Erick San Juan
THE country commemorates the declaration of Martial Law by the late President Ferdinand Marcos more than four decades ago. Of course, the country is again divided between pro- and anti-Marcos groups — those who bitterly reminisce the so-called brutalities during the Martial Law days those who appreciate the legacy of the Apo of infrastructure and development projects. Now it has been realized that a lot of money was raked in grease money — now called “tongpats” — during the Marcos years. The mere fact that when Marcos entered Malacanang, the peso was P4 pesos per dollar. He left in February 1986 with P22 pesos per dollar. It compounded due to external debts and interest rates. During the ’60s, we were second to Japan as the most progressive nation in Asia, and when Marcos and family left for Hawaii, we were categorized as the “sick man of Asia.”
Some anti-martial law groups see the present administration’s Martial Law version now imposed in Mindanao as somehow similar to former President Marcos’ military rule and will stage their usual protest rally today. The protest will focus on the past Martial Law or the present one in Mindanao or against the Duterte administration altogether. It could be a big one as the progressives estimated due to an alliance of several sectors of society emboldened by the church leaders hardline stand against Duterte’s anti-drug campaign perceived as victimizing only the poor and petty cdrug users-pushers but up to now only few narco-politicians who are known distributors of shabu killed. Where are the big fishes, the real source of shabu and substance who are making it? Why is the government not demanding an explanation from China that openly delivers shabu through our very own customs bureau instead of stopping it at China’s customs and ports? Why the script of China tipping off our customs when the Triad plan got leaked by foreign intelligence to PDEA? These are several questions whispered and will be the outcry by militants this time.
The present administration already declared Sept. 21 as a “National Day of Protest.” There will be no classes for students and no work for government offices because of the possible violence or untoward incidents. This is a good strategy to avoid further escalation of any troubles in the process.
We should be vigilant this time around for a possible “mutually assured destruction” in the offing if the government will not put its act together. It’s not a walk in the park like the past Edsa people power (1 and 2). There are several undercurrents now working towards achieving a scenario of possible destabilization efforts. A bloody one? God forbid, a probability this time.
Some pundits believe that what this country needs is something like a bloody revolution in order to find its true cleansing of all corrupt officials — whatever position in the government and hoodlums in uniform and those foreign nationals, underworld who are dealers of illegal drugs that gave out huge amount of money to corrupt people in government. Yes, it could be a bloody one but if it will remove all the impurities in the government, and so be it. A harder way to learn our lessons.
As much as possible, we don’t want any violence at all but it seems that the situation is already ripe for such. I hope we can still stop it. But the signs are all over, there are efforts in some sectors and factions from the opposition and some pretending to be friends of President Duterte trying to implement a designed scenario in order to destabilize the nation.
We have given some warnings and the way things are going, some sectors in the society are not happy with what is happening especially in the war on drugs campaign plus the ongoing hearings in both houses of Congress involving appointees of President Rody. And now even PRRD’s supposed link with some known corrupt political families (coupled with some “favors”) are criticized by the opposition and ordinary citizens alike especially on the social media.