"Write in heat." So goes that sage advice to writers. And that's precisely what I did last week, in those few hours after the explosion in Glorietta, when so very little was known and speculation was rife. The perspective is so much different when you get a little distance from the subject or the event, when you have a bit more space for objectivity.
Nonetheless, it was a revealing exercise in zeitgeist. Our initial reaction, understandably, was that it was a bomb. Understandably, there was shock and fear. But surprisingly, there was also a palpable feeling of disgust -- not just a vague and generic sense of disgust, but one with a very clear subject.
Was I alone in this manner of thinking? Apparently not. "My son was not a victim of an accident, but a collateral damage of a government who wants to divert attention from the present political crisis it's facing," said the father of one of the victims. And the family went so far as to actually refuse money and offers of assistance from GMA.
Of all the countries in the world, we are probably unique in yet another matter: that, in the event of a terrorist attack, the government is immediately one of the prime suspects in the public opinion. Truly democratic countries do not need to resort to such tactics, and truly authoritarian countries do not need to hide behind such subterfuge.
And yet, despite this state of affairs, we persist in hobbling on, unable -- or unwilling -- to seek real solutions.
Not long after I put up my previous article on my blog, two people wrote in with these comments:
"Not that I like this president but... who shall we ask to govern us...? Marcos loyalists? Estrada apologists? Ramos the not-yet-satisified...? Aquino the pure...?"
"Yeah, and who do you think should replace her? Judging from the current crop of politicians, they all look and smell the same to me."
There you go. The reasons behind why GMA should not resign. Not because of her economic brilliance, not because of her brilliant foreign policy, not because of her compassionate domestic policy, not because of her administrative effectiveness, and certainly not because of her moral ascendancy. Simply this: we don't see any other alternative, and therefore we are content with the best of the worst.
And therefore: GMA and her cohorts can lie to us, can cheat us, can steal from us, can kill us, can ream us, and we're going to continue taking it (and we better damn well be liking it!) because hey! the other guy is going to do it to us anyway.
Such brilliant and irrepressible Filipino logic!
P.S. So who do I think should replace her? That is not for any one person to decide. That is why we have presidential elections that are supposed to be honest and fair. And we all know what happened last time.