Sunday, 2 December 2007

What A Waste!

What Trillanes, Lim and their cohorts did in Manila Pen, I think, is indefensible. That much is certain. Despite efforts to spin what happened, focusing on their "desperation" and sidestepping what they did, is utter bullshit. It's like telling we should ignore people who rob because they did it to feed their kids.

What I am more afraid of is the seeming complicity of a big media outfit to this latest bout of military adventurism. For one, the reporting ABS-CBN, especially of its cable subsidiary ANC, was very spotty I suspect it was almost deliberate. While it had correspondents in Malacanang, it failed to get interviews from the AFP's top brass. So, while B/Gen. Lim and Sen. Trillanes were broadcasting to the whole country that different units of the military are joining them, for a long lull, there was no response from the AFP leadership, at least on TV.

It was almost like "decapitation" by failing to get an interview. This is very apparent especially after commentators doing the post mortem kept citing this lull as a sign that for a while there, everybody in the AFP was fencesitting. Evidently, if one gets his news only from the TV and cable TV, he'd get that impression.

However, Gen. Esperon was on the radio being interviewed by rival radio stations. He even said that most of those who joined Trillanes (those who were in civilian clothes and later changed to fatigues) were former soldiers who were already discharged from the service.Truly, information and disinformation are potent tools of war in the hands of those who know how to use them.

Our media must be able to draw the line between responsible media coverage and being used unwittingly as tools of psy-war. In fact, it was very clear that Trillanes and company were using them as shields. After the PNP issued an ultimatum and advised the media to vacate the hotel, the Magdalo officers kept telling them not to leave because "something big is going to happen at the end of the day".

Trillanes apparently thinks that the 11 million votes he had, which he believes came mostly from the AFP, automatically translates to support for whatever he does. By being elected, he was given a chance to work and make a reality out of his supposed ideals and convictions within the bounds of the law. Now, he throws it all away in one petulant act. What a waste.