Here now lies the whole trouble with the inbred Philippine Media community and its boys’ club of mutually high-fiving Establishment “bloggers”. While so much ire, speculation, and hearsay “reporting” directed at a who’s-who of bozos in Imperial Manila (revolving around, who else, President Gloria Arroyo) is given so much profile, a whole class of feudal chieftains and carpetbaggers enrich and entrench themselves in the hinterlands of Imperial Manila’s satellite provinces.
Thus it is hardly surprising that the Philippines’ premier online mouthpiece is “shocked and awed“…
ALREADY SHOCKED BY THE ENORMITY OF THE Nov. 23 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Filipinos have been stunned by the size of the war arsenal the Ampatuan clan have built and awed by the wealth they have amassed.
The government crackdown on the warlord clan, believed to be behind the mass murder and mutilation of 57 unarmed civilians, has led to the discovery of hundreds of high-powered firearms, including assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars, anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, as well as hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition. A raid on a vacant lot in the provincial capital, Shariff Aguak, on Dec. 3 yielded enough firearms and ammunition to equip an entire battalion, according to the chief of the Philippine National Police, Director-General Jesus Verzosa. Last Tuesday, a raid on a warehouse owned by the clan patriarch, Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., led to the discovery of guns, missiles and ammunition which military officials said packed enough power to blow up a small town.
Like everything else in the Philippines, whether it be disastrous flooding, or armed-to-the-teeth warlords, the Philippine Media — that supposed bastion of enlightenment, truth, and (get this), “information”, simply fails to lead the way in helping the public focus on what is important. To be “shocked” and “awed” by a problem that is largely the result of an obvious rot left to fester for decades is a bit of a laugh.
Sensational “news” should never be confused with important information. And if it is useful information we seek, it seems that no amount of “press freedom” will help us identify the relevant issues that determine what our calls to action should prioritise. In the same way that irresponsible property development and garbage disposal failed to make headline news — until Ondoy did it for us — warlords in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines’ hinterlands amassed their wealth and arms under the radar — until the Maguindanao Massacre turned it to today’s talk of the town.
The irony that escapes the Inquirer.net‘s Editor’s expression of “shock and awe” is that by doing so, he merely highlights the failure of his industry to live up to its duty to the Filipino people.
Amidst the anguish surrounding the banal realities of being Filipino in the 21st Century, there is a small handful of elites laughing all the way to the Bank — and the Philippine Media is among them.