‘Inhuman’ reaction to ‘taho’ thrower
The way the “taho”-throwing Chinese woman was treated by the media and government agencies was unreasonable. It is a typical reaction of us Filipinos toward people and events—emotional, ready to fuse oneself into a snowball of anger. Throwing her behind bars in our inhospitable jails was bad enough, but to spread her photos in that condition, wearing a yellow prisoner’s shirt, was more inhuman than the offense for which she was punished.
This brings to mind an old column of Ambeth Ocampo. “Elpidio Quirino’s act of faith in humanity” (6/22/16) was about the late president’s decision to grant executive clemency to 52 Japanese prisoners of war who had committed war crimes. They had been repatriated to Japan in July 1953 where they would spend the rest of their lives in jail, their death sentences having been commuted.
President Quirino did something unexpected in December of the same year, just before he stepped down from office—the granting of clemency.
How could a president who had seen his wife and three children killed by the Japanese take such a step?
Ocampo quoted part of President Quirino’s statement: “I am happy to have been able to make this spontaneous decision as head of a Christian nation. My fervent hope is that the benevolent feeling which has inspired me will strike a responsive chord in others as an act of faith in humanity. Love of fellow creatures will always be the supreme law among men and nations, and the basis of world peace.”
LUIS P. SUPAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
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