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Saturday, December 2, 2023

COVID-19 makes the government a laughingstock

"Where is the logic in this madness?"

The military- and police-driven lockdowns and other measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19 have made the government the laughingstock not only by its citizens but by the world.


At the outset, a sundown-to-sunset curfew was imposed (it has been reimposed). No one but only those authorized like the implementers were allowed to go around during curfew hours prompting wags to comment, “Does the virus do night shift?”

Come to think of it, they have a point. If the idea behind the curfew is to prevent the disease from spreading, why is it that it is the people who are prevented from going around?

Hyperactive village officials, in furtherance of their mission to make life harder for the already harried citizen – oops, make that read “to further prevent the disease from spreading” — barricaded certain streets.

The idea is to establish chokepoints to enable them to easily control the movement of people. Again those with a sense of humor asked: The virus does not need the streets to move around. So while the people remained where they were, the nasty virus merely went on its merry way and infected tens of thousands.

And to put icing on the melting cake called the anti-COVID-19 campaign, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases led by military and police official–many of whom are already retired from the uniform services but just like worn out tires–retreaded as “civilian officials” let loose hordes of soldiers and policemen all wearing battle dress uniforms in various designs of camouflage all over the country including Metro Manila, the seat of the “civilian supreme” government.

To refresh the memory of these officials, the idea behind the use of camouflage is to make oneself hard to be seen by naked eye. This attire, depending on the design, is to make one “blend” with the surroundings, thus hard to see.

Now, you see policemen in Metro Manila wearing digital olive green camouflage. Do they use this clothing to make themselves invisible to the virus? It looks like it doesn't work as thousands of them have also been infected.

Even during the darkest days of martial law in the 1970s, military and police personnel in Metro Manila wore regular office uniforms. Now, everybody, from the Chief, Philippine National Police and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces parade around wearing battle dress uniforms. Whom are they girding to fight? The Chinese who are grabbing our small islands left and right? Or an unseen virus? Or are the camouflage uniforms another props to make civilians cower in fear?

The idea of the martial law implementers of the 1970s was to make the people, the civilians, think that everything was normal. Rights were already being violated, the enforcers need not rub that on the face of the population.

But I am digressing.

What is the use of assigning camouflage-clad personnel to man checkpoints? Those installations are supposed to be very visible and you send there someone wearing attire that will make him hard to see. Where is the logic in this madness?

As for the Navy, why is it that even the sailors are in camouflage? To make them harder to see if they ever fall overboard ships?

The Air Force also joined the charade. Its personnel including the flight crew are, yes, in various shades of camouflage. Even its trucks are in digital blue camouflage paint.

Thus, the rescue of survivors or worse, the recovery of the bodies of flight personnel in the event of a crash will be next to impossible because of the clothes they are wearing. I wonder what the flyboys/girls are thinking.

And so, as the virus continues to spread and infect more people, and as the basic rights of the people continue to be curtailed apparently without expected results, the only thing left for you and me is to laugh until we cry.


Mr. Pelayo is a former news editor of Daily Mirror.

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