Friday, January 20, 2017

THREAT OF MARTIAL LAW, RUMOURS OF COUP D’ETAT




Here we go again.  There is the incumbent administration that is perceived as downright nonchalant about extra-judicial killings, day and night, from Monday to Sunday.  The same highest government authority in the Country is neither that prudent in the use of words and phrases that are considered markedly offensive to hear on the part of genuine ladies and true gentlemen.  And exactly the same supreme public figure has become the topic of news and conversations in certain foreign Countries some of which are downright offended while others are very pleased with his loud and repeated conviction, his vociferous stance and pursuant agenda.  In fact, the same national personality expressly and clearly mentioned “Martial Law” – definitely more than once – as a contemplated option and reasonable response particularly  to the prohibited yet much patronized drug industry in the Country, causing the consequent spread of criminality plus the reign of the then local and now even imported terrorism particularly in a given otherwise singular – naturally rich and beautiful region in the Country.

How serious is the threat of the imposition of Martial Law, this is hard to say.

So it is that with the perceived expressed option of the declaration of martial Law supposedly to bring the Country to its eventual stability and unity, peace and prosperity, there came to fore the apparently secret countermove to unseat the prime mover  for a Martial Law Regime once more – something perceived as odious based on the history of the Country that suffered long and much for dictatorship considered synonymous with Martial Law.  In Philippine history, where the term/reality of martial Law became an odious episode in the life of the Country and where up to this date and time, someone identified with it still caused loud repeated protests upon his burial in a hallowed ground, it is understandable that there is an apparently growing countermove to put a stop to the supposedly prime mover of said Martial Law – in the spirit of “Never again!”

How true is this movement in contra?

Very much more than the truth or the reality of the perceived countermove, what should be known and duly analyzed is the constituency of those said to be thus mobbing against the imposition of martial law by neutralizing the perceived would-be enforcer thereof.  Different perceptions have already come to fore.  There are those who say that it is a matter of color – such as the “yellow” people with their given  political affiliation and agenda.  it is said that alone they are not – considering that there are also groups of citizens who are not exactly happy, much less blessed with their experience of the then Martial Law regime, taking into account the losses they then had and the consequent grief they thus experienced.

Would the imposition of Martial Law in the Country succeed?

The question brings to fore a more relevant question – taking into consideration the downfall of the Martial Law regime specifically on the occasion of the world famous EDSA Revolution:  Aside from the “yellow” brigade, are center high-ranking military officials in accord therewith?  More.  Are there a good number of Church people – irrespective of creed or sect – likewise in accord with the “yellow” plus said men in uniform?  It is worth remembering that the EDSA phenomenon was premised on said tripod.  Needless to say, these are uneasy times.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MABUHAY!




“Mabuhay!”  does not only mean have a long life, enjoy life, celebrate life. Much less it is only intended as a courtesy greeting to foreign visitors and guests.  Yes, it also means have a long happy blessed life.  But joyfully shouted specially among Filipinos themselves, it also means “Congratulations” for a work well done, for a mandate well-executed, for a mission well-fulfilled.

Hence, here goes: Mabuhay! to the public officials concerned for having prepared and duly instructed their subordinates concerned.  Mabuhay! to the policemen and other lawmen for having accomplished their commitment admirably well.  Mabuhay! to the medical teams for their ready and quick response to a good number of individuals who needed immediate healing and caring attention!  And a special  Mabuhay! to those in-charge of keeping lives safe from downright killers!

All the above  acclamations have reference to the recently concluded  annual feast – its intricate preparation, its complicated arrangement and elaborate precautions – of the very famous Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.  The mere mention of the annual celebration immediately brings to mind the millions of Filipinos who will not allow practically anything  to stop them from joining  the occasion – all advisories to the contrary notwithstanding.  Never mind if they sweat it out much, if they get hurt one way or another, if they experience some hunger and thirst in the course of the “Translacion” – the transfer of the Image from one specific place to its Quiapo home.  What is important is for them to remain alive in order to once again join the event next year.

This year, the celebration had a marked – ominous, odious, treacherous – danger:  deadly triggered bombs.  Where are they?  How many are they?  How mortal are they? No one knew.  There was however one thought and belief that seems credible enough, viz., that the said bombs could in fact be implanted here and there by terrorists – be these home-grown or somehow imported.  So it was that the said “Translacion” became  identified one way or another with death for those who took part therein.  In fact, it was precisely on account of the said death threat through bomb explosions that cell-phone signals – that covered a rather big area in Metro Manila – were in fact done away with for some time, in view of the yearly celebration.  Thank God the day safely begun, safely celebrated, safely ended.

Now, one rather significant, quite complicated and already determined event comes to mind.  This:  The forthcoming “Miss Universe” event to be soon held in the Country – with its celebratory episodes scheduled to be held in the Country to entertain the Candidates and to inform the world, not to mention another angle of the event, viz., to advertise the Philippines.

So it is that the concerned and competent public officials are once again called upon and duly assigned to secure everybody concerned and everything relevant to the said forthcoming episode with big universal implications. The mere mention of the word “Universe” in one way or another means just that, viz., the world will be watching how the Philippines does the job.  So it is that the public security people have no choice but to do their job well – very well.  Otherwise, even if but one serious if not mortal episode takes place, the Philippines as a whole could be censured if not damned the world over.   

Monday, January 16, 2017

JUETENG



A CORRUPT AND CORRUPTING ILLEGAL NUMBERS’ GAME

Time and again, here and there, then and now, Jueteng continues to be a downright anti-social activity that fools the poor in particular and that enriches its hierarchical machinery – particularly the Jueteng Lord who is the Bog Boss on top of the voracious Numbers’ Game.  So it is that from top to bottom, it has the following common and well-organized gambling structure that continuously rakes in the money of its already impoverished bettors while blissfully still enriching more its already rich shameless capitalists:  Jueteng Lord.  Caja. Pagadores. Revisadores.  Cabo.  Cobradores.  As their foot stools are the bettors.

The above common hierarchical gambling structure of Jueteng can still have its likewise hierarchical territorial coverage:  Region.  Province.  Towns or Municipalities.  Barangays.  So it is that Jueteng has a built-in hierarchy not only in terms of personal roles but also in the matter of territorial coverages.  To say that this long since standing territorial factor is much favourable to the stability and spread of Jueteng plus its eventually acquire “Touch Me Not” feature on the part of a big number of police authorities, is a downright understatement.

Furthermore, in these times and circumstances, the following factors are the glaring realities that constitute  the supposedly clean and quasi-legal and even innocent Jueteng industry in the Philippines:  First, there is the truth that the illegal numbers’ game of Jueteng has slowly but surely acquired a semblance of legality on account of the then adopted and now customary several “Small Time” lottery gambling forms.  Second, there is also the fact that Jueteng  was not only silently allowed but actually a well-favored illegal numbers’ game during the previous administrations for reasons that were not really secret or unknown.  Third, there is the reality that the Country has slowly but surely become a place of welcoming and harbouring even foreign gamblers through the establishment and operation of some 35 downright gambling corporations.  All these factors are likewise favourable to the spread and stability of the Philippine Jueteng Industry.

What for are all the above-tired and tiresome series of observations?  Why continue to call attention to an obvious wrongdoing  yet seemingly right if not promoted even – specially on the part of those then in tenure of high public offices for six very long years?  Reasons:  The present administration, more specifically the incumbent holder  of the highest office public Office in the land, appears to be quite serious in his continuous effort to get rid of graft and corrupt practices not only in the government but also in the Country as a whole.  And gambling, illegal gambling in particular, seems to be one of his considered target to do away with, to get rid of.  In fact, it has started with his firm resolve to clean the Country of the infamous “On-line Gambling”.  Now, “Jueteng, being nothing less than a truly corrupt and seriously corrupting illegal numbers’ game, it stands to reason that he would not tolerate the continued existence and practice of such a corruption incarnate that still robs the already poor bettors and in fact even rendering them poorer – while enriching the already supra-rich Gambling Lords.

It is said that “Hope springs eternal”.  Hence, there is still hope that the scourge of Jueteng in the Country could still be done away with from the Gambling Lords down to the Cobradores.  Illegal drugs and illegal gambling are big enemies of the people.  Would the present government want to be their friend?

   

Friday, January 13, 2017

SOMEONE WHO PERSONALLY KNOWS



There is this Priest who personally knows what are the sad realities, the saddening truths about the People of the Philippines – their suffering and gloom, their poverty and misery, their hopes and fears.  Recently, he wrote a book that is worth having and reading, thinking about and resolving so that its readers at least would eventually know what should be done and/or undone in order to bring the Filipinos back on their feet – again.  Below is a little section in the book with big significance and implications – with the whole book bearing the signal title:

“An Echo in the Wilderness”

“No, I cannot be silent
As long as there are barbed wires
And checkpoints
That dominate our landscape.

No, I will not be silent
As long as those who till
Are alienated from the land
And those who labor
Are strangers to the fruit of their toil.

No, I will never rest
As long as there are
Lords and empires
Who control our nation and our hearts
Ad nauseam.

No, I cannot rest as long as the criminals
Are still at large
And continue to sit in their offices.

No, I will not stop
As long as the spiral of death continues
And is glorified as the only way
To salvation
While widows and orphans weep
My voice will continue to echo
The cries of the afflicted
Until this land ceases to be a howling wilderness
And turns into the promised land.”

If even but a page content of the book above cited is already disturbing and inspiring at the same time, having and reading it as a whole can be said as one bog loud wake up call to its readers at least.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

“MATER ET MAGISTRA”



The above quoted and often invoked phrase in Latin is in fact a profound understanding, a sublime proclamation, a signal appreciation of what the Church is, viz., what She really is, what She is for and actually does, what is Her role for humanity and what is her relevance in the world.  In plain and simple words, the Church is a Mother “Mater” and Teacher “Magistra” to the people, to the world.  A mother loves and cares for her children.  A teacher makes her children think and learn.  So it is that even in the secular world, a mother loves her children while a teacher makes them learn.  But having the Church as both a Mother and a Teacher to humanity, caring for people from birth to death and making them learn what is true, right and just – this gives the Church a big composite obligation to people the world over to know the truth, to live in righteousness, to observe justice.

She is a “Mater and Magistra” whereas this is what Her Founder wanted/wants and intended/intends Her to be – until Her same Founder has His Second Coming at the end of time.  So it is that whatever the Church does and acts upon, find their ultimate origin from Her Founder.  Such a plain yet profound truth, such a simple yet signal reality bring to fore some timely and relevant reminders that are good to know, to keep in mind and heart:

That the Church as a Mother is thus duty-bound to love people, to do what is good for them, to propose what brings about their common good, affirms what promotes their social welfare.  Whether those concerned – specially those in leadership positions want to listen or not, that is their call, that is their option.  The Church nevertheless as a Mother will continue to love people and to wherefore insist on what will bring about and sustain their common welfare.  True mothers do not stop loving and caring for their children.

That the Church as a Teacher is wherefore required to teach people, to tell them what is right or wrong, what is good or evil, what is virtuous or vicious.  And again, those concerned – particularly those in tenure of public authority – want to act accordingly or not, that is their responsibility, that is their decision.  The Church however as a Teacher will go on teaching people, telling them what should be done or avoided.  What should be banned or promoted.  Real teachers do not get tired making their students know what is true or false.

That the Church as a  Mother and a Teacher is some two thousand years old – and counting.  This is a good reminder, a solid reality.  Devious and odious individuals, vicious and despicable persons, callous and thus insensitive powerful public officials came to the world and are eventually gone therefrom.  The Church however remains and stays as a matter of course.  Up to now after more than two thousand years and still counting, the Church is up and about mothering and teaching people from one century to another.  Until when?  Only God knows!

It is good to remind people not to curse, neither to lambaste nor step down on the Church.  No one – this means absolutely no one – can bring the Church down, can make her disappear and be gone.  There were those who tried.  Yet while to dust they return wherefrom they came, the Church is up and about from the time She came to be as “Mater et Magistra”.  This is the truth.  This is the fact.