IN THIS time of the Covid pandemic, or so the World Health Organization (WHO) claims, getting infected or testing positive for Covid are just some of the harrowing experiences Filipinos confront every day.
Finding a kilo of rice, a sardine can and a noddle pack at a time when thousands have lost jobs and thousands more scampering for odd jobs, is another dreadful experience for many. Hunger stalks thousands of our jobless kababayan.
Getting fined, searched, arrested, shutdown, lockdown, disconnected, isolated, for an absurd reason or without legal warrant, is definitely another fact that torments people from all walks of life.
These are not isolated cases nor fake news. The number of victims multiplies several-fold every day.
Yet these are quickly and easily projected by the mainstream media, propagandists and the apologists and trolls of the powerful elites as part of the birth pains of Philippine society undergoing a new era of democratic change and progress under the baton of the present ruling administration.
Nice packaging, public relations stint, but to the thinking citizens, the dissenters, the ordinary critical and analytic persons, and the mass of organized left forces – Covid is nothing, but getting hungry, silenced, killed extra-judicially by the state security forces and death squads – is the most distressing reality and challenge they have ever faced.
To them, there’s a clear connection between Covid, dissent and death squads.
Countless scams were unearthed over Covid causing more fears and suffering, and in the process galvanized and expanded the already restive Filipinos to wage greater dissent. To prevent the spread of dissent and upsurge of people, the state unleashes its terror under the pretext of the anti-terror law.
Death squads are released to take the cudgels for the beleaguered state.
Militarist approach to Covid i.e. curfew, lockdowns, repressive and senseless health protocols and the corresponding repressive penalties, spells fear and mass hysteria, worse, hunger and death.
To cover up for the Covid scams, trolls are released like the deadly Pitbulls to monitor, identify, vilify, demonize and red-tag the critics of the administration.
Death squads are unleashed to hunt down and kill the most consistent, active and militant journalists and activists - like Zarah Alvarez, Randall Echaniz and Jory Porquia – who don’t only expose and oppose the ills of the ruling administration but offers alternative viable and just solutions for Philippine society at large.
These are the rumblings on the ground.
Can the error law and the death squads stop the rumblings? They may be able to succeed in killing some, dozens, hundreds, or even a few thousands but that would only fan the fire of determination of those who seek real social change.
Marcos’ death squads did it in his more than two decades of dictatorial fascist rule, but he failed to stop the democratic mass movement that eventually led to his ouster. The same failed strategies were pursued by Marcos successors, Corazon Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino, to the present – but the dissent continues, in fact, deepening and expanding nationwide.
Death squads were likewise unleashed in the 70s to early 90s by militarist regimes in Central and Latin American countries, especially El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, etc., but they all failed to stop the tide of change.
Terrorist death squads are weapons of weak regimes whose cancerous mindset is grounded by an illusion that only the use of fascist force can keep them in power.
A weak regime, a regime that failed to understand, appreciates the fears and anxieties, hopes and aspirations, and meet their needs and interests.
Only a state of the people, endeared by the people, can become strong and survive all the crisis, even the pandemic, real and fake ones.