INDEED, inviting journalists to have a peek at its country’s social, political, cultural and media practices is no longer a monopoly of the United States of America. The US has its International Visitors’ Program or IVP, a supposed fellowship grant for media people, government officials and other select personalities from certain sectoral groups in other countries, mostly from the Asian and African continents, as beneficiaries.
Of late, China has its own program inviting journalists to their country and allowing them to observe how its media facilities are run as well as see its fast-growing sophistication. In other words, China is showing to the world that it can do as much – or even better –what other countries in the Western hemisphere can do in terms of communication.
Years back, we had some of our media contemporaries in Davao City invited to a tour in China and from their narratives, we know that they were greatly impressed and amazed by what they observed. The same observation is also true with journalists from Davao who attended lately a seminar cum observation tour in Bejing, China.
From where we are perched, we can clearly see that what China is doing now is helping people in other countries better understand its government and its people’s culture. In this manner, we believe that the more discerning leaders of other countries will have a better basis in dealing with China or resolving issues that may conflict with its policies regarding this fast-growing Asian superpower.
After all, there is no better way to come up with a much better and fairer judgment of a country and its people than knowing the truth about it. As American actor Gerard Buttler says: “There are three sides of the story, ‘your side, the other’s side, and the truth’.”
The heinous crime committed against the late lady architect Vlanche Marie Bragas has brought the erstwhile peaceful, almost crime-free Calinan in the third district of Davao City to the limelight. Thus, the once seemingly docile barangay is suddenly thrust into the consciousness of the highly observant people of Davao City.
With the assumption of Barangay Captain Ursi Ungab, the once crazy streets of Calinan proper have been converted into a well-orchestrated rerouting scheme reducing vehicular congestion and defining quite clearly the parking areas for tricycles and public utility jeeps for easier accessibility by commuters coming from and going home to their respective villages.
These policies were initially met with negative reactions from those immediately affected motorists (drivers and commuters). But when some minor adjustments were instituted, the scheme was eventually accepted, and the public realized that the policies actually worked in their favor and convenience.
So the noise brought about by the initially-complained Ungab administration policies eventually died down. All that is left is the smile of satisfaction that finally, order came to the Calinan central area, specifically the vicinity of the public market.
Suddenly, however, all the calm in the barangay got a sudden jolt with its subsequent outcry. The peace was disturbed by an incident, the impact of which has so much intensity – the rape-slay of Calinan’s unsuspecting woman who had lived her life with satisfaction in the barangay for the last 28 years.
The incident created a disturbance of peace in Calinan, like a hornet’s nest being stirred. The grotesque crime suddenly put the police on their feet, although until the writing of this piece, the probe body still remains at the level of having “5 persons of interest” and no suspects yet.
With this current situation in Calinan, we are somewhat at a loss thinking why Barangay Captain Ungab has not issued any statement about the case, even as the victim is already buried. We are certain Calinan residents who expect their Kapitan to manifest his feeling about the incident.
The Kapitan’s words could add up to the police assurance that soon the suspects will be brought to justice and the death of the lady architect put to rest.
Frankly, it is about time the Calinan Barangay chief says his piece on the most heinous crime ever committed in his area of jurisdiction, possibly by one, two or three of his constituents.
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