“Oh my God, what ails my country!” my nephew exclaims with a painful grimace on his face.
Forty-three years ago, on the eve of martial law, a Senator quizzically asked “What’s happening to our country, General?”
Perhaps, in another ominous time— ten, twenty, or God knows how many years from today—a similar question will again be asked. But for me, nothing is really the matter with our country. It’s our government. It is running the country like crazy. Take a look at this bit of news:
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia is in talks to send refugees who try to reach its shores illegally to the Philippines, the immigration minister said Friday.
In Manila, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said without elaborating on Friday that Australia’s proposal was “under consultation,” adding that Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, discussed the matter among other things on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
A critic of the Philippines’ government slammed the potential deal and called on President Benigno Aquino III to release details on how it would work. “It is just shameful that a developed nation like Australia would refuse these refugees and instead move to have them relocated to a struggling, developing country like the Philippines,” Renato Reyes, secretary general of the left-wing Filipino group Bayan, said in a statement.
It is downright stupid for any government personage of the Philippines to consider a possibility for an arrangement from such a proposal. Much more, it a treasonous act. The government had better trained its eyes and serious attention on the IDPs (internally displaced persons) in our own backyard. Or in the heartland of Mindanao!— Lumads in their thousands now in evacuation and refugee centers! Doesn’t the DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario know about this? Well, how could he if the President himself doesn’t know about it?.
Yes, this Aquino government refuses to deal with the urgent problem of Lumad killings in Mindanao, perpetrated by paramilitary groups under the command of the AFP, with President Aquino as its Commander-in-Chief. And the government of President Noynoy Aquino would have the gall to accede to such a bizarre proposition by a highly developed country? What is that? Isn’t that tantamount to “rubbing salt on one’s wounds?”
This Lumad killing incidence has already generated an outrage among various well-meaning groups and peoples around the globe, alerting and alarming no less the United Nations Organization agency charged with problems of human rights violations. But the Philippine government, for all its stupidity, has remained unconcerned. It has virtually proclaimed its policy of inhuman disregard of the Martial Law situation in the areas of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, where its AFP troops kill and maim, torture and rape and massacre civilians with barbarity and impunity.
In the print and broadcast media President Benigno Aquino is always presented with his signature grin that exudes an ironic characterization of his “benignity”. Among Visayans, a benignit is a sweet porridge of landing, gabi, camote and banana cooked with thick coco milk. The people has already grown accustomed to the sarcastic flavor of President Benigno’s “benignant grin”. It has always been a dish of treachery to public trust. And to the hapless Lumads, a “gunslinging brand of tyranny”.
It is so difficult to ponder how this benignant son of a benignant mother who carried the sound of a heartbeat in her name could be so callous and cruel as to be unable to see the deplorable picture of a social reality—the reality that the doubly marginalized and the poorest of the poor in Philippine society, is made the targets of the worst acts of military atrocities?
Or granting that these ignored and forgotten citizens of Philippine society are supporters or sympathizers of the NPA, isn’t that a resounding slap on the face of Noynoy and his government; that for all his show of sound governance by his “matuwid na daan”, the Lumads have more faith in the rebel forces than his “straight path” administration?
Wow, this is “magic realism” in its truest manifestation! A people turning against a “matuwid na daan” government and marching in their great great numbers to a “most maligned” revolutionary entity? The NPA must be of superior charm than Noynoy’s Oplan Bayanihan? The NPA must be a far more serious political entity that can provide a radiant beacon of a future society for the unjustly harassed and tyrannized people in society? The NPA must be a true people’s army, in stark contrast to the PMA-studded military organization of Marcos—I mean, Noynoy Aquino?
Of course, anybody can be excused for mistaking this military of Noynoy for the military of Marcos in martial law period. For, are they not the same fruits of the same military fascist tree? Oh, I think we need to study some more the nature of our State security forces. Why even in the most peace time era it has waged and perpetuated the martial tactics of tortures, kidnappings, rapes, massacres, hamletting. Where does this diabolical military establishment get its training? Its doctrines? Its philosophy, its inhuman abuses and tortures?
Did not the US Military do these same evil deeds when its troops waged its “pacification campaigns” in Mindanao and in other parts of our country during colonial times? Remember Bud Daho and Bud Bagsak massacre? Balangiga massacre? Oh, as a matter of fact, it’s not only in the Philippines that the US troops committed massacres against civilians. The US soldiers were condemned for the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war! But that’s just one of many! So I’ve read.
If our own AFP soldiers are fond of using and speaking in the military parlance of the US, then where else could they have imbibed these satanic military practices? Well, we need to study some more. Perhaps, we can discover more devilish practices by the US Military being applied by our own Philippine Military. For example, the torture methods used by Palparan and other Palparan clones in the AFP? Where did they learn these? Certainly not from Lapulapu? Or Andres Bonifacio? Or even Emilio Aguinaldo? Maybe a former PMA graduate and Army officer can tell us? Surely, Dante Simbulan and Victor Corpus have stories to share for our own education.
Yes,Virginia, our country is truly a land of stupidities and ironies. We have yet to examine who has the most number of stupidities and ironies. This regime of Noynoy? Or of Gloria’s? Or of Marcos’? Or of Erap’s? Then we the people can learn from them and can be prepared to avoid them for the future. Aren’t it? ( LOL).