Taho atbp.
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR - Singkit (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

As I write this, the saga of the Chinese student who threw a taho tantrum continues to unfold. After being brought from the scene of the crime at the MRT station to the Mandaluyong police station and charged with several offenses including assault, she was allowed to post bail and released. She apologized for her bad be- havior, saying she was just in a bad mood.

But as she stepped out of the police station, she was picked up – “abducted,” said her lawyer, physically carried away by some burly men – by agents of the Bureau of Immigration for alleged violation of immigration laws and being an undesirable alien. She is, as of now, being held at the BI detention center in Bicutan.

Being a Tsinoy, I have been asked what I think about this sordid case, since it involves a Chinese, as well as two other equally sordid cases also involving Chinese – a guy groped three girls in a ride in an amusement center in Pasay City and another guy was throwing things and injuring diners in a restaurant in Alabang.

The first thing I will point out is that these are Chinese nationals, not Tsinoys, and as I have often said and will always insist on, there is a difference – a big difference – between the two.

Having cleared that up, these are people behaving badly – against the law, against common decency and civility. That they are all Chinese nationals is unfortunate, but really, beside the point. Nationals of other countries have in the past similarly displayed bad behavior. Whatever your nationality, whatever shape or shade you are and whatever state you’re in – bad mood, bad hair or bad breath – if you violate the law, you answer for it and suffer the consequences – plain and simple. But of course, in real life in these here shores nothing’s ever simple, even when it’s plain.

So what to make of this soap opera? Let me share some thoughts from a member of one of my Viber groups, this one of fellow Tsinoys. This friend, who is moving back to Manila for good in April after living in Hong Kong for the last decade or so, wrote: “Anyone get the feeling this is turning into a circus? On the one hand, she deserves punishment for what she did. On the other hand, as attention seems to intensify around her, it might reach the point where she will lash back. And it will be a case of she said, police said (or BI or whoever went to re-arrest her).”

Earlier in the conversation, she had written: “Bad mood doesn’t excuse what she did though. It’s abusive behavior. But it doesn’t rise to the level of deportation, in my opinion. But it shows lack of restraint, and she’s not a child.”

I don’t know what else will have unraveled by the time you read this on a fine Sunday morning, but whatever has happened and may happen, this is disgustingly ridiculous. At this point I’m not sure which is more disgusting and ridiculous – this saga or the candidates and campaign that have now been unleashed upon us.

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