Divide and Conquer, Then and Now

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The photo of the crying cop was perhaps the most misunderstood, most overrated, and perhaps the most striking sight as far as the 2013 SONA is concerned. It has to be explained.

As the clash between the protesters and the policemen seared up, a certain PO1 Joselito Sevilla broke down. As his fellow policemen unapologetically acted on their bloodlust, often sugarcoated as the “duty to serve and protect,” he reportedly stood still, sobbing in the middle of the truncheon-hitting frenzy.

When a reporter asked Sevilla why he was crying. “Sa gutom at pagod. Walang tulog. Walang pahinga. Dalawang araw na kaming nakadeploy dito. Tapos, ganito, nagkakagulo,”  he answered,his face tight in a grimace.

The response, assuming that the crying was authentic and not a media gimmick, was a bolt from the blue. We know for a fact that in countless protest  actions, policemen – well-fed and pot-bellied – unfeelingly beat protesters to a pulp. The SONA was not an exception, as expected. The social media networks are now laden with a photo of an old man with a head injury and ablood-drenched shirt. Apparently, old age did not excuse Rudy del Rosario, 77years old, from the righteousness of the Philippine National Police (and eventually, the righteousness of netizens who blame him because he “asked for it.”).

The response explains a lot about the behavior of policemen with a seemingly insatiable desire to beat the daylights out of protesters. For two days, these individuals have been deployed to their stations – completely equipped with hunger and deprived of proper rest. There is no going home until the show is over. The House of Representatives must be protected at all costs from the citizens that, ironically, the representatives claim to serve.  Or else, they will lose their jobs.

These objective conditions created by the volition of individuals managing the PNP had reduced the policemen from being an actual human being down to mere animals incapable of rationalization, devoid of reason and driven by self preservation. The emotional and physical starvation allows the Id to overpower the Superego, such that no amount of rational explanation can ever make sense.

The enemy is the unarmed protesters, whose only crime is to exercise their right to free assembly and free speech. The enemy that is the sole reason they cannot go home to their families, eat a satisfying meal, and assure them that everything will be all right.

In the eyes of the ruling class, those at the upper seats of the parliament and the owners of the biggest and most exploitative businesses, these individuals are nothing but impertinent pawns designed to keep them unharmed by dividing the exploited majority, all the while totally disregarding their human condition and engineering their destruction.

They say that “divide and conquer” is a military strategy of the conquistadors of the past, dividing the area into smaller parts and attacking one at a time or sowing divisiveness among them. But the divide and conquer is still very much alive even in the 21st century. This time,the conquistadors are the ruling class and the divided are the people.

But the time will come when the divided will conspire to overthrow the conquistadors and claim what is rightfully theirs. It is inevitable.

(Note: I and Gidget Estella wrote this. This is not to glorify the police, absolve them of state brutality, or discredit the people’s protest.)

Photo from ABS CBN.com. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/07/23/13/story-behind-crying-cop

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