Dismantling democracy

ASIDE from blood and gore, the other obsession of the Du30 administration is dismantling democracy in the country. These twin goals are aggressively pursued by Du30 with fanatical fervor and will likely lead to the destruction of our democratic way of life and the death of the rule of law.

The current democratic setup was built on the ashes of the Marcos dictatorship which was toppled by People Power revolution in 1986. In that year the Filipino people collectively cried “tama na, sobra na, palitan na!” They have been groaning under the corrupt, abusive and brutal rule of the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos which was in power for twenty years.

Philippines was a raucous democracy prior to the dictatorial rule of Marcos. The intramurals of the elite was ended by the Martial Law in 1972 when Marcos shredded the 1935 Constitution and installed his oppressive and corrupt regime. Under his tyrannical rule, the national treasury was systematically robbed and Filipinos lost their fundamental rights and freedom.

When the dictatorial rule of the kleptocrats came to an end, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest thieves in the world with the amount stolen from the Filipino people estimated at $ 10 billion. The human rights toll was also staggering: 70,000 were arrested, 34,000 were tortured, 3,240 were killed and 737 disappeared. The US District Court in Hawaii found the Marcoses guilty of human rights violations and ordered the Marcos estate pay $ 2 billion to the 10,000 human rights victims who filed the class suit. It was the biggest award in the history of human rights violations cases.

The democratic project was born with the ouster of the universally reviled Marcos dictatorship. The 1987 Constitution reflects the horrible experience of the Filipino under the Marcos dictatorship and their desire to create an accountable government founded on democratic principles that observe the rule of law.

Thirty-one years after, the democratic project is under siege and is on the throes of death. A regime pretending to be strong on law and order was voted into office by unsuspecting Filipinos and is now revealed as the avenging hand of the forces of the detested dictatorship. Immediately after taking power, Du30 began dismantling the infrastructures of democracy in the country – among his many sins and crimes against the Filipino people.

Du30 tried to rehabilitate the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. by acceding to his family’s request that the tyrant be buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, the first step in restoration scheme of the family of thieves. The Supreme Court acted at Du30’s acolyte in the plot by giving legal cloth to the abominable act. That decision of the High Court already raised the red flag on its subservience to Du30 and that it will give him whatever he wants, the Constitution be damned.

Since then, Du30 acted like a medieval monarch, persecuting and unjustly jailing his critics on trump up charges. The case of Sen. Leila de Lima is the most vulgar evidence of Du30’s despotic and undemocratic rule. The Supreme Court cementing its reputation as Du30’s lackey gave legal cover to his abuse of power.

Voting 9-6, the High Court said the warrant against Sen. De Lima was valid despite obvious infirmities. Justice Antonio Carpio called the situation of Sen. De Lima “one of the grossest injustices ever perpetrated in recent memory in full view of the Filipino nation and the entire world.” Despite the absence of any element of the crime of illegal drug trade or sale Du30 had her jailed. “There was no specified seller, no specified buyer, no specified kind of dangerous drug, no specified quantity of dangerous drugs, no specified consideration, no specified delivery and no specified payment,” he wrote.

The Constitution and the rule of law were again put aside in the recent quo warranto case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Violating its own rules and the Constitution, the Supreme Court once again gave legal façade to Du30’s vicious campaign to dismantle democracy by removing from office through brash and illegal manner the chief justice he personally dislike.

Now, Du30 set his sight on Vice President Leni Robredo. He is telegraphing his order to the High Court when he recently put a question mark on VP Robredo’s status. “Vice president ba talaga yan?” Du30 exclaimed in a recent public speech.

This is very alarming since the namesake of the dictator is protesting VP Robredo’s victory and the case is being heard by the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). Given that the Supreme Court does not decide on the basis of facts and merits of the case but according to whims and caprices, it is not far-fetch that the High Court will subvert the sovereign will of the Filipino by ousting Leni Robredo as vice president on flimsy legal mumbo jumbo and abracadabra.

Leni Robredo is the duly elected vice president and her removal will complete the dismantling of democracy in the country. The win of Du30 is the strongest argument that no cheating occurred in the last election. If the previous administration cheated, it should have been on the presidency and not on the vice presidency which is a toothless position. The existential question which is a matter of life and death for democracy the Filipino people now face is: will you allow Du30 aided by the Supreme Court to finally kill democracy in the country? Sooner than later, Filipinos will confront the question.

When the time comes, will Filipinos greet the death of democracy in the country with thunderous applause or massive and angry protest? Filipinos now live in dangerous and interesting times.

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