Does GMA hero worship Marcos?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-12-08

Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) must be secretly hero worshipping Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Of course, no sane Filipino politician of the post-1986 EDSA Revolution era would be caught admiring or emulating the late dictator in much the same way that no sane German politician will admit admiring Adolf Hitler.

Why does your Chair Wrecker feel that GMA is a closet Marcos hero worshipper? Well, it’s because she has practically done every detestable act that we have seen Marcos inflict on our people. GMA has employed Marcos methods and tactics which would do the late dictator extremely proud.

Between Marcos and GMA, it is hard to determine who lied to the nation and cheated the nation more times. Like Marcos, GMA was held responsible by no less than a UN Human Rights Investigator for the murders of political dissenters. Like the Marcos regime, the GMA regime is perceived as characterized by large scale plunder and scandals.

Like Marcos, GMA has undermined the national institutions and transformed these into tools for facilitating her selfish interests. Like Marcos, we have seen once again the emergence of a justice system with a double standard – one that favors her and her allies and another that discriminates against her opponents.

And now, like Marcos, GMA has manufactured conditions to be able to justify a declaration of martial law in Maguindanao. In 1972, Marcos utilized growing dissent against his regime, added fuel to it and magnified what it projected in order to set the stage for his declaration of martial law nationwide.

Last Saturday, the nation woke up to discover that what was a simple police matter in Maguindanao which was already well under military and police control – has been utilized to rationalize the declaration of martial law in the province.

Two former presidents – Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada – immediately branded the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao as totally unnecessary and baseless. Ramos should know best because he was part of the Marcos imposition of martial law but redeemed himself later by his role in the 1986 People Power Revolution that ended the Marcos dictatorship.

Estrada, on the other hand, waged an all-out war against the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) in Maguindanao without having to declare martial law there. Imagining the worst that the Ampatuan clan can do, still it cannot compare with what the MILF can cause in terms of property damage, lives lost and dislocated communities. Declaring martial law in Maguindanao because of the Ampatuan family is like declaring martial law in New York State and City because of a Mafia family.

What sticks out like a sore thumb in GMA’s Proclamation 1959 is that the areas occupied by the MILF in Maguindanao were not covered. A criminal threat that was already clearly under control cannot justify the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao while the areas of the MILF – a confirmed rebellion with a much larger armed force – were exempted. How do you explain that?

GMA’s Justice Secretary, Agnes Devanadera, attempted to justify Proclamation 1959 as the means to prevent a “brewing rebellion” in the province that could spill over to adjacent areas. Legal eagles have debunked the regime’s justifications and established that the two conditions (the existence of an actual invasion or rebellion, and when public safety requires it) allowing a declaration of martial law under the present Constitution did not exist.

By November 26, when Andal Ampatuan Jr. was taken into custody and flown to Manila, it was clear that the Ampatuans were already neutralized by the earlier imposition of a state of emergency. From November 26 until last Saturday when martial law was officially announced, there has not been a single shot fired or person killed related to the November 23 Maguindanao massacre.

Thus, we can only agree with Senator Noynoy Aquino when he asserted that there is more to this than meets the eye – to the effect that this so-called “brewing rebellion” excuse for martial law could be more of a step in a calculated move to prevent a looming power succession.

“If the declaration of Martial Law is not motivated by the enforcement of the rule of law, but is rather an attempt to expand authority by means of the military, it will be a grave abuse of power and reckless endangerment of the lives of our brave soldiers.” Noynoy said. “Can we take Mrs. Arroyo’s word when she is largely responsible for the creation of this monster?” Noynoy added.

As Commander in Chief, how can GMA assume to have the moral authority to order a soldier or a policeman to risk life just to clean up her mess? Shouldn’t GMA step down and allow a credible Commander in Chief to do it instead?

Glaringly, the US, which supported Marcos martial law, did not condemn GMA’s Proclamation 1959. Yet, when GMA issued Proclamation 1017 (imposing a state of emergency) on February 24, 2006 – the US immediately asked her to recall it and she complied.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney could only say that the US will watch this situation very carefully. That implies US acceptance albeit with reservations. One wonders if the US is a partner in this plot owing to its Mindanao agenda.

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