Yesterday president-in-waiting Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Juan Ponce Enrile as his presidential legal counsel. A key implementor during Marcos Sr.’s martial law dictatorship, Enrile figured prominently in the latter’s ouster by popular uprising in 1986. He still faces charges of plunder as former Senate president.
Tags: At Ground Level
But this week, international attention has turned to the Philippines as Ferdinand Marcos Jr. prepares to become the country’s next president. Instead of stamping out reminders of tyranny, will there be a restoration? With an ousted dictator’s son taking power, will historical documents be destroyed? Will the memories of victims be forcibly erased?
President Duterte has just over a month to go in his six-year term. He could help much in enabling the succeeding administration to resume the GRP-NDFP peace talks, by removing a number of obstacles that his presidency has put in place.
Dubbed by the media as the “Batasan 6,” the accused (I was one of them) asked the Supreme Court to throw out the case for lack of probable cause. Meantime, under House protection, they stayed within the premises of the Batasang Pambansa for 71 days and nights, and continued to perform their official duties and functions.
Going into his final three months in office, President Duterte apparently realized he was far from achieving another one of his 2016 campaign promises: to achieve peace and end the 50-years-plus armed conflict with the underground Left revolutionary movement.
Still, US anti-Russian actions continued. Carpenter wrote: “The Obama administration’s shockingly arrogant meddling in Ukraine’s internal political affairs in 2013 and 2014 to help demonstrators overthrow Ukraine’s elected pro-Russian president was the single most brazen provocation.” That meddling, he concluded, led to Moscow’s seizing and annexing Crimea in February 2014 – “and a new cold war was underway with a vengeance.”
Many citizens today, particularly the youth, may think that the Duterte administration invented red-tagging. But they should not be surprised to learn that almost 50 years ago – under his martial-law one-man rule – Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was already sticking that label on those who openly criticized and opposed him. Certainly, the term “red-tagging” was not in use then, but the alleged acts invoked fitted those in the above-cited definitions.
In the past weeks, several commentaries in the media have debunked Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s false claim that his father’s tyrannical rule embodied the country’s “golden age.” They pointedly remind us that the Marcos “reign” reeked of corruption and drove the nation’s economy into unprecedented crisis.
Marcos Jr. was tried and convicted of violating the 1977 NIRC in 1995 by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, which imposed on him the following: 1) three-year imprisonment and a fine of P30,000 for “failure to file income tax return for the year 1985” and 2) three-year imprisonment and another P30,000 fine for “failure to pay income tax for the year 1985.”
Thus, the jurist body recommended that national and local government officials – including members of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) – must refrain from labeling HRDs as terrorists. Any credible accusation of terrorist conduct must be pursued “through the rule of law, cognizable charges, compliance with due process and the right to a fair trial by a competent independent and impartial court,” it emphasized.
Last Monday, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) director-general Alex Paul Monteagudo insinuated it would be “insane” to resume peace talks with the Left, claiming it would surely fail as it did in the past. The four presidential aspirants, he reportedly said, were just trying to “gain votes” by appearing to be statesmen.