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Ironies: thoughts on the Manila hostage drama

Breaking news today: 32 Daycare Students and 2 Teachers Hostaged in front of Manila City Hall. Wowowee show was cut to air video footages of a tourist bus with children, being hostaged, with Bonifacio's monument in the background.

As of this writing, one child has been released, the hostage taker, Jun Ducat, has been given time to vent out his frustrations with politicians abusing the poor over DZMM and ANC.

The hostage taker expressed his disappointment in the rotten ruling system in the country, and demanded college education for more than a 100 children under his foundation and a land title.

Meanwhile, we were texting out to members of KABATAAN that the protest action to be led by graduates that was scheduled today at the DOLE to call for jobs and education was to be postponed. We knew that no news outfit would pay attention to our protest, and it would be a better idea to hold our activity some other time.

The hostage drama is expected to last until later in the evening today, maybe even until tomorrow. News of the hostage drama will surely be the main topic in the news for the following days, setting issues of political killings, repression, fraud and violence and even the election campaign aside.

Today, the drama undermined the news of Bayan Muna topping the SWS survey, garnering a whopping 28%, despite government harassment of their leaders, showing mass support for a party bringing forth a new kind of politics and a genuinely alternative platform.

The full report of UN rapporteur Philip Alston on extrajudicial killings is also set to be released at 9pm today, the same time the media expects the hostage takers to end the crisis and release the children.

The hostage taker condemns the corruption being committed by politicians, and calls on poor people not to be fooled by politicians this elections, a popular sentiment of most people. However, the irony starts sinking in once you see Senator Bong Revilla, entering the bus, talking to the hostage taker like it was a script in an action flick, and rescuing a boy being released from the bus, with the cameras on him, bringing back a scene from one of his action movies. Definitely something he could use in his political ad campaign come 2010.

News: Arroyo orders MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando to look into hostage crisis... Maybe he wants a role in Panday part 2? Arroyo will surely capitalize on the crisis to divert the public's attention from issues of human rights violations and tyrannical rule of her government.

After the drama, at the end of the day, the politicians, and the Arroyo government are the ones who gain from this. The hostage taking drama shows how the pulitikos and the corrupt government in power, take advantage of the frustrations and desperate acts of the poor and abused.

While this should highlight the people's frustration and expressions of protest against the rotten government and the ruling regime, this is also shows us that more people have to be politicized and taught how to turn their frustrations and anti-government sentiments into effective political actions. The people are counting on the organized political groups to lead them into the path of effective and genuine social change.

In other news:

Garcillano to run as Congressman in Bukidnon

KABATAAN Partylist: Gradweyt na sa Lumang Pulitika

“Ironies: thoughts on the Manila hostage drama”