Two sets of values

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag () - December 4, 2006 - 12:00am
Last Friday, December 1, the ANC or the ABS-CBN news channel showed a video clip of arrested Chinese prostitutes and their clients being paraded in public by heavily-armed soldiers of the People's Liberation Army.

I gave myself a two-day waiting period before writing this piece to see if there would be any reaction, any reaction at all, to what ANC showed on national tv. But my two-day waiting period came and went. There was not a peep from any direction.

So, okay, I told myself. Maybe nobody saw the video clip. But trying to convince myself into believing that nobody else saw it except me was like trying to make myself believe that I am in the same league as Bill Gates.

December 1 was the day super typhoon Reming hit just south of Metro Manila with winds of about 200 kilometers per hour. It was the hottest weather news at the time. If anybody wanted to know what was happening, watching tv was the thing to do.

The video clip of the arrested Chinese prostitutes and their clients being paraded publicly by the Chinese Army was shown during a regular morning program that was interrupted every now and then by live updates on the weather. In short, it was very hard to miss the clip.

So I was really surprised why nobody reacted at all. I was particularly waiting for those so-called human rights groups like Gabriela to be screaming all over the place in indignation over the humiliation and indignity to which the prostitutes and their clients were subjected to.

If there was any human rights violation that Gabriela ought not to miss and should have quickly seized and made a loud issue of, I thought that was it. Not only were the prostitutes and their clients paraded in public, their hands were manacled as well.

But all of the so-called human rights groups appeared to have suddenly lost their voice. Was it possible none of their members ever saw the video clip? If we stretch the limits of our credulity, well, maybe. But nah. That is as discomfiting a possibility as mice growing wings.

In all likelihood, the leftist groups saw the incident as something that was not within the ambit of their political advocacy. While the act itself clearly violated human rights, the perpetrators just did not happen to be on their short list of usual suspects.

In that short list are probably only three names - the United States, George W. Bush, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. These are the only names to which it is fashionable to ascribe all human rights violations. Any other violation that cannot be ascribed to them is best ignored.

In the leftist political advocacy, evidence is not an absolute necessity. What is needed is an unflagging capacity to rouse the rabble, boundless energy to exploit the emotions of the poor, and the patience to repeat and sustain a lie until it sounds true.

Thus, even if the United States, George W. Bush and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may deny allegations of human rights abuses, and even if there is no hard evidence to make the allegations stick, you can be sure the leftists would be on their backs just the same.

But because it was China that paraded the prostitutes and their clients in public, not a peep was heard from any leftist organization. Never mind if any fool could see the human rights of those people were violated. China just isn't in the short list of targets of these groups.

Take a look at visiting US forces. Even if their presence in the country is lawful, the leftists always manage to find the occasion and the excuse to make noise. But when China took over Philippine territory in the Spratlys, the leftists probably cheered in secret.

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