Wednesday, September 21, 2005

By Gonzalo M. Policarpio


A woman scorned is dangerous. She may kill those who rejected her offer of love or commit suicide. Spurned by her political opponents and the Filipino people, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, “President of the Philippines” now chose to retaliate and employ the “full force of the law” against her enemies. She defines her enemies or her “destabilizers” as those who refuse to support her illegitimate presidency.

Yet certain people never learned from mistakes of the past. Mrs. Arroyo is definitely one of them. She wants to follow the footsteps of the disgraced Philippine dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, who abridged the fundamental rights of the Filipino people. Straight from the mouth of a desperate pretender to the Philippine presidency, she exclaimed in one of her speeches: “I am tired of chasing bullies, around the school yard. Iyung mga tatanggap sa aking panawagang magkaisa, welcome. Iyung mga hindi tumatanggap at patuloy manggugulo, we - from the top to the barangay officials – will enforce the rule of law.”

“Our policy of maximum tolerance has been abused, these rights have become licentious, to the detriment of the peace and order and the welfare of the greater majority…”she continued her foolish cry. She was referring to the people’s rights to peaceably assemble, freedom of speech and expression, and to petition the government for redress of grievances. Judging from her eerie demeanor, a clairvoyant in the crowd may have felt her possession of Marcos’ restless spirit in time for the celebration of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972.

It’s the Filipino people who have applied maximum tolerance toward a perceived impostor-ruler in their country. True to form, the people have behaved like the patient carabaos in the rice fields. They still wait patiently for a truthful answer in a public hearing from the accused politician charged with cheating, lying, and stealing and other criminal acts. They haven’t done anything violent or against law and order. But the accused managed to suppress the impeachment process by sheer technicalities. Now she also wants to suppress another constitutional process of peaceful public demonstrations by the people. If pushed and pulled to the limit, the carabao may finally gore the accused.

Arroyo’s supporters recently used the term “calibrated pre-emptive response” to be used towards what they perceive as “destabilizers.” Marcos during his time called it “subversives.” If the Filipino people now shout “never again” towards Martial Law or a variation of it, then to prove their will, a pre-emptive response may be countered by a pre-emptive strike.



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