25 August 2010

National Day of Mourning

Pres. Aquino declared today, August 25, as National Day of Mourning in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, especially the families and loved ones of the victims, over the 8 Hong Kong citizens who were killed in the hostage-taking of a bus by a dismissed police officer.

This is a good start. We mourn and grieve with the victims and their families. We call for the needed reforms to be made, especially at the Philippine National Police, so situations like these may never happen again.

However, several reactions to the incident were definitely not good.

1. This twit is circulating these days. Not only is it preposterous, it is even adding to the paranoia and animosity.

HK says: “We declare war to Philippines,any Filipino people stepped, willing to step or is in still in HongKong, will be punished to death!”

2. One would expect better judgement from clergymen, but a UCANews article banners this. In times of grief, we would like to read and hear wise counsel and prayerful reflection from our priests not misleading clich├ęs and pedestrian oversimplifications.

"Church shares blame for violence, says priest"

3. And then there's this. This picture is worth a thousand words (some of them not fit to print).

Here's a welcome spark of hope. A well-meaning Filipino teenager wrote this letter of apology to the world in light of the hostage crisis. Much as I praise his youthful enthusiasm, I echo the sentiments of another blogger who says: "young man, it's a moving gesture but a (national) apology is not required". We have to be in solidarity with those who grieve and suffer, we are sorry that this happen to them while visiting our country. We may emphatize with the disappointment and anger in Hong Kong (people here are disappointed and angry as well). But even as we recognize the shame it has brought us, we don't bow down in servility to the rest of the world.

The hostage-taking is tragic and unfortunate, the work of a misguided individual, made worse by some of those who tried to handle the situation. But it is also a wake-up call, a strong moving force to put much needed reforms and effect meaningful change.

God's glory is manifested not only in preventing evil deeds from happening, but more so in making  good things happen even out of things evil.

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