Monday, February 13, 2006

THE ULTRA STAMPEDE

It is unfair for the fact-finding body looking into the ULTRA stampede to fast-track the investigation and try to pin the blame on one side only. Admittedly, ABS-CBN has some responsibility in the tragedy, but I have to put in my two cents worth on this. A week before the actual event, people were already lining up at the ULTRA. Documents from ABS-CBN show that they asked for "ample assistance" from the police. But even without such a request, the mere fact that it was visible to the naked eye that the number of people were growing as the days progress should have been enough for the police to have coordinated with the organizers and volunteer for assistance. That is the duty of our police—to serve and to protect. Why does it now appear that the police is claiming that the crowd control management be decided upon by the event organizers alone? The street is fair game… it is a public area that is the responsibility of the local government and the police force of Pasig City. I am very familiar with that particular gate of ULTRA. I have been in and out of that gate for years because two of my sisters used to work for SHAPE Center which is just at the end of that sloping path. It is not true that the path is not suitable for pedestrians. It is not as steep as is being portrayed by some people. Now we have the security forces of ULTRA and ABS-CBN pointing fingers at each other. The militant groups have joined the bandwagon to blame the government for the stampede! Incredible! Why can't we accept the fact that the stampede happened because we Filipinos lack discipline? We can be sure that this is not the end of the hooplah regarding the stampede. Soon, Congress and the Senate will ask for an investigation "in aid of legislation". Just a thought: How many laws were actually passed as a result of investigations in aid of legislation? Or maybe it is in aid of re-election? It is easy to put in our 2 cents worth. After all, hindsight has 20-20 vision. My God, are we that thick to admit that it was everyone else's fault except ours? God help us all!