THE ONLINE version of Vox Bikol is not yet updated, but columnist Fr. Andrew Recepcion has penned a gem entitled "Dark night in the Philippines."
The expression "dark night" is traced to St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle which is characterized as "a period of intense purification in which the soul seems to feel abandoned by God." The same is true with the Philippines, he argued. But let me zoom in on the following paragraph:
One of my foreigner friends who have been living here in the Philippines for the past fifteen years sent me a text message a couple of weeks ago about the most organized criminal organizations in the world. The text message enumerated a long list of criminal organizations by country, including the Italian and Chinese mafia, etc. I was about to delete the message but my attention was caught by the last item on the list of the world's criminal organizations -- Philippines: Government! I was amused but I thought that from a foreigner the Philippine government could be perceived as the most organized criminal organization in the Philippines today.Juxtapose that with the open letter written by the leading lights of the Naga City society to President Arroyo -- which appears on page 8 of today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer -- and what do you get?
Clearly, the "dark night" has come to the "Maogmang Lugar" itself, with the PNP regional leadership -- whose officer-in-charge is backed by Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte -- not only doing nothing, but authoring the breakdown of peace and order itself!
Two days ago, the "dark night's" latest manifestation came at high noon. The incident described in the letter's post script is still fresh in our minds -- the robbery of Jollibee Panganiban in broad daylight, which claimed two lives in the process.
That foreigner's text message was probably originally intended as a joke, but this cruel joke is clearly on us.