Humanity is for all Filipinos whatever their status is in life. And the core of humanity is respecting the views of others and engaging in discourse that is respectful, contextual and does not introduce extraneous variables that are not germane to the discussion.

Note: This column originally appeared in The Manila Times on October 20, 2020

Much has been said about a young mother, who lost her baby and used the event for propaganda value. The Reds are very good at putting together a media event and then using it for their manipulative ends. Contrarian views should be respected without killing people. When one embraces killing for an ideology and belittles life as part of the cause that should be shouldered for the movement, then one wonders what kind of humanity is being espoused. Life is life regardless of political beliefs.

Those who cry child rights should check why the baby was taken out of jail and given to the grandmother. This was due to the fact that Reina Mae Nasino’s case was among “those remanded to the lower courts by the Supreme Court last July, ruling on a petition filed by several prisoners, who alleged that they were among the elderly, sick and pregnant population of inmates, exposed to the danger of contracting Covid-19.” And then again, as more people asked, who is the father? Is that not part and parcel of humanity? Or is the father a member of the movement, and showing up would make the case against Nasino? A legitimate question that no one seems to be bothered about.

Part of humanity is not using misery for manipulative propaganda. Part of humanity is not singling out just one event and invoking the humanity of Nasino as if she has a monopoly on it. Humanity is for all Filipinos whatever their status is in life. And the core of humanity is respecting the views of others and engaging in discourse that is respectful, contextual and does not introduce extraneous variables that are not germane to the discussion. But then again, a lot of people on Twitter do not read carefully; hence, understanding is conscripted. Attribution is unidimensional and the erudite, instead of explaining, embrace legalese to show a countenance typical of lawyers. Even if you have corrected your post, they insist one erred, and that is the sum total of one’s being. Concluding, we are better than you: Truly a sad commentary on a sense of community gone haywire.

Humanity is “compassionate, sympathetic or generous behavior or disposition. It is the quality or state of being humane.” It is different to play on misery, promote a sob story as if Nasino has the monopoly on grieving and by raising issue with the stunt that was pulled, it does not mean that the other side is less humane. One just has to point that the manufactured noise didn’t allow a mother to have her time with her child, which was the reason a furlough was granted.

And when some badmouth, cuss or read beyond what is stated, you somehow wonder whatever happened to the kind and rational Filipino? Is carrying a conversation truly an in-your-face stunt these days? To talk about Nasino is to bring out issues about the Marcoses? About Revilla? Seriously? Aren’t they out because of the same judicial system we have? So, Nasino is in jail because of them? Or because she was caught at the office of Bagong Alyansa Makabayan in Manila in November 2019 with illegal firearms and explosives? Non-bailable, right?

Humanity is not just for Nasino. It is also for the four-year-old child killed by New People’s Army fire in an ambush on Police in Bukidnon on Nov. 9, 2017. Why no manipulation? Why is it that, until today, we do not know the name of the child? Part of human rights? Why has the media decided to treat it as a footnote and Nasino with full coverage? Humanity is not just for Nasino, but also for those who died because of Yolanda and Mamasapano. Humanity is not just for Nasino, but for all Filipinos, who on a daily basis, work and not lean on illegal taxes collected by the movement or threaten landowners with killing their families if they won’t be allowed to stay on the land. Are we therefore saying men and women in uniform are lesser mortals than the likes of Nasino? When you raise your fist in front of the coffin of a daughter you have not taken care of, was that an action by a mother?

Is humanity different from those who violated the laws of the country and those who bear witness to being a good citizen of the Republic? Is there a person having more humanity than the rest of us? Who can best judge one’s humanity? A swarm who think they are all correct and cannot stand reason? A herd that calls anyone stupid or even calls for the condemnation of one by his associate and even his institution?

And with Nasino, the unholy trinity was again alive. After more than 50 years, the staging, the coverage and the days after showed to all why the Armed Forces of the Philippines will have a hard time dealing with the Reds. Why? Because they have integrated themselves in almost all organizations in this country. They used to be freedom fighters. Today they are either brigands or terrorists.

I used to have a high regard for some of them. I even volunteered pro bono when key personalities ran for the Senate, believing all persuasions should be represented in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Even when they were starting in 2004, a client donated money, materials and the like and went through the process of an interview to get their support. It was good exposure for any national candidate because plurality of thought is crucial in legislation but very transactional. And we expected they would change the culture in Congress? They did not. They gamed the system. With more members in Congress, they secured more allocations. They played the majority, supporting a leadership that ensures increased earmarks. The same money is used to recruit, indoctrinate and propagate. Transactional and rent-seeking, right?

In Twitter bad-mouthing, shaming, name-calling and insulting seems to be the way framing and priming are made. The platform is used not to communicate but to derive pleasure in being derided by a tug team with similar messages. Swarming is now the radar of success in communication. But one thing is clear, you do not make your case stronger by badmouthing others. You only show how low and narrow-minded you are.

There is an element of humanity in us. “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” Active participants in social media should remember, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

About the Author
Malou Tiqiua is the Founder/General Manager of PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. A noted political management expert in the Philippines and Asia, she brings over 20 years of professional experience in public, private and the academe combined. Author of the comprehensive book on electoral campaigns in the Philippines, "Campaign Politics", Malou is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a Political Science degree and a Master of Public Administration. She completed her second master's degree (MA in Political Management) from the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University.
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