Thanks to a book titled Principles by Ray Dalio, I’m writing down my set of principles.
This thing is a work in progress and my basis for my actions and decisions. As time goes by, I’ll update my principles and their wording for (more) clarity—which anyone is welcome to use.
Well, here is version 1 of my principles.
- Mostly, I consider the public’s welfare at large above my own. By demonstrating that princple, I hope to show care and consideration for others even if they don’t.
- I strive to understand others as I learned how easy it is to be wrong about them.
- I ask feedback even if it hurts, so long as it’s honest and grounded in truth.
- I reserve judgment when I can.
- I tell people to tell me if I’m judging them harshly or without basis of fact.
- People judge. Unfortunately, some people (including me) misjudge.
- I help others when I can in some way, without compromising myself.
- People interpret as they see fit. While I can’t change how or what they interpret, always at that, I can ask them to clarify if ever.
- My own rule of thirds (that I learned from a media professional named Gerard Braud): a 3rd of people will agree with you, a 3rd won’t or will even despise you, and another 3rd will be undecided. Thus, the undecided is who I’ll attend to 1st.
Those are my principles for now. I’ll revisit them as time goes by, then update when needed.
Feel free to use the principles above or share yours.
I see people have been raging why the outrage for Kian Loyd delos Santos and not for victims of drug addicts. That’s so unfair, as those people say.
Maybe they’re right.
Some even cite an incident in Bulacan last June as a recent example of the lack of outrage for victims. Reports indicate a suspect or suspects, under the influence of drugs, raped two family members out of five before killing all of them. Based on that last sentence alone, people should feel outrage.
So what gives?
Now, I have some ideas (and some questions) that might help to make some sense of all this. But before I go on, let me be clear about a few things:
First, I write this post to express and not to impress.
Second, I write for what people want to know rather than what they want to hear.
Third, I write not to please anyone or any other interests but to share.
I might be wrong especially out of overthinking, any of you might be right somehow, no worries as long as all of us understand each other—and seek to understand this thing better.
Outrage, Then What?
Plenty of outrage to go around, really. Outrage for Kian, for drug addicts’ victims, for every other tragedy here that occurred.
On that Bulacan incident, by the way: if some of the comments here, here and here (which I know aren’t the best examples) are any indication, some people did express the same for those victims. Just not as much as the one generated by Kian’s tragedy.
At the least, we outrage for the sheer…outrage of the tragedy, which shouldn’t happen but did.
Is that all, though? Or we do such because, say, we want someone to do something about the tragedy?
If we want someone to do something about, say, that Bulacan incident, then we can rest assured that someone did. To be exact, police have a suspect in custody and charged that person. That’s what police should do in that instance, right?
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem the case with Kian. Worse is what happened to him can befall anyone as has befallen 27 other minors.
So unlike outrage towards a tragedy caused by drug addicts or similar, this one occurred due to people in authority. People entrusted by the public for protection, for safety, for peace and order. Even if some of them go rogue for whatever reason, then the government should pursue them—and drug suspects or other criminals—to assure the public that it’s handling the situation.
At least, that last part is what’s supposed to happen.
Is All This Unfair?
Yes, all this isn’t fair.
What happened to drug addicts’ victims isn’t fair. What happened to Kian isn’t fair, too.
I suppose Kian’s tragedy fueling outrage during the past few weeks over drug addicts’ victims isn’t fair as well. Last I checked, though, all that isn’t some competition for attention (albeit some people might put it that way). The government is attending to both of those and then some aside from its other problems.
What might help is to remember why all of it happened in the first place and what should happen after that.
So when a drug addict or more victimizes someone, then the government via its police should go after them. If the police victimizes someone, then the government should also go after the former. In either or both instances, can people trust the government to do its job?
And when a tragedy occurs, I hope people do more than just outrage.
Hours ago, videos circulated online wherein a Philippine National Police (PNP) vehicle ran over some protesters—something that should not happen under any circumstance.
I’m no expert, but I think people expect their officials to handle such an incident with care and speed. How PNP officials handled the whole thing, however, leaves much to be desired.
Subsequent news reports (and the accompanying outrage in various Facebook pages) about PNP and the event don’t help the organization any.
How The Event Transpired
According to the news, groups of people rallied at the US Embassy in Manila to protest American intervention in the Philippines. Reports said protesters were going to conclude their rally when police began to disperse the former.
Expectedly, a clash occurred. Police set off tear gas, while some protesters threw paint bombs and rocks. And then the unthinkable occurred: someone drove a police vehicle that ran over some people.
Bad enough the driver controlled the vehicle to go backwards when it overran some individuals, but the person then drove it forward that went over other people who tried to block it.
It’s a miracle that nobody died. Still, the fact that someone drove over scores of people was enough to draw outrage.
How A PNP Official Responded
Just when the thing couldn’t get any bad, looks like it got a bit worse if going by news stories as they publish.
One Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) story caught my eye: a PNP official responded to PDI via text message. Part of the person’s response?
“Hindi naman sila sinagasaan (They weren’t run over). The rallyists were trying to flip over the patrol car.”
Um, didn’t look that way from the number of videos about the incident.
If the comments in media outfits’ and individuals’ social media accounts are any indication, plenty of people raged about the event. I won’t be surprised if that rage grew when the police official’s response came out in the news.
(Some media professionals I learned from have a term for that police official’s response: tone-deaf, meaning that person doesn’t understand—much more appreciate—other people’s concerns or difficulties.)
How the PNP Can Respond
Or maybe should, though that’s up to the PNP.
Granted, the PNP has no easy way to handle this kind of situation. What I’m about to suggest is also easier said than done, even though I base much of that on my work experiences and lessons I learned from other people in other disciplines.
The first thing PNP can do is to acknowledge the incident despite how it happened. In my experience of doing customer service for some online companies, people want someone to acknowledge their problems or incidents that affected them. They want to be acknowledged, to be heard, to know that someone actually cares somehow despite how they feel.
The police here can acknowledge the fact that someone (one of theirs as other videos later showed) drove the vehicle that injured people, rather than maybe deny especially when “evidence” shows otherwise.
I understand some people won’t be too happy when I say this, but acknowledging an incident doesn’t always equate to admitting fault. An idea here is one should let others know he or she is at least aware of the situation.
But yes, one ought to acknowledge his or her fault and even apologize for it if ever—which looks like a must in this case.
The next thing for police is, of course, to do something that can regain the public’s trust. Again, easier said than done especially when the public seems cynical towards the government. Who can blame them?
What I suggest next is perhaps a bold one for PNP: announce a temporary suspension of sorts for those involved (or put whoever in “floating status” as our police officials usually say for such a situation.)
Two reasons for the above suggestion. One, that action shows the police know what they’re doing while acknowledging the public’s sentiment. Two, it displays some degree of accountability that people expect of those in government.
And of course, police should investigate this incident and ensure the victims receive care.
I doubt I need to suggest this to PNP, but they ought to provide a full report in public at the soonest possible time. The sooner they complete their investigation, the sooner they can report about it, the sooner they can (re)assure the public can trust the organization despite what happened.
On that note, I also suggest PNP hire a communications or media professional if they haven’t. Preferably, a person or a group specializing in crisis communications and management. Looks like they need one, though hopefully not for “spinning” an event unfavorable to them.
How To Bring All This Together
PNP, or pretty much any organization for that matter, has lots of lessons any of them can take from this latest crisis.
Especially when a crisis occurs that has a material effect on people, an organization should acknowledge the situation. Then, that organization should apologize especially if an investigation shows the former has some responsibility. Last but not least is to act on the situation that shows one addresses it or does something, whatever “it” is.
Other news reports show the President—despite being in China—is aware of the situation, something the police can (or should?) handle without any prompt from higher-up.
Again, I acknowledge that PNP here has no easy solution for this incident. If history is any indication, however, the organization is no stranger to such a thing.
Update: National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) relieves nine officers involved in the incident.
Because of many people’s behavior for the past few years, time to put out my new and first comment policy.
I’ll make my comment policy as clear and simple as I can. When circumstances and time allow, I’ll put out a more comprehensive version in the future.
Alright, here’s the policy.
1. Be respectful. Disagree if you want, but show respect—especially if you want others to show you the same.
2. Don’t spam.
3. Don’t post hateful comments, especially when using an alias. I might delete such comments without warning.
4. Expect a ban if you insist on violating #3.
5. Contact me here if you have questions or concerns. I respond when I can, so expect a delay—or even none.
And most important of all:
Think before you click.
Unlike a conversation in person, all of us have plenty of time to think before we speak. Or click in this case.
I will update my comment policy as time goes by. Things change, after all, and so must each of us.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed as a saying goes. Thus, consider yourself such.