STAND UP, SPEAK UP FOR YOUR
A pall of unease, uncertainty and fear blankets
us these days.
As a people traumatized by the cruelties of Martial Law, we have
time and again vowed never to be brutalized by a reign of terror.
Lives and dreams were sacrificed in the hope that generations after
the Marcos dictatorship would live and breathe in a more humane
and just society. We thwarted attempts by post-Marcos administrations
to foist iron- fisted rule upon us because as a people we knew our
power would let democracy prevail.
Today, past regimes pale in comparison to the viciousness
of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government with its record of human
rights violations. Aping the global police stance of American President
George Bush who unleashed the unpopular borderless and all-out war
on terror, the Philippine's commander-in-chief has allowed military
agents to go on a rampage of unabated killings and enforced disappearances
of civilians suspected to be sympathetic or associated with militant
or progressive organizations. Worse, the government does not discern
combatants from civilians and perceives sectors and organizations
voicing dissent against an unjust and oppressive system as enemies
of the state, rendering them hapless targets for annihilation.
The killings, disappearances and torture persist
with impunity. And as if these were not enough heinous crimes of
the state against the people, the Human Security Act of 2007 or
Republic Act No. 9372 is vaunted by President Arroyo and her militarist
advisers as "an act to secure the state and protect our people
from terrorism". Despite major questions on its rationale,
implication and impact on civil liberties, this shall take effect
on July 15, 2007.
We dare ask, who defines terrorism, who brands one
a terrorist? Amid the people's unrelenting call for an illegitimate
leadership to step down, in the din of protests over policies that
spell further poverty and social injustice, is it not just and imperative
for citizens to demand reforms and change in leadership? Why does
the state reply with bullets and an ominous law that will stifle
freedom to express grievances? The existing Penal Code suffices
for the persecution of criminals and lawless elements who wreak
mayhem like the Abu Sayyaf. The enactment of the HSA is a sinister
move towards another martial law era; it is an official declaration
of GMA's autocracy. It portends of another dark passage in our history.
Let not this threat paralyze us, however. Let not
the HSA make us cringe in fear, nor drive us into our comfort zones.
We must constantly remind ourselves that this government has gone
this far only because we are allowing it to trample on our rights
as a people, as a community.
Let us find our voice again as we did before the
death throes of Martial rule when we mustered strength and courage
and found power on the streets. Let us find our voice again as we
repelled the evils of corruption, plunder and inept leadership.
Let us altogether lift this blanket of doom that dares silence us.
Let us resist the Human Security Act! ###