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By Oscar Franklin Tan
It is unconscionable how Filipinos can treat martial law so lightly less than a generation after the Marcos dictatorship and barely three years after the Arroyo administration. It is alarming how the Aquino administration took several days to respond that it is unconstitutional to declare martial law after a calamity, even one as devastating as Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Decades after the Marcos dictatorship, the Philippines continues to face the grim reality of political prisoners. Whether under the fascist Marcos dictatorship or “democratic” administrations after him, the rights of political prisoners are repeatedly violated as they are slapped with fabricated charges, arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained. Many of them are tortured and denied their right to counsel and due process. They suffer through subhuman prison conditions, prolonged imprisonment and intentionally slowed-down judicial process.
By Artemio V. Panganiban
Interesting, challenging and at times intriguing were the readers’ replies to the query I posed last Sunday on whether our present justice system reflects the Filipino concept of justice articulated by Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno. These replies were posted on this paper’s website (www.inquirer.net). More numerous and many from abroad were those e-mailed directly to me. They could fill up several columns. For all these, I am grateful.
This year’s commemoration—the 41st—of declaration of martial law should prod the Filipino people not only to purge the budget system of the pork barrel fund, but also of all its “Marcosian features,” features that hinder democracy and distort the “executive-legislative balance” in the management of the people’s resources.
We condemn the Aquino administration and its Philippine National Police for their various attempts to sabotage the Abolish Pork “Edsa Tayo” protest last Sept. 11.
By Neal H. Cruz
A bribe, by any other name, is still a bribe. Call it “reward,” “incentive,” “bonus,” “gift” or some other name, it is the same banana.
By Mahar Mangahas
September 23, 1972 (a Saturday) deserves remembering as the actual day when Ferdinand Marcos openly demolished our democratic system and began his authoritarian rule in the Philippines. It was not on Sept. 21, which he designated a special holiday only because 21 was one of his lucky numbers.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
We are always wary of people who claim to have a hotline to God. In the age before the cell phone, a time when we had rotary rather than pulse or tone phones, an academic from the University of the Philippines rose during a forum on Filipino spirituality and showed the audience a piece of paper with a crudely drawn telephone dial.
Last Sept. 21 we celebrated the International Day of Peace. Ironically, this coincided with the commemoration of the declaration of martial law on Sept. 21, 1972. The two events are contradictory.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Recent articles by Fernando del Mundo in the Inquirer and Maritess Vitug on Rappler provide Generation X a first-person account of the declaration of martial law in September 1972. This seems like ancient history to my students who were not even born yet when what can best be described as the Philippine “Dark Ages” were swept away by People Power on Edsa in 1986.
By Randy David
Forty-one years after Ferdinand Marcos imposed authoritarian rule on the Filipino nation, we tell ourselves with all conviction that never again should we permit this to happen. But, the first step toward preventing the nightmare of dictatorial rule from becoming a reality is by understanding the conditions of its possibility.
A day of infamy. If the United States has one in Dec. 8, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan, the Philippines has its own in Sept. 21, 1972, when Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law and shoved the country into a dark, traumatic path from which it has yet to fully emerge.