The Supreme Court of the Philippines has already placed in repose the odious “Calibrated pre-emptive Response” (CPR). However is appears that the present Administration has cooked up its more dangerous version of CPR in terms of a three-step calculated move. It is an option deliberately intended to do away with anyone who dares challenge its power and influence. It is unwritten and unsaid, but real and factual. It can be aptly called “Calibrated People’s Repression”.
Here: Threaten them. Abduct them. Kill them.
There are the “Hyatt 10”, the “Batasan 5” together with the Senate witnesses who were and still are threatened for having told the truth or for wanting to tell the truth. There are the “Erap 5” who were abducted, detained and tortured. There is also the phenomenon of “disaparecidos” in the country. Finally, there are the continuously increasing number of members of media and of cause oriented groups who have been killed with nonchalance and impunity.
The response of the Administration to all these atrocities is so predictable. It always claims that it has absolutely nothing to do with them. It loudly condemns the violations of the rights and lives of individuals. It conducts ceremonial investigations. And it infallibly blames the people for its inability to solve the crimes and jail the criminals—people who would not come out to testify for fear of their lives and for distrust of the authorities.
No wonder that more and more groups of people feel and say that there is a virtual martial law in the country. For this reason, there is greater dissent in the country as there are more anti-government marches in the streets. No wonder too that even international organizations openly voice out their big concern about the fearful and worsening Philippine situation in terms of the gross violations of human rights—especially of the fundamental right to life.
How true is the saying that when a government is uncertain and insecure of its stability, the more nervous it acts, the more repressive it becomes. And its victim is always the same: the citizens. Never mind what is right or wrong. The law is of no consequence. Such a government becomes mainly preoccupied with self-preservation—at all cost.
26 May 2006