“Never again.” It is a call to remind Filipinos that the “horrors” of the Martial Law years of the 1970s should never happen again; that we should be vigilant and always say “No” to dictators, another Martial Law, and, of course, another Marcos in power.
The times, however, have all but made that slogan a sad irony. Those historical relics these Remindists keep harping about are coming back to life — in a President who, in throwing a presidential tantrum, has made it his personal mission to spend the remaining years of his term cutting the Philippine Supreme Court down to a size more to his liking, in escalating calls to amend the Constitution to do that and allow that President to rule beyond 2016 when he is scheduled to step down, and in a Congress made subservient to that President by billions of pesos in pork dangled before their salivating maws.
The biggest irony of all, in fact, is that this incumbent President who is perpetrating a repeat of everything these “Never again” activists warn us about is no less than the son of two people who supposedly symbolised that “fight” against that bygone tyranny. In short, President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III it seems is the one who needs most to be reminded about what his parents supposedly stood for.
Indeed, the Liberal Party of which President BS Aquino is a member is fully behind the move to extend Aquino’s rule beyond 2016.
“Members of the LP in the Senate and at the House of Representatives will support moves to extend the term of President Aquino,” predicted Congressman Edgar Erice, but did not say when he will file the resolution. Aquino is LP’s titular head.
“President Aquino is determined to do better. He has a strong political will. This move will satisfy people’s clamour,” said Erice, adding, “Debates and exciting turn of events will follow after the resolution is filed. This is democracy in action. The president has spoken [about his desire for a term extension].”
Even more chilling is President BS Aquino’s emerging plans to crush the Philippine Supreme Court to further consolidate his grip on power. He continues to stew over a ruling by the High Court that rendered illegal certain accounting practices (collectively known as the Disbursement Acceleration Program or “DAP”) his administration used to channel purported budget “savings” to the pet projects of legislators seen to be loyal to his regime. And to satisfy that monumental presidential peeve, he continues to demonise the Supreme Court…
“The balance between the three branches seems to be vanishing,” Aquino told local news channel TV5 yesterday, adding that the judiciary is using its powers to check congress and the executive much too often. “The problem now is, there are those who ask: ‘Has it gone too far?’”
Word on the street is that the Second Aquino Administration has become desperate owing to a lack of “winnable” presidentiables for the 2016 elections. The LP’s only other bet, current Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is a proven dud who botched just about every opportunity to look good over the last four years. And with four impeachment complaints against him so far submitted to Congress, President BS Aquino may even be at risk of being thrown in jail if he fails to cling to power after 2016.
The Aquino government is also hard-pressed to finalise and enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law which it brokered with the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under an initiative facilitated by the Malaysian government. But that pact, like BS Aquino’s DAP, may also be illegal in nature. According to Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao the terms of this ingredient weaken the Philippine state along many fronts…
The Bangsamoro Government is clearly a parliamentary system for the Bangsamoro — which the Constitution does not provide for.
It is not even the Commission on Elections that will make sure that the voting will reflect the Moros’ genuine choice of their representatives, as the pact is completely silent on how elections for the Assembly will be undertaken.
Most chilling of all is the creation of the new sub-state’s police force which will likely be made up of the MILF’s current force of armed militants. But…
A “Bangsamoro Police” brazenly violates the Philippine Constitution’s Section 6, Article XVI which categorically provides that there can be only “one police force which shall be national in scope, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission.”
The government of President BS Aquino has proved to be nothing short of a disaster for the Philippines. It has criminalised Congress, dropped a huge wedge between Malacanang and the Supreme Court, and set in motion the creation of a rogue state within its territory. No surprise that Filipinos are finding it increasingly hard to appreciate what was really so terrible about the Marcos regime — because the current regime struggles to present itself as a convincing enough improvement over it.
Never a Marcos regime again? It has become increasingly hard to sell this quaint slogan to Filipinos now that the Second Aquino Administration has become what it had promised to fight.
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