Martial law checklist
The elements are there: big problems and concerns brought about by the coronavirus that grips the Philippines, nay the entire world; the padlocking of a giant broadcast network perceived by the administration as a nemesis; “friendly” allies in the highest court of the land; congressional leaders who make no bones defending the current Palace occupant; and a great mass of people reeling under economic difficulties.
Add to these are equally, if not more, compelling factors for an administration that wants to hold on to power: the penchant of a leader to rule with an iron fist; and that ruler being too close, if not subservient, to a foreign power that has no love lost for democratic principles and processes.
But will the people, or the majority thereof, allow the declaration of martial law without resistance?
Those who believe the people will easily yield to the imposition of martial rule may be in for a surprise. Many Filipinos have learned the lessons of history. The beauty, the drama, and the spectacle of the People Power Revolution remain inspiring enough to just be ignored and forgotten.
With that mammoth uprising on Feb. 22-25, 1986, Filipinos realized that dictatorship, although called “smiling” and “benevolent” by some, will do no good for the nation. Sadly, it will only result in such evils as abuse and oppression, graft and corruption, nepotism and cronyism. Also, it will only spawn and breed political animals that include lapdogs (tuta), chameleons, political butterflies, leeches sucking national coffers, crocodiles and crooks, and a host of other beasts.
The people will not allow such evils to make a comeback. Former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, a brilliant lawyer, astute politician, and ruthless ruler, tried to cling to power but finally succumbed to defeat and ignominy.
Never again to martial law! The virus of dictatorship is too scary and revolting to think about, especially during a pandemic.
EUSEBIO S. SAN DIEGO,
Former President, Quezon City Public School Teachers Association
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