POSTSCRIPT / September 23, 2008 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Dabu on quit calls: Only God can make me resign

DIVINE RIGHTS?: In a recent interview with John Susi of CLTV36, provincial administrator Vivian Dabu of Pampanga, the butt of complaints of cabalens dissatisfied with how the capitolio is managed, said that only God can make her leave her post!

Last Sunday, when asked to react to my Postscript suggestion that she take it upon herself to resign and thereby help save Gov. Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio from an impasse that has been weighing down on the province, Dabu texted back:

“Y shud i even consider dat? If i reli luv pampanga da more i shd stay otherwise shud i resign corrupt pipol will do their ways. Pls send dat 2 federico pascual.”

Poor Among Ed is indeed in deep trouble!

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MOTHER’S PLEA: Now read this letter from Jan Chavez-Arceo, a mother:

Please allow me to share with you an incident that happened to me and my son Ramon while in an elevator in a Makati office building last Sept. 18. A few minutes before 2 p.m., I arrived at Trafalgar Plaza Bldg. where I hold office, coming from my daughter’s Kumon school.

Together with my 11-year-old son, three-year-old daughter and nanny we boarded elevator E to go up to our office on the 7th Floor. The lift was packed but had enough room for my group and a couple more people. As a courtesy to the others who were still coming in, my son moved as far back as he could to give space for me and the others.

I noticed that his back was pressing the tall foreigner behind him, so I cautioned my son to move forward a bit as the man might get hurt or annoyed. But, as I was telling my son this, the foreigner abruptly, with thrusting motion from behind, pushed my son forward and tersely spoke to him with a loud, gruff voice inside the jampacked elevator in front of all the people.

At that point, my son started sobbing already as he moved towards me. This was all happening in front of my daughter!

I confronted the assailant by questioning his behavior, as I was appalled at how a grown man can act so rudely towards a person, much less a child! He justified his action by saying that I was telling my son already to move and he was not listening. I told him that his manner was by no means the proper way to talk to a child nor even an adult. This man did not show any remorse and even seemed indignant.

That was when I had to tell him in front of all those people inside the lift that my son is wired differently and has a different cognitive makeup.

You see, it was very difficult to tell him clearly my son’s cognitive makeup for the reason that I did not want my son to hear how he should be described for that man to better understand why it took a while for Ramon to move. We try our very best to protect our son Ramon from getting affected by the brands and labels people and doctors give his condition without him feeling that he is any less than the other kids his age.

This foreigner, having heard me say that my son was wired differently, did not even show any remorse and did not even bother apologizing nor appeasing my son and just kept staring at the elevator door until my party alighted at my floor.

It was when we reached the reception area of my office that my son cried uncontrollably and said that this person actually knee-kicked him at his behind and it hurt him so much. My son was traumatized by this incident and refused to leave the sofa to even go inside to my executive office. We just sat there for a long time and he just kept crying and saying how painful it was.

(We have cctv video of the incident in the elevator — thanks to the Trafalgar Plaza Security & Admin staff — and photos and video clip of how distraught my son was after the incident.)

This foreigner, we found out, is Michael Cole – reportedly chief technologist of Times Asia holding office on the 21st floor of Trafalgar Plaza Bldg.

We have filed a formal complaint with our building Admin Manager — who has been very responsive — as well as with the office of Makati Councilor Junjun Binay.

Please help us let this Michael Cole and his superiors know that his behavior cannot be tolerated in this country. People, foreigners especially, should not be allowed to behave in such manner in our own country and maltreat our own people, much less a child, regardless of their status or position of power!

I pray that you or your children will not experience this kind of painful incident — when you see your child placed in such a situation and you feel so helpless about it. More than the physical pain, it was the emotional and mental trauma for Ramon (he could not go to the elevators alone after that incident) and my daughter who also witnessed the incident that really concern me.

All these years, Ramon had been very tentative about being in public places and gatherings (even children’s parties!) and normally holds my hand for his sense of security. It took many years of coaching and behavioral therapy sessions (still ongoing) for Ramon to be bolder. This incident can mean a few steps backwards again for him.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of September 23, 2008)

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