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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why do Filipino activists complain more about Martial Law than terrorism?

Ask anyone and they will agree that Terrorism directly equates to innocent people’s unnecessary deaths and suffering. So in light of recent days’ events, it is baffling the way certain “activists” screech so loudly about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law. A quick-and-dirty sampling of social media content shows that Martial Law-related tweets easily outnumber tweets about terrorism 20 to one. The outrage over Martial Law is disturbingly disproportionate considering the weakness of its link to death and suffering compared to terrorism.
Indeed, the assertion that Martial Law causes unnecessary death and suffering, remains debatable. Martial Law is three times removed from a causal relationship with death and suffering.
Firstly, Martial Law in and by itself is not a crime. The Constitution continues to allow its legal implementation.
Second, mere circumstantial evidence links alleged atrocities and abuse committed by police and military personnel to Martial Law itself. Such atrocities and abuse occur whether Martial Law is in effect or not. And if such atrocities are perpetrated while Martial Law happens to be in effect, proving they were done because Martial Law was in effect is impossible. You can prove who committed said atrocities. But proving these people acted because of Martial Law is a futile exercise.
Third, whereas victims of terrorism are generally innocent people who have nothing to do with its perpetrators, no such generalisation could be made about alleged victims of Martial Law. Victims of terrorism are random. Alleged “victims” of Martial Law, on the other hand, are likely to have been involved in something that made them persons of interest to begin with.
Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao who, himself, was imprisoned during Martial Law, attests to a common denominator that puts Martial Law “victims” into a defineable non-random set…
There were indisputably human rights violations during Martial Law, even the most despicable ones. Many of my close friends were killed by the military or the constabulary in their mid-twenties. However, I would blame Communist chief Jose Ma. Sison for many of those deaths because he deployed those men who were barely out of their teens to foment unrest and revolt in the countryside, telling them that the masses had been roused to revolution because of Martial Law. They were very poorly armed, and were killed not even by the military but by police and militias who thought they were bandits.
But the way that certain “activists” tweet hysterics over Duterte’s recent declaration of Martial Law over all of Mindanao, it is as if it is certain that death and suffering will follow. They do this even as a far clearer and more present danger to Filipinos — the increasing presence of foreign Islamic terror elements linked to the Islamic State — confronts us. As Bobi Tiglao writes in his Manila Times column, this threat must be swiftly crushed
The obvious huge threat posed by the Islamic State to the Philippines is that as the “World’s Richest Terror Force,” it can channel huge financial resources to IS-Ranao and to other fledgling jihadist groups. Say, $10 million, which is P500 million, would be just a drop in the bucket of the Islamic State’s assets estimated to be at least $3 billion. The Filipino jihadists may in fact have already been receiving such financial help – that it has taken nearly a week for the military to retake Marawi.
It can’t be clearer than this. Rather than be divided over Martial Law, Filipinos should be united against terrorism. That’s not going to happen anytime soon given mostly liberal and left-leaning activists’ preference to milk the old 1970s to 1980s Martial Law narrative instead of be a bit more creative and formulate a new one more in line with the times.
[Photo courtesy News Ok.]

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