Opinion: Learning from Past Mistakes
REFERENCE IS PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS. Martial Law was declared by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1972; Cory Aquino enunciated her total war policyduring her term, ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared her Preemptive Calibrated Response (PCR) during her term and when the Maguindanao Massacre, the worst, worldwide killing of journalists took place, aside from enunciating a policy among her staff in Malacañang, cabinet and the AFP, to carry out extrajudicial killings against cause-oriented groups, sectoral and partylist political parties, resulting in the process the killings of more than 1,200 of them.
Ex-PGMA is also believed to have carried out plunder on the National Treasury in the form of commissions for various projects, misuse of funds, making deals with foreign funding agencies and getting commissions in the process, aside from members of her family and close advisers, cabinet members and many personalities, who also engaged in stealing of people’s money.
MUST NEVER BE REPEATED. These plunder and mayhem committed by past administrations must never be forgotten, but must serve as a lesson for us all that we must now never tolerate it even under the present administration if things like these, happen.
How can we forget the more than 100 journalists killed during the period ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was in power? How can we, as a people, brush aside the excesses of these administrations? These are lessons which we must learn in that as much as possible, these must never be repeated. Killing just one person is, in fact, a travesty of people’s rights. Violations of human rights and the international humanitarian laws are travesties of justice.
It is positive that under this administration, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have been criminalized.
The Aquino administration has also pushed for the distribution of compensation claims of victims of the martial law regime numbering thousands of people. What is now needed is the Senate’s assent and the signature of the President. We agree that if the administration does quite well, we must praise it but if it commits atrocities or plunder, we must stridently criticize it.
In the province, more than 30 people have been killed in extrajudicial killings; the breakaway, RPA-ABB have become stool pigeons and goons of the ruling elites. They must, instead, be disciplined. They must be penalized.
ABOMINABLE. What makes the ex-PGMA regime abominable is that when we won in our struggle against the Marcos regime, there was this widespread thinking that excesses would no longer take place but it was done. We were already supposed to be democratic.
There are lessons including that of the human rights violations committed by the Cory Aquino regime when it declared total war and gradual constriction policy and strategy. We must teach our people and learn from past history that committing the same mistakes time and again, will set us back time and again. We would be akin to a running man thinking he has gone forward but actually has remained stationary.
Tell you me. But, indeed!*