SEPTEMBER 21, 1972, then President Ferdinand Marcos read Proclamation 1081 or the infamous Martial Law declaration for the whole country. To some, the declaration was a need of the time while most Filipinos believe that it was a ploy of Marcos to stay in power. The days after the proclamation became gloomy and soon became the darkest days in Philippine history. There are advantages and disadvantages in the 1972 declaration. However, the disadvantages were greater than the advantages. The evil effect superseded the good effect. Of course, not all agree with the stand of the social moralists. There are those who opined that the Philippines really needed Martial law at that time. Still, there are social democrats that hypothetically opine that if Marcos did not declare Martial rule, then the Philippines could have been another communist state in the Asia-Pacific.
The country now remembers the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Most of the millennials today have only read the events of martial law but has not fully understood the lights and sounds of the scary events during those days. I agree that there was peace, but it was relative peace. Relative, in a sense that it was peaceful for the ordinary citizen but for those who are socially and politically-inclined it was a gloomy period in history. The ordinary citizen could not feel the tension and horror, but for those who became victims and sacrificial lambs for the cause of retaining power, it was really a hard time.
Marcos and his think-tank would create scenarios that would sow fear to everyone. After which, the government comes to the rescue of the people from a virtual situation. The government comes out as a hero and the opposition to Marcos became the villains. Marcos administration had also perfected the smokescreen strategy. One major event could be covered-up by a sensational event to the point of wasting the lives of the Filipinos.
I agree. Marcos was a strongman to be reckoned with in terms of the international community. He was a leader whom every leader respected, not because of being a dictator, but for his eloquence and intelligence. He was a leader who really understood his job. However, we cannot deny the fact that he was corrupted by power. The poor strong man of Asia did not bring anything with him. In fact, it was like in some schools, he was deleted from the teaching of history and this is the reason why many young people, including teachers, no longer have a clear picture of what we went through during the Martial Law years.
In the local scene, what is happening to Bacolod today? Criminality has grown out of proportion. We often hear and read news about the rise of criminality. Drugs, snatching, hold-up, robbery, theft, swindling. You name it we have it in Bacolod. Where are our good policemen? Why are they not so visible today. Provide a dark corner or place and you have a crime. Is this the price we have to pay for being the most liveable city in the Philippines? We have to be very vigilant during these times.
St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod, Pope St. John Paul II, Fr. Cornelio Moral, OAR and Fr. Loreto Dacanay, OAR, Mons. John Liu and John Su, Manoy Bill and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.*
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on September 23, 2017.
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