The repercussions continue. As the 2006 Pamulinawen fiesta and INNHS centennial celebrations draw to a conclusion, hundreds of visitors have begun to leave. In fact, many have cut short their itineraries due to the suspension of PAL flights. Despite the severe inconveniences and serious implications, there has still been no official condemnation of the incident which had led to the PAL pullout. Sources reveal that the harassment of a PAL employee is not an isolated incident. There have been similar incidents of bullying and harassment directed not only at PAL but elsewhere as well. This is all indicative of a pattern of irresponsible and uncivilized behavior, perpetuated by this single person, because no one has risen to speak out against him. In a sense, we are all responsible because we have allowed this unfortunate behavior to continue without taking action. We must act if only to ensure that such similar incidents never again happens.
Perhaps one reason why Laoag has not progressed is due to the climate of fear and anxiety generated by the inappropriate actuations of this man, or of his like. How can we convince investors to come in when a major company has pulled out? How can we convince tourists to come when we cannot even protect those who live and work here? To a large extent, it is this pattern of harassment which has led to this grossly negative perception. It is doubly imperative that we must act, for this man’s inappropriate actions now have consequences impinging no longer on an individual level but on a scale affecting the city, the province, and the region.
It is disappointing that some sectors of the media continue to condone the perpetuation of this pattern of abusive behavior by covering-up this latest unfortunate act of harassment. In fact, some of these so-called mediamen are doing the people a disservice by obfuscating and confusing the issue.
The main issue here is why did PAL abruptly suspend flight operations thus inconveniencing and stranding thousands. The implications are simple - the withdrawal of PAL is going to deter potential investors from coming to the city and the province. The harassment of a PAL employee is going to put fear in the hearts of people who may wish to work here, or in the case of the tourist, wish to visit here.
The actions of this so-called mediamen will only serve to encourage a perpetuation of this pattern of abusive behavior; this abusive behavior has already had serious negative effects on the development of the city, province, and region. These same people proclaim themselves to be the bearers of the truth and they proclaim to support and promote the continued progress of the city and the province. Yet, their actions are in direct contradiction. Are they misleading the public because of fear, or money?
A passage in the good book refers to our Lord’s condemnation of the hypocrites. These so-called mediamen are the modern-day hypocrites, the false prophets of the information age.