Most abused, harassed during the lockdown

By Alex P. Vidal

“If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.” —Zora Neale Hurston

NOW that most areas in the country have been declared as under the general community quarantine (GCQ), it’s time for the Ilonggos and the Filipinos in general to rejuvenate, move on and leave behind the specter of the novel coronavirus with extreme caution.

Most of us can now slowly inch our way back to normal life and begin to restructure our mothballed jobs and productive activities but without throwing caution to the wind.

Health and safety measures should continue to be our main priorities even if our movements will now be unshackled albeit limited.

We can’t allow the pandemic to forever snatch away our enthusiasm to sustain and live the kind of life we basically aspire.

Everything will come to pass, but we can’t subdue the novel coronavirus overnight and celebrate prematurely.

There is still a need for us to do a little sacrifice and show that we belong in one community.

There’s no shortcut to a total liberation.

Everything must undergo a series of trials and failures, if necessary, before a full plateau or dream recovery from the pandemic nightmare is reached.

Nevertheless it should be the right time to shed away the psychological and emotional anxieties inflicted by that harrowing lockdown that temporarily separated us from the “real” world.




The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) are the most overworked and harassed agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Like the public school teachers during the election day, the cops and military men were the favorite punching bags and scapegoats of just anyone wishing to violate the laws and guidelines on the quarantine and lockdown during the crisis.

Instead of being accused of bullying, the men and women in uniform were the ones who were bullied and ridiculed in the checkpoints for doing their job.

During the pandemic, the men and women in uniform have been away from their families manning the checkpoints 24/7 to see to it that the enhanced social distancing and lockdown guidelines were strictly observed.

What they got in return for implementing the laws and helping contain the spread of the coronavirus were brickbats, insults, among other forms of harassment from uncooperative and quick-tempered law violators.

We saw a lot of viral videos where arrogant individuals, after disregarding the guidelines on the social distancing and the wearing of mask, would physically attack the cops and military personnel manning the checkpoints after lashing at them like kindergarten pupils.

Despite their audacity and abhorrent behaviors, our uniformed law enforcers managed to control themselves and refused to retaliate using a force to neutralize the law offenders—except if they have become uncontrollable and were really looking for trouble.

Nowadays if we meet a cop or a military man in the streets—with our without the lockdown—let’s not forget to thank or congratulate them not only for a job well done, but also for their heroism in helping contain the spread the contagious virus.




MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) has tasted its baptism of fire of a public wrath after the Ilonggo consumers experienced a nerve-tingling 13-hour power blackout over the weekend in Iloilo City.

It was probably the longest power interruption experienced by the Ilonggo populace ever since More Power scored a blitzkrieg against rival Panay Electric Company (PECO) in a series of court battles since 2019.

The Ilonggos are ruthless and unforgiving when it comes to protesting against any power outage.

They have had enough in many years of being under the mercy of the power distributor.

They don’t care anymore if it is PECO or More Power that provides them electric services. Just give them a fair deal and they won’t give a damn which power company to acknowledge.

All they want is efficient service and unhampered power distribution. Anything less would mean an apocalypse of verbal denunciation.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)