No-No to Martial Law; "In Order to Obtain and Hold Power, a Man Must Love It." - Leo Tolstoy

Manila Bulletin, March 7, 2008 | Go to article overview

No-No to Martial Law; "In Order to Obtain and Hold Power, a Man Must Love It." - Leo Tolstoy


Byline: HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA

IT takes a brilliant legal mind and adequate military background to pull it off, and consolidate power with blitzkrieg alacrity.

This President Ferdinand Marcos had successfully accomplished with his declaration of martial law which the people had initially welcomed for its novelty in Philippine politics.

Alas, once the human "termites" and cronies had started their demolition job, since absolute power corrupts absolutely, the Marcos authoritarian regime eventually withered on the vine from corruption and military abuses, and its demise sealed with the brutal murder of Senator Ninoy Aquino.

As they say, the rest is history with one significant lesson.

First, since then, the Filipino people have had a phobia for martial law and coup attempts.

For these reasons, countless coup attempts have been unsuccessful for memories of martial law and the abuses of the military and corruption by the chosen few are still fresh in people's memory.

Hence, it is in this context that the Filipino people find themselves in a quandary between supporting hardworking President that many quarters may not find endearing and approachable, and under pressure to resign albeit for insufficient reasons, and the possibility of military intervention in the event that unconstitutional regime change degenerateS into civil disorder, anarchy and economic retrogression that could possibly lead to martial law and the inevitable rise of one-man rule and tyranny.

Second, forcing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign for tangential reasons, which incidentally she will not oblige, can only lead to civil disorder and eventual tyranny a la Marcos which the people have so far managed to elude.

It is in this context that the statement of Fr. …

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