MY BIG MOUTH by Ramon Tulfo
There is no doubt about how controversial my ongoing issue with the PGH and its emergency room doctors have become.
Here are some matters I wish to point out.
First, I chose the Philippine General Hospital because it is one of the best trauma hospitals in the country.
I have donated to the hospital, I have helped patients, and I have sent those in need of medical care to its doors.
I did not expect special treatment, but I did expect a certain standard of reception, respect, and concern from the doctors and nurses.
In fact, a few other doctors who helped us out were very professional and knew how to instill confidence in their abilities as doctors.
Second, my outburst was one of pure concern for the child.
Even if one understood there was a system to determine which patient should be prioritized, would you accept that calmly, if you were really concerned for a person who is in your charge?
Talagang nataranta ako dahil nagsusuka ang bata noong papunta na kami sa ospital.
Sinabihan pa ako na ang importante ay hindi makatulog ang bata.
Nakita ko ang mga apo ko sa mukha ng bata.
Siyempre, talagang handa ako makipaglaban para sa bata!
Third, it is part of a doctor’s job to handle not only the patients, but also their loved ones or guardians.
A doctor should always address all parties respectfully, and with the confidence and understanding so that people on the other side of the desk can also remain calm.
I did not feel that at all during that fateful night.
Yes, the doctor in charge probably had a long shift, or had an eventful night.
But that does not excuse a doctor from respectfully engaging not only the patients, but their guardians and loved ones as well.
That is why I acted as I did. How can one not be frustrated?
The incident opened my eyes not only to the issues with doctors, but also to the healthcare system itself.
When we were there, there were patients sleeping on the sidewalks all around the emergency room entrance.
When we were there, patients lined the hallways.
Aside from the doctors, I feel that the government should give more funding to the whole healthcare system, particularly the hospitals and medical schools.
They should also give more classes in how to respectfully handle people, not just patients, if you know what I mean.
Now, for those who say that I should not have recorded the video, I will say this: As a journalist, it is my training to collect evidence, be it photographs, documents, or videos.
Remember, this is the age of social media; everyone who records events for posterity is a journalist.
It is my training as a member of the Fourth Estate, the Press, to make sure we have footage.
It is our job and duty to observe and to take note of all that happens.
Again, I would like to apologize to other patients who were disturbed.
As for all the offended doctors and other parties, rather than fighting me online, meet me in person, and let’s talk.
I am a direct man, and I am not one for pretty words.
I will listen to people who are willing to tell me what’s on their mind in person.
Who knows, we can even be friends.
If there are serious concerns about government medical facilities and personnel, then let us all be man enough to really sit down face-to-face.
Let us talk about how we can help healthcare in the Philippines.
When we talk about Philippine democracy, Ninoy Aquino’s assassination will somehow come up.
I’ve already written in my On Target column in the Inquirer that he could have masterminded his own murder, because he was already dying.
Ninoy was prophetic in his description of his supposed upcoming death, even predicting that his assassin would be shot in return.
He knew that his bulletproof jacket would be useless.
He knew he would be shot in the head.
Some people will probably ask, but Mon, how can that be? No one is that crazy!
Let me tell you, crazier things have been done in this world.
The reason why Ninoy was in the U.S.A. was that it was humanitarian gesture from Marcos, since he needed to have a complicated heart surgery to survive.
And if he stayed in another country, he would be a footnote in history
On the other hand, if he could die as the martyr, then his place in history would be secure.
Now, we all know of Ninoy’s bombastic, outspoken personality, because it is what put him in prison in the first place.
It is hard to imagine that he would have preferred a quiet death.
I would say that the right phrase for Ninoy, given all of what he said before he died, is that he knew too much about his own death.
In fact, he was preparing people to expect his death, like it was some spectacle.
It’s too convenient, and because of that, the idea of Ninoy orchestrating his own death could be an inconvenient truth.
If you think about it, it sounds more plausible than having premonitions and talking about how it would all be over in three to four minutes, as he said.
Some people say that he lost the game.
I propose that he won the game, by playing his cards in the way that most people will never expect.
It’s just like in chess.
Sometimes, the lowest piece, the pawn, can move forward and become a queen.
To do that, you sometimes have to sacrifice other more powerful pieces.
But when the pawn becomes the queen, the game really changes.
So, who killed Ninoy?
It may be that he won the game by killing himself.
Some people create more enemies than friends while in power. Photo from http://www.wikipedia.org.
In the past, whenever a new Pope was announced in the Roman Catholic Church, he was carried in a throne. through Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The procession would stop three times, and in each stop, a person would tell him, “Pater Sancte, sic transit gloria mundi,” or “Holy Father, so passes worldly glory.”
This was a reminder that all things in this life were temporary, including power and fame.
It is an important reminder for anyone in a prominent position in religion or politics.
The honor of serving others is given to those who are trusted by the people.
That is why votes are very important for democracy.
It shows how people trust that a person will act in their best interests.
It is also the reason power can be taken away once trust is lost.
Even if one holds on to the position, once the trust is lost, then the power will fade, the position lost.
That is why it is important not to abuse power, to respect it and treat it as a tool given to help others.
Our politicians and government officials should always keep in mind that they are the ones we have entrusted with power.
Many of them should not be too attached to it, and remember that it is temporary.
What is more important is that they should do the best they can for the people.
The words of my friend, Ric Lim, who has since passed over, keeps ringing in my ears as if he said them only minutes ago: “When you’re in power, cultivate many friends and try to make no enemies.”
Otherwise, karma will dictate how things will happen, and it can be very cruel.
Perhaps the only thing that will last longer than power is a good name, a good reputation.
Speaking of power and all things being temporary, the internet is a place where everything recorded seems to have a permanent place.
It is very disappointing to see video recordings where police officers abuse their power repeatedly.
How can we trust officers of the law, if they are the ones we are afraid of, for all the wrong reasons?
These officers are wasting the goodwill and trust of the people.
If they have broken the law, then they should be disciplined, charged, or fired. And if they resist arrest, kill them.
If we want to build a better future, then all these problems should be addressed.
This is why I am happy that Police Chief Superintendent, acting chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Guillermo Lorenzo “Guilor” Eleazar is there to teach these erring officers a lesson.
His record of accomplishment since his assumption of office on June 4, 2018, shows a man who is willing to clean house, to restore the reputation of the Philippine National Police.
He needs our support, because we need more men like him in service of the law.
Our vision of a just and fair society deserves to be permanent, not something that will fade away.