It's pretty normal for political rallies to end up with a few bruises and wet t-shirts courtesy of the firemen. It's almost a tradition and members of the parties embrace it. Chalking these actions up to ignorance of the real world is easy for people looking from the outside since a lot of these rally-goers are college students. Some may see these groups as mere nuisances. But some actions from the groups may compel most to see them as disrespecting hooligans just looking to mess things up. It certainly doesn’t help their case that they’ve been on the streets regardless of who is at Malacañang.
In this year’s edition of the SONA, we saw on the TV how the militants started rushing the cops and the barriers in an attempt to get closer to Batasan Hills. Early in the day, two cops were battered by a mob for taking pictures of the rally-goers. Elected representatives from these militant groups rose up not to give the president a standing ovation, but rather give him a piece of their minds as they held signs saying “palpak na serbisyo”, “mapang-aping asendero” and a few more I missed.
For a 20th century person taught to play nice, it is easy to dismiss these guys and the ideals they uphold. But sometimes, the easy thing is not really worth doing.
I’ve always looked at the left as carefully as I can. I don’t really subscribe to a lot of their virtues and ways of going about economics. But unlike a lot of groups here in the Philippines, at least they have clear cut ideals that are not the generic platforms of generic politicians. Their take on issues are pretty clear cut. Though it usually involves a lot of making things public in the economic side with some wanting command economies, at least you know. Civil and political liberties also held with great passion. Even though I believe there is such a thing as excessive civil and political rights, at least I know where they stand.
Politicians nowadays are afraid to step on people’s toes. We see them changing political parties all the time. They market themselves as the way to prosperity. On the other hand, leftists in the Philippines market their IDEOLOGY as the way to prosperity.
I was once invited by a communist for a chat. From my experience MOST leftists are pretty open to conversation. I ended up talking to a bunch of young guys with big ambitions for the country. I sometimes lean to the left in certain political and economical issues but there are certain markets that I believe needs to remain free of regulation. I defended my beliefs and they defended theirs. But one thing I noticed was that I didn’t have to defend myself. I didn’t have to defend a politician I supported. This is when I realized that even though they burn effigies of the president, it’s not necessarily the president they were against. It is the system of governance that ticks them off. This explains why they are in the streets regardless of who’s in power.
It’s crazy right? How can someone not belonging to the any militant group lend his support to them? Especially considering how crazy their antics are? But let’s think. How crazy are they really? How different are these people from the generic politician?
Whenever there are reporters on the field asking normal rally-goers about the issues they are rallying about, most say they don’t have a clue. Putting the pieces together, wouldn’t this mean that the left are simply brainwashing people to participate? But then, looking at the generic politician, isn’t he doing the same thing whenever he sings jingles during elections or releasing statements like the whole country shouldn’t be paying for the MRT since NCR is the beneficiary knowing that people from Manila are paying for national projects in the provinces?
Both the generic politician and the militants are taking advantage our ignorance. But the difference is this: the politician does it so we vote for him again or that we give him the benefit of the doubt during plunder cases while the militants do it because of what they perceive as our road to prosperity.
Noynoy Aquino just delivered his last SONA. Most will talk about the absence of the FOI bill, how underperforming allies were still praised, call for an Anti-Dynasty Law, the ever-present GMA bashing and any other thing I left out. The left will go home and we will remember them for the rally, the shoving match with the cops and container vans and what some may say disrespect aimed at Aquino and Drilon.
All that said, why should tolerate the left? Clear and honest perspective