Cellphone signal cutoff a stupid decision

ABOVE THE BELT | ALEX P. VIDAL

“If I don’t have wisdom, I can teach you only ignorance.”— Leo Buscaglia

NEW YORK CITY — Because of so much paranoia, the local Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership was able to convince the telecommunications companies to halt mobile signals in Iloilo City in the Philippines during the highlights of the 2019 Dinagyang Festival.

While the rest of the world will be busy texting and talking over the mobile phones for the weekend chat, Ilonggos will be muzzled and pushed back inside the dark cave for several hours.

If Ilonggos within Iloilo City and abroad are unable to transmit important text messages and calls to their loved ones from six o’clock in the morning until two o’clock in the afternoon on January 26 and 27, blame the law enforcement authority’s stupid edict, which will only be complied by the telecommunication companies.

If reports were true, even the Internet connections, the most vital of all forms of modern communication worldwide, would be cut off during that period.

The PNP invoked “security measures” for the doltish move.

It’s better to be safe than sorry; or, as they always parroted in the security exercises, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

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In their assessment, if telecommunications are suspended, troublemakers or terrorists with high tech gadgets and deadly weapons will be thwarted and won’t be able to exploit and disrupt the City of Love’s festive atmosphere.

In their thinking, clever bomb experts wont to utilize long-distance or wireless explosives, might strike at random and sabotage the world-renowned religious and cultural festival.

They have imagined the worst possible scenario, and it is part of their job–and paranoia.

If we remember it right, they have done the same display of morbid doubts and fears in the last four stagings of the Dinagyang Festival. 

With more than 2,300 police officers to be deployed within the performance areas and their environs to monitor the peace and order situation on top of the PNP’s vast intelligence network, it’s inconceivable for any high tech amok or terrorist group to breach the police’s security phalanx and create a public mayhem.

The best precautionary measures are still actually sustained sleuthing and monitoring to be done days or hours prior to the two-day highlight events.

Iloilo City is not a security nightmare geographically.

It is surrounded by rivers; and the only way for any determined terrorist or bomb wacko to sneak in is via the parachute.

It appears, however, that the possibility of Extra Terrestrials (E.T.) entering Iloilo City and mixing with the crowd to join the revelry is more possible than the suicide bombers or jihadists succeeding to  detonate an explosive device while the Ilonggos are shouting “Hala Bira!”

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Let’s review the history. Long ago–more than 3,000 years–a band of Greek princes and heroes made a war on the city of Troy, in Asia Minor.

They laid siege to the city, but the Trojans were not easily beaten and the war went on for 10 years.

It might not have ended even then had not Odysseus, the cleverest of the Greeks, devised a scheme to overthrow the city.

The Greeks pretended that they were giving up the siege and began making preparations to leave.

One of the things that they did was to build a gigantic wooden horse.

They left this on the shore, and then went on board their ships and sailed away.

When the Trojans saw the Greek warriors depart, there was great rejoicing.

Believing the horse to be a luck offering to the gods, they opened their gates and hauled the horse inside as a prize of victory.

During the night, however, when the feasting was over and the Trojans were asleep, a door was opened in the side of the hollow wooden animal and out crept a band of Greeks who had been concealed inside.

These men opened the gates of the city and let in the main army of the Greeks, who had sailed back again as soon as darkness had fallen.

Thus Troy was captured and destroyed.

Long ago the blind poet of ancient Greece, Homer, told about the Trojan horse in his Odyssey.


Even today the name is applied to a person or persons who get inside enemy territory and help outside forces to get in and conquer it.

“If I don’t have wisdom, I can teach you only ignorance.”– Leo Buscaglia