Monday, December 7, 2009


When I was a kid(I was 6 or 7 then if I remember it right), I've openly asked at my late aunt's sala (living room) what is martial law. My cousin, her daughter, who was at high school then answered me that it means that it is forbidden to talk. If I remember it right then, that time the radio announcer was having a commentary about martial law's declaration and the possibility that it would be declared again. My innocent self terrified at my cousin's reply to my question since I was known then to be very talkative, being natural for me as a kid since I tend to question a lot due to curiosity. This childhood nightmare of mine came alive in flesh just recently.


Almost two weeks after the mass killing of innocent civilians, politicians and journalists, the Malacanan Palace made its formal declaration of Martial Law in the entire Maguindanao Province on Saturday, the fifth of December.

This led to warrantless arrests of several personalities especially members of the Ampatuan clan who mostly hold high executive and legislative positions over the province. They were eyed to be the perpetrators for the said massive bloodbath along with some members of police, rank and file government employees and a large number of private armies by the clan tagged as Civilian Volunteer Organization.

Investigations of the national army led to the discovery of hidden fire arms in places that are said to be connected either to the Ampatuans or the CVO. It is also said by several reports that the said armed groups hostile to the government can reach up to more than 2,000 individuals.

Government officials are convincing people that this is a different form of martial law and the people shouldn't be afraid of it. To sugarcoat it, they even encourage media coverage of arrests, searches and other operations by the military. It is said that this will assure transparency and avoid various violations of human rights.

Whatever it is the intention of the Manila government on the declaration of Martial Law, some of us are not forgetting the memories of the past. A lot of us are questioning, is this just a dry run of a bigger thing to happen?

There are reports on television already out of anonymous text messages that there are members of the military who are forcing entrance to houses, violently confiscating goods such as rice, and up to molesting women. The veracity of this particular report is still in question but why is that residents are fleeing already out of the the province? Even local commerce if affected by the take over and business establishments suspended their day to day operations.

If the military is playing the role of the savior, why are the locals so terrified of them taking over the province?


Also a lot of speculations are coming out of the martial law declaration.

One theory is that the Arroyo administration declared it in order to have the killings be elevated to the level of rebellion. It is said that this is a move to save the suspects from the crime of mass murder since the rebellion charge does not have too much merit and it could easily get dissolved and have them free as a bird right after the blood bath.

The Ampatuans who are the current main suspects of the military are known to be a loyal ally of the administration. It has been reported that they have all the ingredients a TRAPO could have: GUNS- see the massive number of ammunition found near the grounds of the residence of one of them, GOONS- the more than two thousand private armies they have and GOLD- look at the several palatial mansions they built despite the spread of poverty in their constituents (they are a third class province, as per the reports).

People from the side of the opposition are pointing that they are the ones who are behind the alleged massive cheating in the Mindanao region during the 2004 Presidential Election (do not forget the Hello Garci Gate Scandal).

an artist's work we found over the internet:

It may be possible that this is an I cover your ass, you cover my ass move.


Another theory, and this is much frightening, this is just a showcase of what the current administration can do to the whole country.

Stepping back forty years ago, can we remember the scenarios that happened before the declaration of the 1972 Martial Law? Due to the massive protests and oppositions against Ferdinand Marcos' administration, spread of violence and terror occurred.

The Plaza Miranda Bombing and several ambush attempts to government officials led to the declaration of Proclamation 1081.

And the rest is history...


Whatever it is, we as a people should be guarding ourselves. Or else, a curse. We are a nation that is very notorious for being forgetful of the past. And as George Santayana put it: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

picture of Adolf Hitler

picture of former President Ferdinand Marcos and some artists' work we found over the internet (particulatry and others), we say these people are so creative.

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