After the storm

“JUAN” has passed but other storms are coming.

The weather bureau said that because of the La Nina phenomenon the Philippines can expect a wet Christmas. We are expected to be ready.
The government too.

More storms are coming too in the political front. There are “low pressure areas” already moving: farmers demanding land; infighting in the president’s Cabinet; sabre-rattling among politicians; a clash between the Church and the government, among others.

Again, we are advised to be ready. And PNoy too.

On the reproductive health issue there is no backing out anymore for Congress to pass the measure. The Church and its supporters are also not backing out from its position. Cardinal Vidal of Cebu said he is ready to defy the proposed law. Other prelates have indicated that they will do the same.

Meanwhile, the farmers are dead serious about their demands. It might be too early compared to previous new administration for peasant groups to shake the new administration with calls for the immediate distribution of lands. But the farmers say it was PNoy who made the “straight path” promise to the people.

What other way indeed to show that the Aquino administration is serious about its pledge to address the people’s demands than to go down to the business of agrarian reform, or human rights.

The so-called Morong 43 and the other political prisoners languishing in various jails around the country are also demanding the same treatment that the president gave to members of the rebel group Magdalo. If PNoy can grant the soldiers amnesty why not give it to political prisoners too who also fought the excesses of the previous administration?

Unlike the weather, there seems no respite for the Aquino administration in the political front. Typhoons come and go but the issues facing PNoy seem not to go away until he meets it head-on.

And it does not help that the media seems to be feasting on every false move the new administration commits.

And speaking about the media, almost a year after the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, the wheels of justice seems to be moving slowly. Friends and relatives of the victims are saying that the government has to do something more.

The Philippines, by the way, already fell near the bottom of an international media group’s press freedom index for this year. We already ranked 156 of 178 countries in the Index issued by Reporters Sans Frontieres, 34 notches from its rank of 122nd last year.

Worse for the Philippines, the group noted, “impunity” continues to reign despite “a few murderers of journalists being brought to trial.”

Typhoon “Juan” might have passed, but more weather disturbances, are coming. It can be a wet Christmas for Filipinos and a disastrous time for the government. And it doesn’t help that our leaders are creating their own storms with their internal clashes that are creating thunderstorms in the media.

In this country, typhoons seem to linger for some time. Joe Torres


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