Philippine prisons are as abhorrent as the crimes — rape, kidnapping and murder, among others — some Filipinos have committed or have been accused of.
How could the Filipino people have allowed the outrage that was martial rule? Why did they just stand by while “the show window of democracy in Asia” was being smashed and turned into a dictatorship? Where were they when the newspapers and television and radio stations were being padlocked?
The most accessible and most credible source of information for most Filipinos, broadcast media made much of September’s advent this year for the usual — and depressingly trivial — reasons.
Some broadcasters began playing Christmas carols as early as September 1. So did some of the country’s shopping malls, this month being the first of the four months whose names end in “ber” that in this country mark what is smugly touted as the start of the longest celebration of Christmas on the planet.
The phrase “heinous crimes,” for which death is their preferred penalty, falls often from the mouths of the advocates of state-sponsored murder, whether capital punishment, or the use of extrajudicial killings against suspected drug users and pushers as well as lawyer, student, farmer and worker activists and regime critics. Include in this lot certain senators and congressmen, the police and military, some judges, and, of course, the current president of this endangered republic.