Duterte will meet Marcos’ fate

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NEARING the fifth decade since the declaration of Martial Law, the nation finds itself reeling from the thousands of human rights abuses from the 21-year rule of Ferdinand Marcos.

The scars of the past have not been settled and yet President Duterte, with clearance from a sycophantic Supreme Court, had ordered the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Duterte has shaken the pillars of democracy and has compromised the rule of law; he has basically made the legislative and judicial branches of government a rubber stamp of his own Marcosian despotism.

Adding salt to injury, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos has had the audacity to urge the country to move on from her father’s Martial Law. She said millennials had moved on.

But perhaps it would be good for Imee to rethink her statement–for today the youth is in the front line of protests, and they are in schools and on social media as well, educating themselves and others of the true situation of the country during Martial Law. We have not moved on, we have not forgotten, and we will never forget.

Worse, Duterte has defended the Marcos children as saying they do not have blood on their hands as they were just children at the time of their father’s regime.

But the facts have it that in 1986, the year Ferdinand was overthrown from power, Bongbong Marcos Jr. was approaching his thirties, and Imee was 31. While it is true that the sins of their father are not necessarily theirs, the blame passes onto them when they repeatedly deny that the atrocities during Martial Law weren’t true, or that their father is not to blame for it.

The sins of the parents are visited on the sons and daughters.

Martial law in Mindanao
And what has happened to Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao? It has obviously failed, as bombing incidents continue despite the increase of military presence in the region and innocent lives are lost.

Just this September, the University once again welcomed the displaced members of the Lumads, cultural minorities that have been displaced due to the continuous militarization of their ancestral lands.

For a week, Thomasians were able to interact with them and hear their stories of struggle, with Duterte’s martial law worsening the situation in Mindanao as they claimed.

Duterte is all talk and he flinches at the slightest sign of dissent which may gain popularity –as is the case of putting Sen. Leila de Lima in jail, impeaching former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and revoking Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty.

The President’s actions, though seemingly strong, have failed to produce results and prevent the lives of Filipinos to be put in danger. Worse, his actions have resulted in thousands of lives –of men, women and children –all lost in his bloody war against drugs.

Truly, the President is following in the footsteps of the man he idolizes –he has jailed his critics, he has ignored the rule of law and he has ordered the killing of thousands, all for the sake of putting to reality his vision of a drug and criminality-free nation, his own version of Marcos’ “New Society.”

But alas, he may soon meet the same fate that Marcos has suffered: ousted in power, shamed for his actions, and remembered not for the good that he has done, but for the blood in his hands at the time of his regime.

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