The reawakening PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 12:19

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

“Revere thyself, and yet thyself despise.” Just a word of advice.

In the 1970s, by virtue of a presidential proclamation, Ferdinand E. Marcos convoked 35,000 citizens assemblies for the purpose of ratifying the shotgun 1973 constitution. The main question appended to the referendum that ran for five days was: DO YOU WANT MARTIAL LAW TO CONTINUE? A presidential proclamation issued by Marcos, hence, declared that more than 15 million people voted for the continuation of martial law as against 843,000 or so voting “no”.

In his first six months of office, El Presidente sojourned every major military and police camps to exchange salutes with soldiers and policemen while at the same time promising them better privilege pay and higher salary in exchange for their undivided support and loyalty in good times and more especially in bad times, he being their commander-in-chief. He had to make sure that the armed forces and police are solidly committed to his administration and are zealously and faithfully behind him... just in case he needed them.

Because loyalty more than anything else is El Presidente’s main concern (never mind if his people have immorality issues), he now wants to corral the over 43,000 elected barangay officials by getting rid of the expensive barangay elections in October and subsequently appointing them — like FM did. Accordingly, El Presidente wants the Local Government Code, authored by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., amended by Congress to legitimize his desire to just appoint the barangay officials on the ground that 40 percent of them are involved, one way or the other, in illegal drugs. But no names of these barangay officials have been presented nor evidence against them put forward.

In so doing, El Presidente will eventually have in his domain the solid backing of the military, police and the grassroots (masa) officials — the main ingredients for cooking up his dish, which is the probable declaration of Martial Law or the most likely shift from a presidential system of government to federalism (the tiger).

I’m not privy of what congressmen and senators are doing ... other than investigating matters that have nothing to do with alleviating the poor people’s lives. Since July 1, 2016, all I read and hear about are utterances of threats to impeach the president and the vice president for acts inimical to the country; the scuttlebutt about neutralizing drug lords, drug dealers, drug traffickers, drug users and pushers and their coddlers; pulverizing the Abu Sayyaf; and a promise to rid the government of downright corruption (has anybody been jailed yet?). I have yet to hear something about vaporizing immorality in government, specifically in the House of Representatives.

Last week, one of El Presidente’s menials in the House filed House Bill 5359 obviously in a scurry move seeking the postponement of the 2017 barangay and Sangguning Kabataang (SK) elections scheduled in October and rescheduling it to May 2020 and subsequent elections to May 2023 and three years, thereafter, and to allow the president to appoint the village officials during the interim period.

There’s an even shorter legal remedy: amend the Local Government Code and abolish the barangay and SK elections altogether. Reinstate the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) and the Kabataang Barangay (KB). Simply remove the restrictions.

It has become apparent that the House will not take rest until the members, working on cue and in concert with El Presidente, will take all the cities. Comprende?