A day of infamy

“More than 70 people died yesterday in a mob stampede in Ultra while waiting for the show ‘Wowowee’. Some of these people have been waiting since Monday, according to the news.

It was already past 9 AM when I first heard the news from the radio. While I am eating my suman, the voice on the radio talks about dead people lying on the street. The voice turns out to be Mr. Noli de Castro himself. I was at first surprised that the Vice-President is the one reporting, since usually it is Julius Babao and Cristine Babao’s program at that time.

Noli first thought that someone shouted that there was a bomb, but several witnesses denied that that was the cause of the stampede.

It was already noon when I switched the TV on, and discovered that Channel 2 suspended all programs that morning and focused on the event of the stampede. The station repeatedly shows the earlier footage of how the place looks like after the stampede: dead people lying on the street, grieving women the cadavers of their loved ones, lots of people just looking on the drama and sometimes waves on the camera as if nothing happened, and several rescuers.

After TV patrol, it was decided that Wowowee will postpone their first anniversary celebration. Mr. Willie Revillame appeared in Ultra along with Mr. Noli de Castro and Ms. Charo Santos to explain to people the cause of the cancellation.

Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition, which also opens yesterday, was moved today.

According to DZMM, Wowowee is supposed to give two million pesos, two house and lots, 20 tricycles, 3 three taxis with Franchises, and, if what I heard is true, anyone who is able to enter Ultra will get 500 php instantly.

According to a Police Captain, the reason for the stampede is that when the guard told the crowd that only 17,000 people is allowed to enter, people begun to rush in a mad frenzy just to enter, even if they have to push someone or trample a child in the process.

There were stories like that of a child that was placed on the roof of a waiting shed at the moment of stampede, seeing his mother being trampled by people, rushed and tried to shove the people away from his mother. His mother lived. He himself died.

People rushed to this game show just to alleviate the poverty that was slowly swallowing them. People will take chance on bleak luck. These people view luck as their only hope of surviving. They will not work for three days, even if they didn’t have any food, just to have that little chance of getting richer.

Meanwhile, instead of encouraging productivity, Wowowee encourages gambling and risk taking. Yes, channel 2 devoted its resources on public service yesterday. Why are they stopping now? Is it because the event already gave them free advertisement? Why don’t they just devote everything to public service? Or, as another blog said, public service isn’t enough for ratings?

You see, the real problem is that the government failed to give notice to poverty stricken Filipinos. They were more focused on passing that ‘Extra VAT’, and says that it won’t affect us. Who are they kidding? The added VAT amounts to almost half of the current minimum wage, a real blow to some of our countrymen who are poorer than mice. How can they be so selfish?

These stampede proved how desperate Filipinos are. Must we wait for even more horrifying events?

Meanwhile, Mrs. Megastar herself is rationalizing that God gives us these trials and then expects us to moved on.

All I can say is, leave God out of these. If they bother to read their Bible, they’ll see that it wasn’t God’s fault. It is the fault of those slick politicians determined to get rich, even if they have to step on the poor.”

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~ by rosmant on February 5, 2006.

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