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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 13:03

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

On December 1, 1939, Ferdinand E. Marcos said: “When my motherland calls for this holocaust, I shall lay down all hopes and dreams, all love and life, and for her to die a thousand deaths and more, and yet live with her and in her pride.”

At barely 23 years old, the late dictator had focused his life on serving a country which at that time was facing uncertainty due to the war in the pacific. Florentino S. Dauz wrote: “Neither despair nor intimidation waylaid him. It was as if life would become suddenly worthless if that life was not dedicated to the service of events, of history.” That was Marcos. Fifty years later, 16 or so million Filipinos hired a lawyer-mayor from Davao, an immigrant from the Visayas, to run a country submerging in corruption and malfeasance and struggling to rise to be Asia’s tiger economy she was once.

As was Marcos and our very own Cesar C. Climaco, El Presidente was a veteran of burden, allegedly abused by a priest and now charged, without proof, of being the mastermind of murders in Davao city, as was Marcos during Martial Law. Those who uphold the law know that a grave injustice has been done to this lawyer from San Beda by the international community offering no proof of the alleged extrajudicial executions that he allegedly ordered.

Until in late 2015, no one talked about him as a potential presidential timber except Rolly Macasaet. But the Philippines breeds people who idolize men, no matter their beginnings, with uncommon traits. Many advance the thinking that if he hadn’t been a lawyer he would not have been president, the first one from Mindanao.

El Presidente, as he has publicly displayed, is a dissenter, a person capable of reshaping events according to his will. The study of law, apparently, has not reduced this man to a motionless state. Thus, Dauz continues about Marcos that tells everything about El Presidfente: “Law being the study of crime as well as punishment, young Marcos was thus sheltered in his belief in the Constitution and the rule of law, in that fundamental set of freedoms the most outstanding feature of which is the art of civility and order. It was because of this that the nation was saved in 1972 from the purgation of a tumultuous society… We have survived because of law.”

El Presidente’s “war on drugs” and the installation of discipline in his Davao city as mayor for over 20 years, and his counter-insurgency drive and anti-separatist campaign have compelled him to bring these peevish agenda to the national level. Those who voted for him saw him as the “white knight”, the bearer of hope for a country slowly being carried away by the spasms of discontent and hatred.

Fortunately for El Presidente and his proletariat cabinet, the bringers of darkness and despair are few. The upbeat, passionate views of the deprived outweigh those of the depraved. Many are saying that with the ascension of Federalism, El Presidente will be the last president of the Republic of the Philippines, Manuel Roxas being the first.

We have had brilliant constitutionalists. I wonder what they would have said about federalism. Claro M. Recto, Jose P. Laurel, Arturo Tolentino and Jovito Salonga. They were proficient in polemics and masters of public speaking. So was Marcos. El Presidente’s victory in 2016 provided the road to Charter Change and has given him the golden chance to govern with fisted hands and guide our nation to its destiny – which for the last two decades was predicated on corruption. El Presidente’s men argue that federalism will end the insurgency in Mindanao and put to rest the claims of injustice by the dissidents now on combat stance against our government after the failed peace talks.

Filipinos have been killing Filipinos for more than 50 years. It is an imported ideology – that “killing people in defense of a higher cause is permissible.”

How will El Presidente end his tenure? Will he do justice and adhere to fairness and the rule of rule? And as Walter Lippmann said: “To govern well and within the bounds of civility.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 13:06