I just saw the video footage of the April 7 dispersal, where I got a nasty head wound. It has been ten days since that sleepless day, and I am still shocked at the police brutality that accompanied the dispersal.
Such footage must be seen by many Filipinos, for them to understand why there are still voices in the wilderness that cannot be silenced by the State.
The image of a bloodied priest, lying prone on the ground, being mercilessly bludgeoned by the police (their blows made soft by the cameras and flashbulbs that recorded their actions), plays repeatedly in my head -- the image that caused this nasty head wound.
Who can understand the insecurity of a State that controls the armed forces and the police? Who can understand the sheer violence that accompanied a peaceful protest -- a protest that was, in fact, spurned by the rash of killings that is currently decimating the militant opposition?
This is worse than Marcos's declaration of Martial Law in September 21, 1972. During that time, the State formally declared its intention to wipe off any opposition. Now, there exists a tacit policy of literally silencing the opposition.
According to the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (http://www.nujp.org), 66 journalists have been killed since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. Last year, under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 13 journalists were killed.
I personally define a strong republic as a very democratic one, where there is a very robust exchange of ideas, whether for the good or bad of the republic. That's what I learned from my Philosophy class way back at the university.
How does Macapagal-Arroyo define her Strong Republic, anyway?
Her unequivocal support for the United States' war against terrorism very much reflects her government's revulsion to opposition. Remember what Dubya said?
"Either you're with us, or you're against us."
Hello?! The world ain't black-and-white, Dubya. Same goes for you, Gloria.
If there's a war against terrorism, how about a war against State terrorism?