Pets exploited in propaganda war
While the turnover of the two puppies and one kitten to an animal NGO in Cebu appears to be a small source of comfort, there is no assuaging the grief caused by the military’s shameless exploitation of cats and dogs in its propaganda war against the Tiamzons.
We share in the distress of actual pet owner Arlene Panea, the 25-year-old caregiver of Wilma Tiamzon, as her pets are endlessly dragged into the fray and used to portray the alleged excesses of the Tiamzon spouses. The dogs Jumbok, Whitney, Luffy, Bonbon, Nimbus, Charcoal, Moshi and the cats Goji, Hattdu, Champoy, and Pandoy are gifts from friends and have been Arlene’s family for over a year now. They have been showered with love and attention, not with expensive pet food and accoutrements as the military maliciously depicts in the media.
Worse, the military is nothing short of duplicitous—it has continually failed to account for Charcoal, a black female mix Shih-Tzu-Dachshund puppy, which was also in the car with Arlene when she was illegally arrested last week. Not only has this caused anguish, this also warrants anger and indignation at the cavalier treatment of the cats and dogs as things you can mercilessly move about, toy around with, or take and steal.
How one treats those who can least defend themselves—animals, children, elders, pregnant women—is a badge of humanity, something which the military has yet to show it possesses as it persists in persecuting those who do try to defend themselves.
Public Interest Law Center;
EDRE U. OLALIA,
of Peoples’ Lawyers,
IAN MANTICAJON, lawyer in Cebu
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