Thursday, September 21, 2006

Images of the Past Continue to Haunt Us

The Martial Law years have long been forgotten. The lessons it taught us are rarely discussed. Flashes of its memory quickly die down. Those were some of the most violent years of the Philippines' history. Killings and forced disappearances was the rule of the day. Dissent was almost non-existent except in the '80s.

After years of apathetic slumber, the populace has had enough and finally rose to oust a dictator. There are many so-called Martial Law Babies who grew up under the shadow of a dictatorship. Through the years, they were exposed to the harsh reality that despite an aura of peace, rights are being violated. People just took everything in stride and dared not to concern themselves of the goings on around them.

The abuses continued unabated and with impunity. With the lifting of Martial Law, the opposition was embolden to carry on the struggle. This time however, they were joined by the youth. Now awakened from hybernation, throngs of ordinary people joined in the fray. Marcos now had a spontaneous uprising in his hands which finally forced him to relingquish power.

Those days have since passed, the Filipino is once again complacent. While a new dictator rises amongst us, the nation is once again plunged in apathy. It seems we never learn from our experiences. People once again couldn't care less as they are personally unaffected by what is going on behind the scene. While the government basks in its temporary glory, a growing number of families suffer from its wrath. The killings and abuses reminiscent of those dark years of Martial Law have been on the rise.

Once again, just like Marcos, GMA is getting flak from the international community. Pressure from outside our shores is breathing down the pretender's neck. Soon, as these atrocities continue to mount, this practice of the current dispensation would finally hit closer to home. Just like before, the struggle will no longer be political but will turn personal, The ordinary Filipino will soon realize that their patience has been abused and their rights trampled upon.

We shouldn't fall into this trap again. We must let this government know that we've seen these signs before. We shouldn't sit idly by and watch how our country is ravaged again by an oppressive regime. After we regained our democracy, we said "NEVER AGAIN". While we as a people accept what is forced upon us, the images of the past will continue to haunt us. We cannot let the future of our children be held hostage by those whose greed for power is insatiable.

So to my countrymen who continue to sleep soundly, you better open your eyes and mind before its too late. Just like before, we have a presidency and a congress in connivance to perpetuate themselves in power. Would you like this new "gang" to make the fight more personal? Or would you stop them now before it reaches your doorstep?