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PIA Press Release
2009/06/15

Commentary: Rally rah-rah-rah

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (15 June) -- More than anything else, the best that can be said about the anti con-ass demonstration in Makati and other urban centers of the country last week was that they ended peacefully.

Add the historical perspective -- the rally being dated at the heels of the 111th Philippine Independence Day celebration -- then we can say that the value of freedom, in this case freedom to speak against the government which our forefathers bravely fought, had been used in actual practice.

In this sense, this year's independence day fete was doubly significant: the people are free to talk anything they do not like about the actuations of the leaders in the government (which was not the case over a hundred years ago), and we actually enjoy as we put to work such freedom (which was not also the case more than a hundred years ago).

***

So the attempt for the nth time to form Congress into a constituent assembly was met with disdain as expected.

It was called names, like abuse of power, shameless display of numbers, among others, and the whole exercise was even cited undemocratic, as if loud opposition to such an unpopular idea was not in itself part of the process on democracy.

The downed voices of the proponents were no much, easily eased out by the tsunami of protests, and reduced to an academic scholarly argument; in a nutshell, the intention was to let the Supreme Court rule once and for all whether the Lower House can do it all alone without the Senate regarding con-ass as a mode to introduce changes in the Constitution.

This iota of wisdom was nipped in the bud, disregarded as a smokescreen for a hidden agenda, and heavily criticized as untimely and unnecessary in the face of current global woes and more pressing other national issues.

***

In the meantime, organized groups in red always join rallies at every turn, in any opportunity, regardless of who is at the helm of governance.

The political opposition will always smell politics, especially with next year's imminent polls, and every chance to speak, or just to be hanging around, is welcomed, aware that the name of the game is total exposure, maximum exposure at that for free, in fact, on nationwide TV.

At the end of the day, it was a play with numbers -- 5,000; 10,000; 13,000 more or less warm bodies, the count more on the physical rather than the mental, more on how many were seen, and not so much on how many understood the complicated issues involved.

The redeeming grace, the best that can be said about the anti con-ass demonstration in Makati and other urban centers of the country last week was that they ended peacefully.

***

LOCAL FRONT: Private schools in Maasin City and the entire province of Southern Leyte, and probably other parts of the country are now in full swing as students come back for classes. With this, the timely re-dissemination of the DepEd guidelines on suspension of classes, Order Number 28, which was effective since year 2005, should be a handy tool for local school authorities and government officials in specific localities. For starters, when PAG-ASA raises storm signal number 1, all pre-school classes are automatically suspended; signal number two, all pre-school, elementary, and high school classes are automatically suspended. When no signals are raised, and it is raining non-stop for four hours, school heads and Mayors can declare no classes. And even parents are empowered to decide on these matters, based on DepEd Order Number 28. So, as any order orders, please be guided accordingly.

ODDLY YOURS: All Mosquitoes are not alike. Jurassic Park taught us that mosquitoes have been around for 100 million years. In that time they have diversified into 3,000 species that are very different from one another. Instincts pre-program their life's behavior, and these programs are constantly refined by evolution. They have successfully adapted to climates from the arctic to the equator and developed means of locating indigenous bloodhosts in each locale: some mosquitoes prefer frogs, others mammals, still others birds. And, of course, people, the Homo sapiens. No product, including mosquito traps, foggers, pesticides, Citronella candle, smoking coils or DEET, works equally well on every species of mosquito, according to a web site. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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