IT DOESN’T look like the “good old times” are coming back any time soon. But when they do they will most certainly return only to the small segment of the population that enjoyed them in pre-Covid times. It must be noted that majority of Filipinos never enjoyed “good old times” since the reins of the nation passed from colonial masters to the forbears of today’s oligarchs.
What still needs to happen, Covid or no Covid, is for the majority who teeter in the frayed edges of society to move inside its up-till-now exclusive prosperity zones. But this can only come as an offshoot of a change in our social order, the current one being rigged to favor big landlords, capitalists, and their proxies in government.
As I said in an earlier column, my crystal ball gives me a rather hazy picture of our country’s future. Our undisciplined, highly political, and divisive way of coping with Covid-19 accounts for only a small part of the haze. The mother haze comes from our abject failure to exorcise ourselves of the demons of Marcos’ Martial Law.
A core reason our society is even more mired now in crime and corruption is our failure to bring the dictator Marcos and cohorts to justice for their crimes. Meanwhile, our leaders bask in the sun of a Marcos’s legacy that crime and corruption pay if one does them big time. And that’s exactly how they do it, big for them but marginal and crumby for the majority of Filipinos.
Germany is now one of the more if not the most progressive country in Europe because when they said “Never again” to Hitler and his Nazis, they brought to justice all the Nazi war criminals. In fact, their search for Nazi war criminals who have so far managed to escape capture and punishment continues to this day.
But what has the Philippines done? Yes, we shouted “Never again” but we have not brought to justice any of Martial Law’s principals. Instead we have allowed them to climb back to positions of power from where they revise history, painting Marcos a hero.
Why did two Aquino presidents fail to bring Marcos and company to justice? And why is President Duterte partial to the family that patently committed crimes against our people? Do they know something we don’t? Or is it that there is a demon of a subconscious political conspiracy among oligarchs to close ranks when the system that gives them exclusive control of the country’s resources is under attack?
Neither case augurs well for the future of small and obscure people in the country. Until we bring the perpetrators of Martial Law to justice we will not be exorcized of demons that imprison the nation’s soul in moral darkness. Until these demons are exorcized our future will be as bleak and barren as our present.