By Jun Avelino
The declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao has once again provided the opposition and anti Duterte forces the opportunity to pin him down at all costs, hence the attack against him in almost all fronts.
However, as the events in Mindanao unfold, their furious attacks with all the embedded black propaganda have boomeranged and brought them instead to the crossroad of political eternal damnation. At the early stage of the Martial law declaration, they strongly campaigned for people to join them in fighting against what they call the impending slide of the country towards dictatorship. They used all the horrific experiences during the Marcos Martial law era as the backdrop of their campaign to scare the Filipino people, portraying Duterte as the new dictator who should be resisted to protect the democratic institutions of the country.
However, Duterte did not even lift a finger to face all his critics in justifying his decision. The Filipino people themselves took the cudgel for him, thereby shielding him from all the political pests and nuisances who wanted to get a piece of him. The massive support given by the Filipino people and all institutions in Mindanao including rebels, CBCP and Congress has practically shut down the opposition’s every hope of bringing Duterte down for his Martial law declaration.
On the contrary, this brought the opposition into further isolation from the Filipinos who now look at them as pro terrorists for trying to stop a landmark decision that will hopefully bring an end to terrorism in this country. Clearly, the campaign against martial law proved to be fatal to the cause of the opposition, a result of a miscalculated posturing which the people resented with disdain.
To save their battered image, they now run to the Supreme Court with the hope of getting a vindication for going against the Martial Law declaration. While I respect the genius of the strategy behind such move, I look at it as yet another political blunder – a move that can bring the opposition to its tragic end. And these are the scenarios:
If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the petitioners (which is highly improbable), thus ordering the lifting of the martial law and Duterte bows to the wisdom of the magistrates of the highest court of the land, oh boy, you have a problem here. You are giving Duterte the opportunity to prove to the country and the world that he respects the rule of law and because of that all the black propaganda you painted against him as a dictator and murderer, in the global stage will be proven wrong by your own making!..
You cannot gloat on the decision on your favor because Duterte followed the constitution in declaring Martial law and when the SC steps in, he yields and therefore, you are helping him project himself as a President who truly protects and defends the constitution of this Republic. And since the terror threat in Mindanao is for real, you are projecting the image of the opposition as the villain despite your court victory, by making it difficult for the government to fight terrorism and as far as the Filipinos are concerned, you will appear as collaborators of the terrorists for your sheer stupid actions. There have been lives lost and bloodshed on the ground and by shooting martial law down, you are in effect giving aid and comfort to the terrorists.
What if Congress does not abide with the decision of the Supreme Court and Duterte joins the prey (which I believe, a remote possibility)? Then, we have a constitutional crisis. Our constitution does not provide a mechanism to resolve a constitutional crisis situation. If the Supreme Court persists with the help of the opposition and anti Duterte forces, thereby aggravating the terror threat currently battled by the government, Duterte will have no option left but to declare a Revolutionary Government to save this country from sliding into anarchy. In effect, you are giving him the opportunity to have a full blanket authority in using all means possible to run after every terrorist in this country and all other destabilizers for that matter (including the opposition) under the a Revolutionary Government.
With more than 80 percent of the population behind him, and with the immense support and sympathy he gave to the military and police force, Duterte will have the needed backing from everyone for this scenario and mind you, this crisis will be transformed into a golden opportunity for Duterte and his supporters to cleanse this country of the rotten system and install a new one which majority of the people will help establish. The Revolutionary government will become an abbreviation of this country’s protracted journey to meaningful societal reforms. And since we are fighting against foreign terror ISIS with the evil motive of setting up a caliphate in the country, US, Russia, Japan and China and the whole of ASEAN countries are expected to support such revolutionary government. Oh boy, this scenario should scare the opposition to death.
Next time, before you indiscriminately fire your guns, know your targets. As they say, “be careful with what you wish for, you might just get it”. Then, you will regret.
What if the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Martial law declaration (which is the likely scenario)? The opposition has put all their eggs in this basket. Hence, losing this court battle will have far reaching adverse ramifications on their reputation as fiscalizer in this country’s political governance. They will severely damage their image and people will consider them as nothing but bunch of political mad dogs barking on the sidelines, begging for recognition as a political group. Their move of having VP Robredo to support the Martial law declaration is a well calculated move to shield her from any backlash should the SC decide against their case. After all, she is the nominal head of the opposition and if they win the case, VP will still benefit from their victory, if ever it is something they can gloat upon in the face of a fuming public. But in the likelihood of a SC affirmation, VP Robredo will be a floating figure with her political party thrown into the dark alley of oblivion. So, it is a dilemma the opposition will have to contend with and they have only themselves to blame for bringing all these grim scenarios upon themselves.
The SC case on enjoining congress to have a joint session is nothing but a political gimmickry on the part of the opposition as it will have no bearing at all on the constitutional issue of the martial law declaration. The opposition, particularly parroted by Sen. Riza Hontiveros, cries that under this administration, Congress volunteered to padlock itself (as opposed to what happened during Marcos Martial law days), for refusing to convene in a joint session. I call this propaganda as sour grape and hypocritical on the part of the Liberal Party lawmakers. During the time of PNoy, congress was acting worse than a rubber stamp of then President Aquino. In fact, it was during Aquino’s time where Congress volunteered to shut itself down as it never acted like a legislative branch of the government. It operated like Aquino’s alter ego where everything he and his cohorts wanted from the legislature, they secured flawlessly. You have the DAP, PDAF and other anomalous legislative measures which, notwithstanding their shady and questionable nature, managed to pass through Congress and for which reason, we now suffer the brunt for that immoral marriage of Congress and Executive branches during the Aquino regime. Remember how CJ Corona was removed from SC by impeachment for his refusal to be cowed by the Aquino’s despotism? At the time when Liberal Party prostituted the reputation of our Congress by tickling PNoy’s balls with questionable legislative measures and slurping his filthy ass of juicy DAP and PDAF funds, did you hear the opposition then complaining? You even gloated on your slavery with PNoy by punishing the opposition lawmakers with either reduced or denied funding of projects at the behest of your autistic patron. And to make matters worse, you summoned opposition executives from Mayors to governors and you took turns in bludgeoning them before the eyes of the public during committee hearings and investigations, thereby unfairly destroying their image just to please your idiotic god in Malacanang. Sanamagan! At least, during the time of Digong we have a Congress who fights for its independence. When a warrant of arrest was issued against Sen. De Lima, Senate President Koko Pimentel asserted the Senate’s independence by warning the Executive not to effect the arrest within the premises of the Senate. In fact, the Senate harbored her and provided her sanctuary notwithstanding the possibility of courting a legal backlash on the Senate’s action. But Pimentel, the President’s closest ally, stood his ground in protecting the Senate’s independence. Digong did not mind it all. Recently, Congress has just torpedoed with finality the death penalty bill which is one of the measures personally pushed by President Duterte. His allies crossed him on that and he did respect them for standing on their ground. Is this the kind of Congress which you accused to have surrendered to the whims of the Executive branch as compared to that of the previous Aquino administration under the Liberal Party?
The opposition should now feel the excruciating pain of karma for all the injustices they have done to their peers when they were at the helm of power. They should realize how it is to be with the minority. In congress, it’s about number’s game. You played with it in the most scandalous way during your time. And since you don’t have these numbers anymore, just accept the acrimonious fact of being relegated to the sidelines in the dynamics of legislature.
All you can do is beg for support. You cannot demand for it. Neither will you be able to cry for unfairness and injustice every time you are shut-off by your fellow lawmakers in the majority because it is precisely the kind of unfairness and injustice which you brought upon yourself. SO, SUCK IT UP!
In the ultimate analysis, when all these political sandstorms settle down, Duterte will emerge victorious whichever direction the turn of events will bring us to. As to the opposition, when Martial law is over, they will go back to the moldy issue of Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) being the only issue left for them to feast on. But by then, even its die-hard supporters will find difficulty in swallowing such an old and hard-sell dilapidated propaganda machine. And what adds insult to injury, the mid-term elections will be around the corner and the opposition is obviously unprepared for this yet another battle for power which is important to preserve their existence.
Who will run under the opposition to challenge the popular administration machinery? I can hear Leah Navarro? Jim Paredes? Agot Isidro and Gary Alejano for the Senate? Or Trillanes for reelection? Hahahaha. Tickle my balls more. The founders of the Liberal Party will surely curse from their graveyards, the LP stalwarts of today, for betraying the very principles which LP has stood for through the years of Philippine politics. Instead of engaging into a program-based politics to win public support, its current leaders are resorting to black propaganda campaign against the current administration which only alienated itself further from the voting population. If they lose every politician from their side, they only have themselves to blame for. Obviously, these people never understood what the party has stood for and their exodus from LP only validates that the Daang Matuwid Program of LP was mounted on a hollowed ground and hence, was a great sham.
In a nutshell, LP and the entire opposition machinery will become the country’s political zombies where every politician will avoid being associated with during elections for fear of the stigma of defeat and scandalous anomalies. And as they continue to engage into political assassination, thus readily attacking Digong for every perceived blunder he may cough up, they will be considered as the “new maute group” of the country’s modern day politics which the Filipino people will treat with extreme caution and with serious contempt.
What a shame! - JA
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