Thursday, November 29, 2007

Freedom Under Threat

The standoff at the Manila Peninsula exposed the true nature of the state of the nation. We are not in a free state nor is the true essence of democracy is practiced. With the friction that the administration has been having with the media, now is the time that GMA and her gang can collect payback. DILG Ronaldo Puno did away with niceties and minced no words in justifying the police's treatment of the members of media.

Only in countries under authoritarian rule do we see such excesses committed by security forces on journalists. Alston's findings are now proved right. The government can and will twist anything to serve its purpose. But this not stop there. every venue of discontent has been plugged by this administration. Rallies are met with violence and critics silenced for eternity.

Some may say otherwise and claim, no, we are free. But freedom has a broad definition. We maybe free in a superficial way but there is a deeper meaning to it. I suppose people see things differently. Some maybe content with their lives concerned only with their comforts and enjoyment. But those are simple things which cannot be the barometer of freedom. True freedom offers more.

With its popularity in the gutters, the government will not hesitate to use any means to hold on to power. This has been displayed so many times. Just look at the impunity by which this administration abuses its powers. I am sure that the coming days will be a stroll in the past. Gloria has perfected what Marcos left unfinished. Another round of witch hunt will be conducted and known critics once again harassed.

Freedom has been under threat since Gloria took over. It became more apparent in the last three years. The arrest of dozens of journalists in full view of the world and the subsequent confiscation of their equipment is a complete violation of freedom of the press. Even foreign journalists were not spared and repercussions will surely follow. Seeing handcuffed journalists is not a good sight to see especially to the international community.

This will not simply blow over. There simply is no law which can justify this action. I suppose the overreaction of this paranoid government has stirred them to make a succession of blunders. Seeing a former VP handcuffed, clergymen handcuffed and then the journalists will not sit well with society. The coming days will be a wait and see. This incident could may very well start the ball rolling for this regime's demise.

The scenario will be taking a different color in the days to come. Reactions by the public could not be noticed until the last moment. That is how our society works. We can be patient but are not martyrs.