WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE PICTURE
Site: New Makati City Hall.
Date: June 30, 2015.
Incident: PNP serving Ombudsman suspension order on Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.
Question: Who started the trouble?
Using picture as evidentiary proof that there was trouble, it is clear that both forces—Binay’s admitted supporters and government agents, the police elements got entangled in a fracas, a violent and destructive confrontation. Who drew “first blood” was anybody’s guess.
For all we know, both camps were innocent or guilty. But that was begging for an argument. Mayor Binay should have been summoned or invited at DILG. After all, his office is under its supervision and from there he could have been served the Ombudsman order. No sweat.
But wait. There is media mileage out there and every bit of exposure is surefire hit depending on how good the spinner of whoever camp wants to capitalize on it. And so, there was this melee and how it landed on front page. Everyone got their proverbial 15 minute fame for free.
From a distance it looked like there was a proxy war going on. On one side, there was the Binay patriarch, the VP himself and on the other side, the head of DILG, a former political opponent. One side claimed political persecution; the other side says it about reckoning what is required by law. Both wanted to be correct although both are nowhere near what were right.
The biggest loser is of course, as usual, the Makati taxpayers. Several government procured materials (monobloc chairs, building partition, floor tiles, police truncheon, plastic tables, glasses, office equipment, etc) were damaged beyond recognition and almost smashed in smithereens just to prove a point. It was an incident where those involved cared less about destruction of properties, much more so, cared nothing at all even if taxpayers’ hard earned money goes down the drain.
For the Binay supporters, no one is to be allowed to disturb their mayor no matter the cost. For the police, the serve a judicial order whatever it takes. For those affected by the chaos, it is to stay where they are. For Mayor Binay, to remain in office. For the Police, to effect the Mayor’s suspension.
In the process, government function at the Makati City Hall stood still. The area became a battle ground as if there are no laws observed during the day. To each according to his voice, partisan or plain nonpartisan. There were gnashing of teeth, shouting of invectives, expression of anger on both sides, threats galore and who cares if there will be injuries or casualties. It was a day devoted to pandemonium.
Worst, those who were transacting at Makati City Hall and failed to complete because of the trouble, there is always the belated warning and possible penalty to be slapped on the poor tax payer for delayed filing. It is the people who eventually suffer because of inconsequential bickering of their supposed leaders.
Sometimes, this is usually a normal situation in almost all local government units.
Political infighting, selfish and protective claims, greed for power, influence and largesse, unabashed grabbing of entitlements, gross incompetence, squabbling, backbiting, delirious ineptitude, everything unfortunate are components. Whoever invented government must be very embarrassed. Whoever died defending government must be very remorseful by now wherever they may be.
Indeed, for a while election is a blessing but on the whole, it seems like it is a curse.