Undersecretary Marius Corpus’s emotional remarks, made when he presented (or, rather, displayed a copy of) the DILG-led factfinding committee’s report yesterday, managed to do the otherwise improbable: They turned ABS-CBN into the victim. He has since sought to explain his outburst, and even apologized to the network. But the "damage," in this strictly limited context, has been done.
(Note to other civil servants tempted by the possibilities of spontaneity: It does no good to blame someone for treating certain people "like animals," and then, in the same breath, to compare those same people to "a pack of hungry wolves.")
Not having read the committee report, I can only go by descriptions of it and excerpts from it as have appeared in the papers or on TV. If the report has not been mischaracterized, then I’m afraid the committee may have missed the true cause. It could not have been the announcement that only 300 tickets were going to be distributed; in the first place, the fact that there was an announcement is itself in dispute. And (government mentality aside), what is an organizer to do if in fact there are not enough seats left? Last Sunday, Corpus pointedly asked ABS-CBN executives why they didn’t let more people in. Perhaps because there was no more space?
I think blaming the organizer for making the necessary announcement misses the point. Such an announcement would have been unpopular, but Corpus and the rest of the committee seem to have mistaken unpopularity for culpability. But surely the responsibility lies in the lack of adequate measures to support such an announcement?