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and Local Governments (DILG) are asking Congress to do just that on the argument that its re-enactment — it was repealed in 1992 during the Fidel V. Ramos presidency —will enable the Duterte regime to defeat the New People’s Army (NPA) and destroy the Communist Party of the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.”
The Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police want to rescind the DILG memorandum of agreement with state universities and colleges that bars the police from entering them without the consent of their administrators. The purpose is to stop what they claim is the recruitment of students into “front organizations” and even the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. They claim that students are being brainwashed or coerced by their professors and fellow students into joining these organizations.
Like the American invasion and conquest of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century, the Duterte watch has been as bloody and as blundering.