It is said that despite his cruelty to the Jews, Adolf Hitler loved animals.
It is not my intention to ascertain if this is fact or fiction.
It is said that despite her cruelty to the nation, perceived or otherwise, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo loves animals.
It is my intention to ascertain if this is fact or fiction.
And ascertain that it is fact I have already did.
The report says that GMA and her solon-son, Dado have sponsored a bill that seeks to create a national registry for pets.
Pretty soon, “every dog and in the country will be identified and registered”
When the mutt goes missing and if mama or papa goes seeking, government will make sure that the poor animal can be found.
Unless of course the pet is already snug inside the dough of cat siopao or swimming in a sea of tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots, cooked caldereta style by the neighborhood drunks.
“Namit sumsuman ido ba galing prisohon na ta sina pare kon madakpan kita?” asked my friend, Kusog Panday, when I told him about the proposal of Gloria.
I explained to him that the bill, once passed, will lead to the putting up of a lost and found section of sorts for pet owners.
The ABS-CBN report quoted Arroyo as saying that the “rising cases of missing animals” prompted him and her hijo to file House Bill 1577 that mandates the setting up of the “Missing Pets and Found Strays Database.”
The report reads further:
Should a missing pet end up in the registry’s care, the pet will be immediately identified, and shelters, veterinarians, pet organizations and individuals will be able to notify the owner immediately, said Arroyo.
The registry will store a pet’s online profile with veterinary or medical records, emergency contacts, tattoos, photos, histories, medical logs, and certifications.
“The Missing Pets and Found Strays Database should be equipped with a search engine so that all reports of lost pets can be uploaded and categorized, enabling users to find possible matches. The database would be readily accessible through the Internet,” Arroyo added.
She also said that the website will have a link to organizations such as the Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA), Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PWB), Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) and Philippine Canine Club, Inc.
The website, according to the bill, is to be established and maintained by the director of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Pet owners and pet lovers have reason to rejoice at this bill.
Especially if your pet is a mastiff or a pit bull that sells for thousands of pesos, surely the government’s help must be enlisted in finding the mutt.
I have no quarrel with animal lovers. I had several dogs when I was young. They were all the askal type. Feed them scraps and they’d be happy.
“Ay! Ti para lang na ya gali sa mga ido nga malahalon; si Tiyo Poldo daw wala man ya gapalibog kon madula ang arikison ya nga ido nga si Piolo (That would only be for pet owners who have expensive dogs; Tiyo Poldo does not worry if his dog, Piolo, gets missing),” Kusog tells me in between sips of coffee.
Kusog might not know it but he was hinting at the issue of class legislation. For indeed, the ordinary masa in the hinterland would not bother going to the banwa just to report that Vilma, Nora or Tirso got lost while they were out hunting for monitor lizards.
I left Kusog still pondering on the implications of the bill and I did some ponderings on my own.
Then I read the letter of Jonas Burgos’ mother, Editha, to Major Harry Baliaga.
“Harry, listen to the innermost voice of your heart and correct the wrong done to this mother. Tell me where I can find my son,” Edith tells Baliaga who is the only middle-level official of the Armed Forces to have been implicated in a case of enforced disappearance.
Jonas, of course, is the son of the late press freedom icon Jose Burgos whose newspaper, Malaya, published stories critical of the Marcos regime at a time when darkness blanketed the country.
But it is not only Jonas who is missing.
There are scores more, even hundreds more who have disappeared during term of GMA.
There are scores, even hundreds of wives, husbands, children, loved ones and friends who continue to hope and wait that the day would come when the desaparecidos would show up at the door.
And wait they do until now.
But they have no one to run to.
They have no one to ask. The families of the missing cannot access a national registry that would allow them to find a kin, a loved one or a friend.
In fact they cannot ask government for during the reign of GMA, the mere suspicion that you are a sympathizer of the Left can earn you a listing in the Armed Forces’ order of battle, a case from the police or worse.
There is no faintest memory of GMA even clutching the hand of a grieving widow or visiting a bereaved mother, like Editha Burgos.
While she is known for lashing out at inept bureaucrats, even showing her temper on national television, I have no memory, not even the faintest one, of GMA declaring that it is not her government’s policy to abduct, maim, torture or kill civilians like Jonas Burgos.
GMA is now concerned with missing pets. She was not the least concerned for those of her own species who have gone missing through the years.
If the current government’s “daang matuwid” is really a different path from the road to plunder and murder of the previous one, then P-Noy should make sure that the lost can be found and that justice will not be interred with the dead.