There is no hope that President Noynoy Aquino can redeem himself. He has sunk deep into a state of addiction much more serious than the prevalent drug addiction. It is a kind of addiction that afflicts an agent of the exploiting and oppressing class. It is much more serious than drug addiction because it proceeds from a sense of self-righteousness—that kind of addiction that does not recognize himself capable of doing something wrong. Or even when vaguely aware of his own wrongdoing, which is a very rare happenstance, it knows no space for rectification or the righting of a wrong done. It is therefore a question of moral sensibility that proceeds from the logic of existence of the class he represents and whose interest he commits himself to promote and advance in whatever fashion.
This is the same affliction that befell the erstwhile dictator Marcos way back in 1972. Whenever a chief executive finds himself in the midst of overwhelming contradictions he loses his bearing as a ruler. He resorts to an irreversible course of action that not only fails to redeem himself from the entanglement in contradictions, but pushes him even deeper to more grievous complications .
A very clear manifestation of such an ailment is the willful endorsement and adoption of the culture of impunity. In the case of the late dictator Marcos, the open declaration of wholesale disregard of human rights and human dignity was martial rule. In the succeeding regimes of Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo, it took the form of deceit that accorded legitimacy to murders, extrajudicial killings and massacres of those who oppose and resist their respective anti-people policies.
The employment of State violence as an instrument to curb dissent is a figurative drug that is the bottom line of the legitimization of the culture of impunity. It proceeds from a wrongful belief that armed force is an effective deterrent to people’s resistance against government’s unpopular policies. It never occurs to the consciousness of the governing power that “wherever there is oppression and exploitation, there is always people’s resistance”. This is a law of history. And it has been demonstrated in the succession of regimes in the political history of our country. But of course the covert hand of foreign imperialist involvement is the abiding rationale behind all the modus operandi that raises impunity to the level of State culture.
The Mendiola massacre of farmers during Cory Aquino’s presidency was a signature incident that brandished impunity as a banner policy which the other presidents, in spite of her, so adroitly adopted and implemented. Former President Gloria Arroyo cultivated her own dexterity in utilizing the State Security Forces to maintain her growing unpopularity as a head of State. And she was credited with the rise of Palparan to berdugo rank in her Oplan Bantay Laya
Thenceforth the organizing and arming of paramilitary groups became a modus vivendi, a governing principle every Philippine president consciously implements and develops with more finesse through the years. But the art of refining impunity as mantra of governance is not as esoteric as what President Noynoy has desired it to be. No matter the artful devices of hypocrisy, lies and deceit, his overt acts exude their rotten smell. He cannot simply fool the people with sarswela scenarios scripted with military officers as cast of characters. The stench of the supposed dramatic act is suffused in the air all over the islands, especially in Mindanao where the raw materials for the script were derived. His Oplan Bayanihan surpassed the crimes of his favorite object of calumny— imputing the Arroyo government his own criminal deeds.
At first, Malacanang chose to cover up the diabolic human rights abuses against the Lumad population in Mindanao. All sorts of lies and deceptions were spun about the killings committed by the military troops themselves and the paramilitary groups they have organized and armed to sow terror among communities in the countryside resulting in forced displacements of peasants and Lumad peoples by the thousands from their ancestral lands.
Then the mass evacuations of Lumad peoples from their communities in practically all provinces in Mindanao were downplayed and maligned by the military and government agents from the DSWD and DepEd with the ostentatious display of foolery and stupidity by a certain Rep. Nancy Catamco. All these, of course, boomeranged and rendered Catramco a persona non grata in Mindanao’s Lumadlandia.
And while killings with impunity continue unabated, the evacuees waged a protest trek from Mindanao all the way to the National Capital Region dubbed “Manilakbayan” and installed a “kampuhan”: initially in UP Diliman campus, then at Liwasang Bonifacio, for one month. It was the Lumads’ own way of airing and bringing their protest demands close to the eyes and ears of Malacanang.
If various sectoral groups and concerned citizens, including Cardinal Tagle and his Church and even NCR City Councils, aside from international groups and institutions, openly extended their support, President Noynoy brazenly ignored the 700-strong Lumad protesters! Worse, they were evicted from their “Kampuhan” in Liwasang Bonifacio! And when they marched to Mendiola and then to Baclaran Church to seek refuge in that Church sanctuary, lo and behold!—several hundreds of State Police forces blocked them! Shameful! Shameful show of fascist force!
It was a real blessing that the Baclaran Church Fathers received them very warmly in their compound. Perhaps, if the 700 Lumads were left to push through with their protest march to Malacanang, they would have met the same fate as the members of Lapiang Malaya who were mowed down mercilessly by Marcos’ armed troops during the dictator’s own beloved times!
But Noynoy Aquino knew better! He culminated his sarswela act for the Lumads in the name of sacred impunity by conducting a “dialogue with supposed Lumads” in Malacanang, days after the Manilakbayan protesters have already left for their trip back to Mindanao! Who could those Lumad elements be?—the ones he invited to Malacanang? Aha! They were the very perpetrators of terrorism and heinous killings and other satanic human rights violations in the Lumad communities in Mindanao!!! They were members of paramailitary groups which the Manilakbayan protesters and the thousands of Lumad evacuees in different evacuation centers have demanded to be dismantled! Yes! If Noynoy only listened to the lakbayanis, these paramilitary criminals should have been jailed for their heinous crimes and dismantled! But, instead. . .? What did Noynoy do?
OMG! What a splendid act of grand deception by President Noynoy! It was meant to enshrine the CULTURE OF IMPUNITY as part of the State’s Ideology of Fascism..! Very well! Very well! Now, we know what really sustains as lifeblood of the Philippine government. Now we know that irrespective of the image of honor and reputation of the head of State of this country, the culture of impunity with its foundation of fascist ideology is an indisputable, inevitable eventuality being the main menu that nourishes the State machinery. It is not a matter of individual traits or moral propensity of the leader! It is a question of the essential elements that constitute the government system.
If a President—any president for that matter!— insists on maintaining the system of exploitation and oppression, then the eventual consequence is he will wield the instruments of violence of the State that are available for perpetrating criminal deeds with the culture of impunity as his shield. The more skillful and creative the President is able to employ the weapons of the State for perpetuating exploitation and oppression in order to advance the interests of the ruling class, the better for the government to maintain the Status Quo. However repressive it becomes , however brutally evil it grows, until it finally perishes by the unavoidable revolutionary action of the people.
Such is the unassailable logic of a State and government founded on exploitation and oppression for the benefit of a few. This is so because as crisis and crisis ensue on account of the State system’s increasing measures of exploiting human and material resources of society, it increasingly becomes unable and unable to rule in the normal way. And so fascist measures will be enhanced. As this transpires, the leader—whoever he may be— will turn more and more callous. . .more and more deaf and blind to people’s clamors and demands for Change . . .more and more fiercely fascist. . .more and more rotten and corrupt . . until? Until . . .?
Until the system is changed! Or until Status Quo is transformed!