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EDITORIAL - Cats and dogs

(The Freeman) - March 29, 2014 - 12:00am

When the house that communist leaders Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria were renting in San Fernando was searched by authorities following their capture in Alonguinsan, it was discovered that the couple had been keeping a couple of dogs and cats as pets.

Surprisingly, this discovery was given more prominence than the other things found in the house, such as computers and other gadgets. Given almost similar prominence was the fact that no firearms and explosives were found.

It was as if everything boiled down to the cats and dogs, plus the flower garden that surrounded the house. Had the stories about the capture omitted the crucial detail about the couple being communist leaders, the temptation is great to confuse them with Henry and June.

Was there a deliberate attempt, then, to project them in a more humanly normal way as opposed to telling it the way their reputations required? Or did the journalists who covered the story simply missed out on the significant.

Oh yes, it was easy to see the drift, to where the cats and dogs were taking the reader. But oldtimers of  the craft are not likely to buy, much less fall, for such jaded attempts at surprise and contrast. Old tricks of the trade are useful, but must never supplant significance while it lasts.

And so on to the logical question — what happened to the computers and their files? Where have they been taken? What care was given to ensure the integrity of  what they might contain? What expectations have the authorities about what they might find?

Sadly these were missed by a wide mile, leaving the readers with, well, the cats and dogs. And so, as Kurt Vonnegut said in The Sirens of Titan — having traveled this far on a fool's errand, it is only but proper to uphold the honor of fools by completing the errand.

But even more sadly, even that route was a dead end. Nothing came after the cats and dogs. Ahh, the pitfalls of  journalism, the bomb that went pffft, the roses that didn't smell. Just as well that Benny and Wilma (or was it Henry and June) are now in Manila, where even a tricycle collision makes the morning tv news.

AHH ALONGUINSAN BENITO TIAMZON AND WILMA AUSTRIA BENNY AND WILMA CATS COUPLE DOGS HENRY AND JUNE KURT VONNEGUT SAN FERNANDO SIRENS OF TITAN
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