‘An eye for an eye’—send the firemen, not the fishermen

By Alex P. Vidal

“Where I come from we believe in an eye for an eye. That’s what we do. That’s just the way it is.”—Terence Crawford

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should leave alone our fishermen.

They go to the deep sea to catch fish to feed their families and provide for the civilian populace that buys fish in the wet markets. In other words, the fisherfolks are non-combatants.

They have nothing to do whatsoever with the military and diplomatic conflicts between the Philippines and China.

Deploying them as “naval reservists to match the Chinese maritime militia in the West Philippine Sea” as suggested by AFP chief Romeo Brawner Jr. won’t be a wise move on the part of the Philippine Government.

Brawner Jr. is fundamentally wrong here. Fishermen can never match the Chinese maritime militia anywhere or in any sea.

Chinese military—or the mighty coast guard deployed to harass ships from small countries like the Philippines and Vietnam—is one the most powerful and well-equipped in the world.

Pitting our fishermen versus the well-trained and highly armed and sophisticated adversary and emerging as dead heroes is only in the movies.

They will not only end up as a laughingstock, they will also be massacred in the most unlikely event.


It will also expose our Armed Forces, especially the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), as weakling and incompetent.

The enemies will think the AFP and the PCG are so desperate and undermanned that they need to be reinforced and “rescued” by civilians with fishing nets.

If Brawner Jr. wants to have an “eye for an eye” confrontation with the Chinese bullies, he can suggest from the government to deploy instead personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) instead of the fishermen.

If the Chinese bullies will once again use water cannons to interrupt or stop the peaceful voyage of our ships, it will be a tit for a tat if Filipino firemen are onboard the embattled Philippine ships.

The Chinese coast guard definitely will “be given a dose of their own medicine.”

Of course, we are only kidding, but this is more logical than the non-sense deployment of fishermen, whose main purpose why they are risking their lives at sea day and night is to eke out a decent living, not to scare away the Chinese bullies.



  1. No breakfast
  2. Overeating
  3. Smoking
  4. High sugar consumption
  5. Air pollution
  6. Sleep deprivation
  7. Head covered while sleeping
  8. Working your brain during illness
  9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
  10. Talking rarely


MIRACLES ‘FOR SALE’. A 5-year-old boy went to the pharmacist and asked the pharmacist, “This is the only money I have. Can I buy miracles?

The pharmacist was confused with what the boy asked and said, “What do you need for the miracles?” The child replied with tears, “Because the doctors said that only miracles can save my mom’s life. Can I buy them here?”

EDUCATIONAL GOAL. Today our prime educational goal must be to form men and women for others: men and women who will live not for themselves but for his God and his Christ-for the God-human who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love Go which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.– PEDRO ARRUPE, SJ

HAPPIEST PEOPLE DON’T HAVE EVERYTHING. The happiest people don’t have everything they want. They make the most out of what they already have. Misery starts when a person looks at the 10 percent missing and overlooks the 90 percent blessing. We all have our own share of blessings. Some get them fast. Some wait for a long time. What’s important is, it comes at a time we most need it.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)