WE call it mob mentality, this mass behavior that, in our view, has been bullying the bully (Joaquin Quintos, 14) consigning his future to oblivion.
Thank God, there is a minority the likes of esteemed colleague, former senator Rene Saguisag (abalayan na Pangasinan by his marriage to the late Dulce Maramba) who exposed this mentality in his Manila Times column on December 28.
While it was convenient for us to join the blood-thirsty crowd to crucify the young bully, Rene was luminously brilliant in indicting the system that created the bully, not the bully himself who, in Rene’s and our opinion, was a victim himself.
The senator-turned columnist wrote: “Christmas was pushed into irrelevance at a trying time. Ateneo was tested, and, from where I humbly sit, found wanting.”
As a parent like many of you out there, did the bully deserve the public condemnation? There was obvious something wrong somewhere, but did Joaquin Quintos desire the severe punishment?
Better watch your nose, for God would not want us to condemn anyone, much less a young boy whose fault, obviously, was one of towage from parents and teachers.
Who knows, the erring boy could become president of the Philippines someday and we could be playing Nero.
God works in mysterious ways.
We have a habit of reprimanding—or just plain reminding—kins or neighbors or any parent or guardian who would outrightly resort to spanking or shouting at erring kids “when they are in the wrong.” We know that they (the children) are not vulnerable for their behavior. It turns out most often that young ones were mostly playing adult; showing off the nudities—right or wrong—of their parents or guardians that they observe.
So let’s go slow in harming the lost who may not be guilty at the wrongs they are being blame or charged with doing.
In the world records of great men and women, there were those who misbehaved when they were kids. It is common knowledge that the fault lives in the wrong example of adults they see and observe everyday. It is not easy to change their environment at once and all the time, and it behooves us to allow them—these children—enough space for their growing up years.
Symbolic as its name Party-list “Inang Mahal” seeks to restore life especially to those deprived by society’s harmful elements like the battered women, abused mothers, victims of rape, and abandoned children.
One wouldn’t know the depth and extent of this social malady unless he or she has been through the harrowing experience of being one.
For this reason, we find common cause with “Inang Mahal” whose main advocate and chief exposeman is one who has seen it all, Former Rep. Gina de Venecia.
Unlike the other part-list groups, Inang Mahal has a wall defined advocacy and program to uplift the victims of abuses, especially women.