The discussion has toned down a little but the mainstream media is still echoing the uproar of the local blogosphere on the Valley Golf fiasco and about how bloggers have rallied to the side of the dela Paz family after learning that they have been beaten to a pulp by the DAR secretary and his son the Mayor of Masui.
However, like in any democracy, the move is not without critics whom have argued that the bloggers’ act, has a bit of hypocrisy because when a middle-class family became the victims of abusive government officials, we were quick to cry wolf, grab torches, pitchforks and prepared for battle, so to speak.
However, the same crowd were silent, back when activists were being kidnapped and liquidated, farmers who have lost their lands and are starving to death walked hundreds of miles to get their voices heard and the country’s top official stole the ballot twice and continues to lie, steal and kill for her own ambitions.
Or as BrianB has commented in Filipino Voices:
To all our clueless middle class. Welcome to the Philippines.
When the politicos were going after the poor, their lands and their rights, what did the middle class do? Nothing. When the politicos went after the press, what did the middle class do? Nothing. Now they are starting to come at you and your previous apathy has made you as weak as puking baby.
As Butch aka Warrior Lawyer puts its, BrianB has a valid point but he begs to differ:
the reaction of the upper-middle class is wholly understandable as what happened to the De La Paz family hits close to home. It could have been us, one would immediately think. Not that I can afford a membership to Valley Golf (both the De La Pazes and Pagandamans are members) but I certainly have a few close buddies who are members and have been invited many times to drop by the place. And access to the internet platform that is the blogosphere, at least as far as creating compelling content is concerned, remains, like golf, to be a largely elite undertaking. Note that it was Bambee’s blog that alerted fellow bloggers and stirred up their passionate response.
And I agree entirely. This apathy (or hypocrisy ?) cannot be helped because the middle class is in the middle (duh!) of the social order/pyramid/pecking order in our society. They just go with the flow, especially if it will serve their own class interests, of which they are not always consciously aware of doing.
Again, this is not something new. It has happened before. In fact, it happened 112 years and two days ago.
The execution of the most famous member of the Filipino middle-class, which back then were called the principalia, in our history, the illustrado, Jose Rizal.
In their book, The History of the Burgis, authors Mariel N. Francisco and Maria C. Arriola in a comment on the execution of Jose Rizal shares the same way view as BrianB puts forward:
Rizal was not just another martyr. He was an ilustrado. His execution marked a transgression into their illustrious ranks. Thus did the ilustrados (finally!) shift their considerable social weight to the side of the revolutionary masses. Much as the burgis did after Ninoy Aquino’s assassination.
I’m not saying the dela Pazes are the modern day Rizals nor Ninoys but this little anecdote in our history reminds us of who we are as a people and why we are still in this God-forsaken third world-status.