Estremera: To lose one’s home while the kibitzers shout for vengeance

THE television news is now focused on the Senate probe of the priority development assistance fund scam; with senators trying to upstage each other, acting wise.

The conflict in Zamboanga rages, but the Kevlar wearing reporters are no longer the flavor of the week.

On the sides, watching the news, thousands upon thousands of Filipinos are demanding that government will just pepper and powder the enemies, the Moro rebels, whom they blame for everything that Zamboanga has become.

I shrug my shoulders. This was bound to happen anyway. In a country where we refer to each other as brothers merely to cover up our deep-seated prejudices, these same people will jump at the slightest chance of validating the reason for their prejudice. I’ve met a lot of them, self-righteousness oozing in every step and word, while saying, brother.

It’s sad when people still want the “me” and “mine” in the centerstage when everyone else is losing everything. In my honest opinion, they say. But not honest enough to admit that in that honest opinion lurks prejudice if not ignorance. Talk? What’s there to talk about, they shout.

A total of 10,161 homes razed to the ground in five densely populated barangays, and still many are demanding that government smash the enemies to smithereens. No, there is nothing to talk about.

No compromise with the murderers, they say. One hundred forty persons dead and 251 wounded, and still they shout for blood; as if the lives of all those Moro rebels who battled and are battling it out in Zamboanga can bring back the lost lives and burnt homes of the non-combatants.

Instead of shouting for understanding, many want blood. Thus we fall into the trap of our own making as we rally on the armed forces to wipe the Moro rebels off the face of this earth. Up there in the national capital, the leader does the same; not even allocating a word or two for the estimated P182,910,000 worth of properties lost.

On the side, we look with doubt at the millions of pesos being dispensed for relief operations. Will these really be given to the victims or is some other Napoles waiting by the door? A total of P109,625,811.76 worth of medicines, medical supplies and relief goods have been released as of September 26, the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council reported. We used to be impressed with such numbers, our hopes buoyed by the availability of help. After the PDAF scam, not anymore knowing a huge cut will be going somewhere else. Pathetic.

On the sides, we are instigated to hate and we do so with gusto. What a waste. Of human life, of human existence, of human intelligence.

In Sun.Star Online’s updates and breaking news Friday, it reads: Napoles couple faces P61-M tax evasion charges as we scramble to see our payslip where almost 30 percent has been deducted for tax. If I were asked whom the military should bomb to smithereens, it will not be anyone nor anywhere near Zamboanga City.

Yesterday afternoon, Rio Hondo, which is among the areas where the battle raged between the government soldiers and the MNLF in Zamboanga, was again on fire. This, after the government declared that the Zamboanga crisis is already over. Comes the question, if this area was cleared of rebels, who set the place on fire? Who has been setting the places on fire? saestremera@yahoo.com
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