An old man and his fears
The Anti-Terrorism Bill, expected to be signed into law by President Rody Duterte, will not deter terrorists from pursuing their destructive agenda, but for the reformists and freedom lovers, no law can be scarier.
Peaceful protests are not terrorism, says Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana on television.
Ok, but when a protester of some standing – a lawyer, journalist, or civic leader – is taken into custody by arresting officers who allegedly found sticks of dynamite in his bag, as well as a map or sketch indicating a particular government building to be blown up, the poor fellow can be detained for a fortnite, or 14 days of tactical interrogation (including torture, maybe) until he signs a full confession, later on followed by a report that he tried to grab the gun of his police escort, and was shot dead for his efforts.
And do try not to brandish a placard that says “Down with the corrupt and tyrannical Duterte administration.”
That would be terrorism of the highest order.
Around 106 million Filipinos, half of which do not know what it is all about, with the remaining half divided into pro and takot.
Whatever, their only hope is that our exalted leader means well, but as my die-hard anti-terrorism fellow columnist wrote, “The means does not justify the ends.”
Only last night, I went (for nth time) down on my knees (no, there was no colored guy underneath) to plead with the heavens to put an end to the suffering of the Filipino people, and a booming voice answered, “Gago ka ba, kung wala pang vaccine sa Covid-19, lalung-lalo na sa abuse of power. Yong una, may pag-asa, yong pangalawa – hopeless. Tila.
Pero ito ang tandaan mo, the body has the ability to cure itself.
Gets mo ba? Opo. Bangon bayan, bangon!
At the height of their protest(s), watching Hong Kong residents bravely taking to the streets to protest a new Chinese regulation that would infringe on their independence and democratic way of life, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was said to have remarked, “What a truly beautiful sight.”
Now it is the turn of the Chinese to gloat, and Premier Xi having learned Tagalog from his friend Rodrigo, was heard saying, “Amelicano, gaya-gaya puto maya.”
With both white and colored marching together in untold numbers, a furious Donald Trump is threatening to call and bring in the troops, given all the burning and looting taking place (Riot dito, riot doon.)
But in a way Xi is right. Policemen, of whatever color and mold, share similarities of arrogance, cruelty, and other mindless acts.
In sum, lahat (halos) ng pulis, isip pulis.
Parang Three Musketeers, “One for all, all for one,” others excluded.
Using all your fingers and toes, you won’t have enough to count former military and police officers currently holding civilian positions.
Oh well, like a former PNP chief, now a senator, tweeted, “s__t happens.”
What is sauce for the gander should also be sauce for the goose, but J.R. Smith, a Cleveland Cavalier point guard chased and beat up a white guy who allegedly broke the windshield of his truck (SUV dito sa atin). As if what he did was right, the overrated NBA star, almost thumping his chest, yelled, this ain’t racist thing.
No one, alas, is calling Smith out – not his black teammates, nor NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, not the sports and political columnists.
I feel bad about this because I am an Ibaloi, and my tribe is recognized as a people only on an election year. At any other time, we are good for nothing – “mangan, maturog, mangan manen.”
Invaders from north and south have taken over our land.
While the congressman of the city is deemed to be a Baguio boy, the acting congressman of Benguet is from Davao.
If we do not watch out, us originals will soon be confined to a reservation, like the Indians of America.
Good. Maybe we will have our own casinos, but first we need to become tulisan, like all the others.
At my age, I am in self-exile, staying home watching Netflix and Amazon movie series, scared of catching the virus, even more frightened of being tagged as a terrorist.
While the law defines what a terrorist is, isip pulis law enforcers determine who is a terrorist.
A simple affidavit from whoever will be enough and of course, all Duterte critics are suspect, and likely the very first ones to be detained.
Just like the Covid-19, even friends and relatives won’t come to visit, for fear of being contaminated.
So, I will go on record that I am not, have never been, and never will be, a terrorist.
Oh, one last thing. I do not regret having voted for Marcos in 1966 and 1969, but I voted for Alejo Santos in a sham presidential election, and for Cory Aquino in the snap elections of ‘86.
So, I might as well say that I regret having voted for Duterte.
With fingers crossed, I can only hope that my worst fears will not come true.
If he proves me wrong, I will eat this column sans salt, on Father’s Day – next year.