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.
Plans are afoot to bring back the long dead Anti-Subversion Act that became law 62 years ago. The military, the police and the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) are asking Congress to do just that on the argument that its re-enactment — it was repealed in 1992 during the Fidel V. Ramos presidency —will enable the Duterte regime to defeat the New People’s Army (NPA) and destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that commands it.
Every tyranny has used fear and hate to take power and to keep it. Coercion and the use of force have never been enough. A gun can only kill, but fear can make entire nations tremble, and hate lead them into committing the worst of crimes.
Adolf Hitler used anti-Jewish sentiments to stoke German fears so effectively he convinced even learned men, among them the philosopher Martin Heidegger, that their country and Western civilization itself were on the verge of annihilation and needed a strongman to save them. German fears for the future found in the Jews of Europe a convenient target of hate, and a “problem” that required a “final solution.”