Monday, February 21, 2011

Off-Script

Dear China:

How could you? Really, now: how could you? Have you no sense of shame or propriety?

We know that you're one of the two remaining superpowers, and that your economy just surpassed Japan's as number two in the world. That doesn't mean that you can just go off-script!

Now, don't go looking so innocent or bewildered all of a sudden! Didn't you know that, despite our protests and prayer vigils, you weren't supposed to grant a reprieve to the three convicted Filipino drug couriers? Pay close attention now, because this is how it was all supposed to play out:

  • You convict the Filipino drug couriers and you hand them the death penalty.
  • Several months later, and weeks before their execution, our newspapers and TV stations 'discover' that our OFWs have been 'abandoned' by our government.
  • Our militant labor groups hold rallies and prayer vigils. This has the multiple effect of: castigating our government for its inutility, blaming foreigners (in this case, you) for our woes, and making us feel self-righteous and aggrieved.
  • Our opinion columnists and TV-radio commentators analyze the case to death (no pun intended.)
  • Our government officials make last-ditch efforts at diplomacy as we watch from the sidelines, confident nothing will come out of it.
  • You execute the culprits.
  • We cry over their sacrifice, compose colorful eulogies, and give them a heroes' burial.
  • We confirm our feelings of aggrievement and wail at the injustice of the world.

See? So simple! Is that so hard to follow? In the end, we all go home happy in our catharsis. nothing ever really changes. But what did you do? You went and postponed their execution after our president pleaded for their lives.

What are we going to do with all the placards and speeches we prepared? What are we going to do with the editorials and commentary we've already written? How do you expect us to spew venom at Noynoy Aquino and his ineffective cabinet?

It's not that we really cared about those three anyway. Heck, up until they came out in the news last week, we didn't know them from Adam. For crying out loud, they were earning at least P100,000 per month.

And it's not that we really hold life sacred, either. Why, just a few weeks ago, we ourselves were calling for the return of the death penalty in Philippines. Heck, we shoot down drug dealers without trial.

Because you didn't follow the script, we're left wondering what kind of deal you cut with our government. Does it involve the Spratlys? Does it involve the Chinese nationals in Philippine jails? Will we see something like NBN-ZTE again? Since we can't blame our officials for their inutility this time around, we have to concoct all sorts of scenarios around the postponement. If it all sounds so lame right now --Gosh darn it! -- we just weren't ready for what you did.

Since we don't have any concrete reason to get mad at anyone, we have to fall back on that catch-all bogey called poverty to justify why the drug couriers did what they did. But i it just doesn't quite have the zing of a good old-fashioned jeremiad against our government. And that's because you went off-script.

Haaay! Mag-contest na lang kaya tayo sa kantahan? O sa boksing?

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