ANY form of violence to attain an end is abhorrent to me. My thoroughly Christian upbringing has me hooked on Christ’s non-violent way of transforming a sinful world.
Consequently, I find no justification for the violent methods the CPP-NPA and its front organizations are using to dismantle whatever democratic institutions remain in this country. (Democracy is not dead as Maria Ressa claims; just that there was never much of it to start with.)
Why then do I harbor serious misgivings on the Anti-Terrorism Law which is ostensibly meant to defend society from CPP-NPA violence? The reason: I equally abhor the violence (hunger, ignorance, etc.) the oligarchy, through self-serving policies of their proxies in government, inflicts on the rest of the population.
Moreover, I see the anti-terrorism law as the oligarchy’s undemocratic defense of the political castle they have been occupying exclusively. It cannot be meant to protect the poor faceless majority that has really nothing to protect. It is there to protect the system that has produced a few privileged and powerful rich and a vast majority of poor and voiceless Filipinos.
Because it is meant to defend the social order that created a privileged minority and an underprivileged majority, it endangers the lives of well-meaning folk who join front organizations unaware until it’s too late that the CPP-NPA controls them from behind a respectable legal and even religious curtain. Worse still, it endangers the lives of moderate reformists who are neither for sweet-talking oligarchs nor for fire-breathing communists.
When high-powered guns are legally in the hands of low-powered minds, a lot of ugly collateral damage can result; and the most to benefit from it is the CPP-NPA that will use every warrantless arrest and every wrongful death to agitate people against the government.
Neither the oligarchy nor the CPP-NPA is for a genuine democracy. Thus, regardless of who wins in their violent confrontation, democracy will not be in the victory stand; and like I have already said, in the absence of a third non-violent force for reform, simple folk could either fry in the oligarchs’ pan or jump to the communists’ fire.
I also said in a previous column that our social problem no longer admits of a democratic solution. This is still arguable in the absence of a third non-violent anti-oligarch and pro social reform force that works within democratic bounds.
Barring such an alternative reform group, the only solution to the problem of an intransigent oligarchy is a revolutionary government. This could turn violent but only if oligarchs resist with private armies. Still, I’d rather we go up this slippery slope than fry in the pan or jump to the fire.