The prospect of reinstating the Philippine Constabulary (PC) is, as expected, striking fear in the hearts of the usual emo social media mavens. Why? Because, we are again reminded, the Constabulary raises the old spectre of “The Martial Law Horrors”.
The fear invoked by the PC comes across to Filipinos much the same way that the sound of the drill of a dentist does to a lot of people. It is ingrained in the psyche. Most adults don’t get over their childhood fears. The sound of a dentist’s drill, the snap of a belt (signifying coming corporal punishment) and, yes, the term Philippine Constabulary fire up dormant neurons long buried in our reptilian complexes that initiate an irrational fight-or-flight response.
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Thing is, truly adult adults learn to manage those primal fears. We routinely march into our dentists’ clinics carrying that fear of the drill but handily overcome that fear with the intellectual tools of our mature adult minds.
To put this newly-invoked irrational fear of the PC in proper perspective, consider the Philippines’ elder statesman Fidel Ramos. Ramos is quite the survivor. He was chief of the PC at the height of the Martial Law “regime” of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the early 1970s. The PC as today’s Martial Law Crybabies repeatedly remind us, was the police unit singularly held responsible for the “horrors” associated with that era.
Yet despite being the leader of the PC and, as such, the on-the-ground executor of those alleged Marial Law “atrocties” Ramos not only became one of the top henchmen of the late former President and “EDSA Revolution Hero” Cory Aquino, he went on to a stellar career in politics. Today, he commands millions in speaking engagement fees and is regarded as one of the Philippines’ top thought leaders and an institutionalised statesmen in his own right.
What is baffling today is the monumental stink being raised by every “activist” and her dog about President Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion that the PC be reinstated while none but deafening silence surrounds the way its leader — Fidel Ramos — persisted as a celebrated politician over the last 30 years.
Ramos’s cunning lies in how he deftly re-branded himself — effectively whitewashing his Martial Law bogeyman image and refashioning himself into the Philippines’ equivalent of a Lee Kuan Yew.
This is the reason why Martial Law Crybabies have lost all traces of credibility. They are such emotional girls, suffer from selective amnesia, and issue their shrill cries from an ideological foundation teetering under the weight of its own inconsistencies.
If people are really serious about coming to terms with Martial Law, they should start with the man who was an adult and the chief executive officer of the armed unit that is most directly associated to the alleged torture and unwarranted incarceration of “innocent” Filipinos.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.