we wonder why the country is turning into a terrorist paradise.

Not content with this summary disparagement, he added details in A murderous jailbreak try that turned into a disgusting circus. He describes how the mayor of the jail site, the Congressman representing the district of the jail site and a representative from the province the Abu Sayyaf suspects were born in began a bizzarre contest for the man best suited to represent their "constituents". Then a renowned "human rights lawyer", who had represented the Marcos family against US oppression showed up. Then things really started to go downhill. A press conference got going.

The ring-leader, "Bro." "Kosovo" alias Alhamzer Limbong, fat, muscular and bum-brawn* in aspect, was one of the cruelest captors of Missionary Gracia Burnham and her slain husband Martin, the suspected beheader of the other American "Dos Palmas" hostage, Guillermo Sobero, and is the chief suspect in the SuperFerry 14 "bombing" which sent more than 100 passengers in a fierce explosion to a watery grave. (*A local colloquialism which means low-life punk -- W.)

Nothing better exemplifies the politicized, NGO-influenced and UN-guided ideology of the Philippine ruling elite than this laughable performance. If the characteristic of madness is that it goes unperceived by the most insane, then Philippine officialdom qualifies. Soliven points out that the persons responsible are likely to be promoted, in a country where no good deed goes unpunished. The veteran columnist ends with an appeal to reason; much good may it do him.

The last radio dispatch I listened to last night, before switching off, was that the Abu Sayyaf hold-outs who were insisting on giving a "press conference" (an opportunity sought with equal eagerness by our "breaking news" hungry media) first asked to be served "dinner" because they were already famished.

If there were not so much blood on the floor, the entire slaphappy affair could have been described as a comedy. Yet we mustn’t forget these are bloodthirsty, kidnapping, homicidal, false Islamic hoodlums we’re talking about. They don’t deserve a hearing. What they deserve is a hanging.