News or Exaggeration?

Incident and commotion at 36TS on Feb 27 2017

If you’re a “Defender”, you’re probably glued to the latest updates on what is happening at 36TS. As would any human being worthy of a modicum of respect, you’d probably want… no, expectobjective news reporting – not exaggerations, not hype, and not flimflam stories they feed every gullible creature who reads their posts and comments.

Typically, one would look to third party news reporting agencies for objective news. But, in this case, traditional media, despite pleas by various camps to cover what is happening, isn’t interested. Why would they be? They’ve dealt with these Defender ministers before and have made up their minds about them. Besides, there are more interesting topics to cover which the general public whom they serve, would find more appealing. So that leaves social media, the platform of choice of the Defenders — for providing updates, various commentaries and more drama designed to further stoke the anger of the Defenders against the Church Administration

We thought we’d stay away and let them do their thing. No one’s paying attention to their drama anyway but their own little crowd. So let them have their two minute of fame and watch the blip in the radar go by. That is, until Ahmedy Paglinawan, lawyer of Angel and Lottie Manalo, jumped into the foray.

In his posts and comments, Ahmed has made disparaging statements against the INC, the police, barangay officials, and even a major telecommunications company. Serious accusations ranging from INC’s control over law enforcement, to monitoring and intercepting telecomm traffic, to sending him and his family, as well as his law partner, Trixie Angeles, death threats by text messages, were hurled by the said lawyer. To those who follow Ahmed’s FB, you’d know that his posts reflect Ahmed’s own brand of wit, unique and refreshing, natural not forced, even elegant in its own way. But in his latest posts and comments involving the INC, clearly, he went overboard. He’s either deliberately testing the limits of libel or he’s just made a careless blunder. Unlike Trixie, former lawyer of record of the Manalo siblings, who was calm under fire (at least while in front of a camera or when talking to reporters), Ahmed should probably learn to exercise some measure of restraint while working harder on the actual legal cases rather than spending too much time in FB. After all, that’s what his clients’ supporters pay him for, correct?

To those like us who were part of the Defender group, we are not moved at all by the drama we’ve seen so far from the usual set of characters. It’s like watching a rerun, the threat to the lives of those inside TS being replayed all over again but made to appear to be more imminent each time. Consistent with their previous approach though, the target of these stories is the Defenders’ emotion, not reason. That is where their whole charade is built up on anyway. The rebellion that started almost two years ago was founded on emotion – the appeal by Angel and his mother, because their lives were supposedly in danger and before that, FB posts by Lottie that there are men following them, again, implying they were in danger. For two years now, they’ve been playing the same tune. And some Defenders continue to buy it. Can you put your emotion on hold for a second and let the brains digest what is really going on? THINK. If the Executive Minister and his wife are the monsters Defender leaders portray them to be, 36TS residents would have all been gone a long time ago. And the deed would have been done quietly. Not heralded by the sounds of a giant and noisy equipment!

As for demolishing houses and other structures within INC’s property boundaries, that is the sole and exclusive prerogative of the owner which, in this case, is INC. Is INC so stupid that it would destroy properties that are the subject of an ongoing legal dispute? Again, THINK. So, if that’s not the case, no notification to the hostile, disrespectful and ingrate neighbors is required prior to the commencement of the work.

Defenders in circles large and small have been asking 36TS residents why they don’t just leave and continue the battle from the outside. They explain this by saying they have to go through this ordeal and endure everything in silence in order to fulfill what was forewarned by Bro. Eraño Manalo. But even granting there was such warning AND that they have interpreted it correctly, then explain please the incongruence because anyone aspiring to become a martyr will not run to social media every time there’s food or other supplies that aren’t delivered on time. Or appeal using a voice recording of Angel’s wife, Jenny, seeming to be tearful and fearful for the plight of the women and children occupants of the house. If they are in such dire straits, then perhaps all the more reason they should leave the place?

Angel, in an interview with the media back in 2015, explained the reason when asked by a reporter — they have no other place to go. This is a more practical answer and probably the more truthful one because it was given spontaneously. But since then, offers have been made by generous Defenders to relocate them. They still refused. Makes one wonder what else is keeping them from moving out…

As for accounts of shots fired at the scene and who fired at whom first, or if there was any injury and if so, on whose side, that is something we’ll leave up to the proper authorities to investigate and disclose. Those whom we’ve seen give their own account on FB were not only absent from the scene; those characters are known to be unreliable and more interested in drama and intrigue not to mention the influx of funds incidents such as this would generate.

Before we end this, let us just say that the keen observers that we are, we didn’t fail to notice that some people are milking this incident by inserting themselves back into the good graces of the expelled siblings. It would be interesting to see if they succeed. But in this world where people use each other shamelessly, that’s hardly surprising. The timing is what made it too obvious. Of course, now that Kelly Ong is busy with his personal legal battles to play his usual role of intercessor for Angel, and his second-in-command is not exactly the savvy type, the window of opportunity was left open.

Anyway, let’s all stay tuned… Till next time… Oink.. oink!  

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