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Archive for the ‘martial law’ Category


I smell the scent of rain.

The sun shone for a while but it is getting dark again. A low pressure area is forming in the north that might bring  more rain to Metro Manila.  We always dread monsoon rains here because of flash flooding.  The  coming months of August and September  are usually the heavy rain months that extend sometime to the month of October and some strong typhoons still happen until December.  Gosh I always have that hidden fear during the rainy months. I am actually afraid when it rains non-stop and I am alone in the house.  I am praying there won’t be flooding here this season.

Senate and Congress are presently on interpellations    on the merits of extending Martial Law in Mindanao for another five months as desired by Duterte.  The 1987 Constitution states that  a president is only given 60 days to have Martial law in any place and beyond that, it needs the approval of  Congress and the Senate. This is a critical issue that they have to vote on. Knowing that there are mostly pro-Duterte groups  both in the Senate and Congress, they might vote for an extension although opposition groups are questioning the proposed rules of the special joint session. My gosh, they can’t even assure if they will be able to contain the rebellious groups in Mindanao after five months.  Will Martial Law extension ends the conflict there or would it just be  one of Duterte’s means to stay in control as they rightly believe?  There are thousands of   civilians who have fled their homes in Marawi City because of the conflict and some of the evacuees died of various diseases like dehydration.  Talk of human rights violation and extra judicial killing and there you’ll see how this government works.  Do we really need to extend Martial Law? So sad.

The Philippine peso is now at its weakest performance this year. Prices of basic commodities have significantly gone up.  Even those we buy at the wet market  are sky-high.

I am not really looking forward to the State of the Nation Address come Monday. I don’t want to hear more lies and cursing.  Where are we going?

P. S. 5:25pm

This came an hour ago. Breaking news:  Joint House-Senate vote: 261 affirmative, 18 negative. Martial Law extension wins.

Gosh, I don’t know what to say of our lawmakers.

 

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It’s February 26 now but I know when I publish this short post, it would still appear as February 25.

Yesterday, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. Yes, it was long ago  but I am wondering if most of us Filipinos still remember the significance  of what the Filipinos sacrificed for in the name of freedom, freedom from a twenty-year rule by a dictator. Martial law was declared on September 21, 1972 (Proclamation 1081) and we witnessed the unrest that followed, many people died in the hands of the dictator and so many political arrest was made.   Long years of siphoning off the wealth of a country by greedy hands in the government, long years of wondering when it would end. What finally triggered the historic EDSA revolution was when Ninoy Aquino was killed in the tarmac of the airport back in 1983.

The youth of today would probably remember Ninoy as just a face on our five hundred peso bill or just a few lines maybe in their history textbooks. But for me, Ninoy represents a dream that never came true, a future for the Filipinos that never was.  I have my own memories of Ninoy. I was in third year high school (or was it my senior year?) when Martial Law was declared. Back then, we would always see demonstrations by the Kabataang Makabayan. There was even a time when they entered the UST campus and paraded empty kabaongs – the turbulent times of the Martial Law years. We learned to live with it for more than a decade until the time Ninoy was shot at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983.

What followed were the struggles we have to go through just to oust a dictator. Rallies were held almost every day on main streets of the country. Ayala Avenue was always the hub of afternoon marches on the street and we were part of it. Yesterday, my  former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands posted so many photos he took of those days when we did our own share of our fight for democracy the BPI way –  nostalgic replay of events that finally lead to a bloodless revolution thirty years ago.  Yeay, those were the days – making yellow flowers out of crepe paper, making banners and banderitas ,  throwing confetti, braving to sit at the third floor window ledge of BPI so we could get close to a concert right in front of our building. We even experienced being tear gassed while we were in the middle of  watching rallies from our floor.

Those in power thirty years ago are still in power now and we are even threatened by another Marcos win in the vice-presidential race. Have we not learned what EDSA stood for?  The youth of today would not know of its significance unless their parents and relative who were part of it tell them in details what happened. It’s a good thing the organizers of the commemoration of the EDSA revolution put up an Experiential Museum recreating the experiences  that awakened Filipinos to stand up and be counted. I hope they would find a place to make it a permanent exhibit for all of us  to visit because it is only open until today and you have to reserve a slot for  viewing.

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All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

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And this is one of our old photos at the office while we prepared paper flowers and banderitas for an afternoon rally.  We always had sacks and sacks of confetti just waiting to be thrown outside the bank’s windows. This was shared by Clod Saquido, my former boss at BPI.

Never again.

 

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