Briones: Rebels without a clue

On the go

SHOULD I devote this entire column to what happened last Monday during the 33rd anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution outside the headquarters of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 on Osmena Blvd. where some members of cause-oriented groups tried to test the patience of our authorities?

Or, should I write about former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama’s emotional rollercoaster ride?

I mean, poor guy, he was on “Cloud 9” after President Rodrigo Duterte raised his hand during the PDP-Laban campaign rally at the Plaza Independencia last Sunday night. Then Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo had to ruin the moment the very next day by casting doubt on what the gesture meant.

Or should I tackle both? First things first.

I have to commend personnel of the PRO 7 for exercising maximum tolerance during last Monday’s fiasco. Although I wasn’t there to witness firsthand what really happened, I did see photos and watched snippets of the video of what transpired when rallyists tried to barge inside the PRO 7 headquarter.

And it looked like the police had every reason to press charges.

The rallyists accused them of being “bastos”—I wasn’t so sure how to translate that so I used “rude”—for playing loud music while they gathered outside to chant against the Duterte administration.

According to Dr. Phoebe Zoe Maria Sanchez, a UP Cebu professor, “They tried to drown our voices with their sound system... They wanted to kill the spirit of Edsa.” And so what did her group do? They blocked vehicles from leaving the camp, pulled down streamers and damaged the camp’s boom barrier.

The photo of rallyists trying to push their way in the headquarters with a handful of police trying to prevent their entry from the other side of the gate was a far-cry from images of what happened on Edsa 33 years ago.

Back then, people knelt down, rosaries in hand, to block the passage of tanks. People handed out flowers and snacks to soldiers. People, arms locked, sang patriotic songs.

Granted, last Monday’s protesters were carried away by the “excesses” of the current administration—what did Sanchez say it was, more than 35,000 killed under Duterte’s rule compared to the 3.740 deaths during martial law—but what kind of example were they trying to set to the public when they harangued PRO 7 personnel?

A member of Bayan Muna Central Visayas accused the police of becoming more aggressive against them. Unfortunately, the photos and the video painted a different picture.

Anyway, enough of that. Let’s move on to Rama’s plight.

Oh, who am I kidding? Let him be. Hasn’t the guy been through enough?


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