Still at it

FROM SOME organizations working among the indigenous peoples comes the information that the slideshow called “Knowing the Enemy” is still being presented by some military units making the rounds of rural schools as part of the government’s anti-insurgency campaign. A participant in a roundtable conference on political vilification — tagging individuals and groups as “subversives,” “terrorists,” etc.– held early this week at the University of the Philippines claims that her daughter was in a class in her community elementary school where the military presented the slideshow.

“Knowing the Enemy” is a PowerPoint presentation the media and the public came to know about when the fisherman’s group Pamalakaya got hold of a copy and released its contents through a press conference in 2006, during the disputed presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

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The teller, not the tale

IF INDEED Marine Col. Generoso Mariano was calling for the overthrow of Benigno Aquino III, few except Malacanang and its own version of the Arroyo regime’s Lorelei Fajardo seem to have been either surprised or worried.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Avigail Valte went so far as to declare that once retired, Mariano could work directly for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, since, she said, the latter’s camp has been saying the same thing that Mariano said in that video someone took of him reading what looked like a prepared statement, and uploaded on YouTube.

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Truth interred

The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.

SHAKESPEARE wasn’t referring to the consequences of either good or evil, but to evil’s being remembered more than the good. That might have been true in his time, which was 400 years ago. Today the opposite’s more the case, and that’s true of even the most evil men (and women), who, once safely in the ground, are often remembered for their good deeds and/or qualities more than for the bad.

While the most that’s been said about Adolf Hitler is that he restored German pride (at least for some 12 years) and loved dogs, the one man demonstrators used to compare to the Fuhrer has been a bit more fortunate. Among other accolades, the late Ferdinand Marcos, insist some Filipinos, also built roads and diversified the country’s energy resources.

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Enemies of the state

AT SOME point during her interminable occupancy of Malacanang, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said something to the effect that the police and military are charged with preserving “our way of life.”

I hesitate to call it an unguarded moment, Mrs. Arroyo not being known for lowering her guard at any time, except when she’s playing golf with the state capitalists of China. Let’s call it an unintended confession of what the country’s ruling dynasties and their instrumentalities are up to.

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