His spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted that it wasn’t because President Rodrigo Duterte thinks that the 1986 civilian-military mutiny at EDSA isn’t important; it’s just that he has a lot of things to do.
The argument that such values as human rights and the right to life are alien to Asian culture and impositions from the West, is not new. But not since the martial law period (1972-1986) and only recently has any Filipino functionary or politician demanded that other countries refrain from criticism of the policies and acts of the Philippine government on precisely that basis.
It’s called wishful thinking: interpreting events according to how one wants things to turn out, imagining the imminent realization of one’s hopes in the statements of the presumably knowledgeable as well as those with the power to make things happen.
It’s the recourse of the desperate. And these are desperate times indeed, reminiscent of the prelude to the Marcos declaration of martial law in 1972. As the bombings in Mindanao continue — and as the fear- peddlers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police make sure that Filipinos get their message of dread by warning them that the bombings could “spill over” into Manila — more and more Filipinos are being convinced that a declaration of either a state of emergency or martial law is only a matter of time. It’s been in the Arroyo regime list of options to keep itself in power, only the most naïve believing that she and hers will meekly step down in 2010.