Friday, September 21, 2007

From Hell And Back

We have not moved past those dark years of martial law. The corruption and abuse have remained in our midst. During those yeas, the military ruled with an iron hand and the Marcos condoned their acts. Like today, military officials benefit from rewards from the incumbent. Just like in those years, human rights abuse is rampant.

The government back then was able to rule with such ferocity and impunity due to the apathy of the people. Just like today, apathy is the rule of the day. The administration's propaganda is doing its job. Political dissent is quickly crushed and all-out war is declared on the insurgents.

More than half a century has passed and the Red scare is still employed by those in power. It has succeeded in fooling the people into believing the myth about our insurgents. Reason and understanding has been replaced by cruelty and authoritarianism. Genuine grievances are quickly dismissed and proponents conveniently branded as hard-line communists. Critics disappear in the dead of the night never to be seen again. Every death and missing blamed on the communist PURGE.

Instead of addressing the real causes of the insurgency, the administration would rather dismiss it outright. The government back then went on a beautification campaign very much like today. Attempts were made to paint a rosy atmosphere and that the economy is booming. While the national debt grew at an astronomical rate, majority of the people suffered. It also led to migration which is present today.

People were forced to leave behind families to earn much needed dollars in the name of survival. It was only after the Marcos ouster did we discover the humongous debt we have. GMA today is doing the very same thing. She has been engaging in a borrowing spree that we and our descendants will be paying for till the day we die.

The only difference now is that GMA does not control the senate. Scandal after scandal is being exposed. Back then, the husband and wife tandem of Ferdie and Meldy looted with blind abandon. Their lavish lifestyle in stark contrast with the suffering of the people. Today, another tandem has taken their place, and is embroiled in the looting of our coffers.

Allies are given juicy positions and allowed to enrich themselves. From hell we're back to hell. Its a recurring nightmare that has haunted us. Once again, liberties are threatened. Nothing really has changed. Its no wonder that the years of martial rule are hardly taught in schools. Perhaps its a ploy to keep our youth in the dark of how hellish authoritarianism can be. Perhaps its a way for the corrupt to continue on with their rape of the nation.

I hope that we who experienced it firsthand continue to share our experiences with our children so that they may see the signs on the walls, so that they may understand what is happening around them. Let's not sit idly by while our country is ravaged by a new personality. Its high time we learn our lessons well and keep it in our hearts. Unless we change our ways, we only have ourselves to blame for this recurring nightmare and we will never get out of this viscous cycle.