11 May 2012

NAIA Guards Pay for Tulfo Brawl

Well, of course, the security guards on duty at the NAIA during the Tulfo-Santiago bust-up are in the limelight again; and for all the wrong reasons, as if I needed to say. A few of them got themselves suspended for a week for apparently not having done their duties well.

By not doing their duties well, we all refer back to the YouTube video in which we saw one or two of the guards successfully holding Tulfo down; while the rest were unable to deter Santiago from clasping the older man by the neck so that this guy in pink could pommel his face with punches.

So yes, that probably made for an unfair fight. And yes, perhaps the security personnel could have done a better job keeping both warring parties apart.

Ramon Tulfo, speaking to a reporter tonight, was aggrieved that the suspension was for a mere week.

“Yang namang mga security guard sa NAIA puro daw *****.” Or something to that effect.

Since I am not obliged to censor my posts, my guess is that if you scratched the asterisks, the word that he said was tanga.

Somehow, I take exception to that. I understand that he was feeling aggrieved and still probably sore from his black eye; but did he not initially say that he had approached the ground stewardess’ counter on the day of the melee as the champion of the little and the downtrodden?

As far as being ‘little’ goes, there are few that can go ‘littler’ than security personnel. Poorly educated and poorly trained, they often find themselves in that godforsaken job only because they probably do not qualify for anything else.

As somebody once said, if they were any smarter, they would be rocket scientists instead! A bit exaggerated, perhaps; but just to drive home the point that there is an element of wishful thinking to expecting more from them.

To be fair, I have encountered establishments where the security personnel are not only smart but are also what, in military parlance, will be called ‘snappy.’ But by and large, most of the security personnel that we come across are poorly paid and jaded folks who most of the time are building props to give the veneer of security.

Theirs is by no means an easy job, too. Once, in the school where I used to work, one of the guards quietly walked towards what I called my ‘secret garden’ behind one of the buildings where there was this long bench.

The guard hesitated upon seeing me; but when I saw that he looked pale and disoriented, I invited him to sit and have some rest.

Worried that he did not look too good, I asked him for how long he had been on duty. Fifteen hours, he said. I was appalled because this was against labour law; and had one of my people speak to the agency about the matter.

It is not, of course, as though being on your feet for a ‘mere’ twelve hours is really any easier. Within the course of one day, these guards get spoken to in condescending, derogatory and sometimes downright abusive manners by all sorts of people.

When the really bad guys come – such as in banks – their lives are placed in grave danger; and all for the paltry pay of minimum wage.

For most of the time, as I said they are no more than building props; until something goes awry. When it does, don’t they just make the most convenient of scapegoats?

I will be a hypocrite if I say that I have not come across guards who, in the execution of their job functions, just find the exercise of even the merest of common sense beyond them. That said, I never fail to restrain myself by thinking what this guy would give to be a rocket scientist instead.

To get back to Tulfo’s remark, that was disappointing! Did he not say immediately after the fracas that he thought Baretto ought to be as humble as the screen characters that she portrayed?

In calling the security guards stupid, he became the kettle to Baretto’s pot. If he paused to think of how really humble the lives of the guards are, then he would have realized straightaway that even a day’s suspension was so much more than each could really afford.

To think that there would not even have been any need to call the guards into action if Tulfo and Santiago had the good sense to talk things over rather than act like teenagers in the middle of a testosterone surge.








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Security Guards
Thoughts on the Tulfo Brawl at the NAIA