Out of political touch

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Joma Sison, communist head in self-exile abroad, again warned President Duterte against imposing martial law that he claimed would result in his downfall, as he brought up what befell the martial law president, Ferdinand Marcos.

“It is best for Duterte to step back from his drive for absolute power and absolute corruption before it is too late for him,” Sison said in a statement.

“He must recall what happened to Marcos at the end even as he had far more advantages like younger age, a more suave way of deception, Ilocano affinity with most of the military personnel, bigger allowance for foreign borrowing,” Sison stressed.

In a recent non-scripted speech, Duterte said he was not advocating the declaration of nationwide martial law but he will use the “strongest tools” to ensure law and order in the country.

This frustrates Sison because he wants Filipinos to see Duterte as another Marcos.
But Sison also may be hoping that the President would declare martial law for his own purposes.

Sison still lives in dreamland, hoping to relive his “glory” days when his communist movement, mostly then made up of young radicalized student activists and led by him, was made possible through the Marcos martial law declaration.

It was during the martial law regime that the Sison communist movement grew. The more the Marcos regime became bloody and brutal, the stronger the Sison’s movement became, attracting even middle-class Filipinos joining him and fighting the war in the hills, blindly.

In warning Duterte against imposing martial law, Sison not only hopes to regain his glory days despite his now comatose communist movement and his hopes are high that Duterte imposes martial law nationwide.

Sison just doesn’t get it when it comes to Duterte’s way of dealing with martial law. He has not dealt with it the way Marcos did.

It is a fact that martial law has been declared and imposed in Mindanao and few, if any, are complaining about the martial law that has not been lifted to this day and, probably, won’t be lifted in December unless Congress thumbs down an extension request from Duterte.

Despite a murderous Islamic terrorist group that was a serious threat to Maguindanao and the entire Mindanao even, Duterte’s martial law was pretty benign in the sense that the rights of the citizens — save for the terrorists and their sympathizers, who were arrested at checkpoints put up by the police and military — were and are still being upheld. Businessmen from Mindanao were certainly free to travel, free from search and seizure of private property by government authorities and freedom of speech and of the press upheld, among other rights guaranteed by the Constitution. There certainly was no censorship and no political opposition figures were imprisoned.

Notice too that there were hardly any large-scale protest marches uniting against Duterte and his martial law imposition in Mindanao.

Chances are high that if ever Duterte declares nationwide martial rule anytime in the near future that would be a copy of his martial law in Mindanao which would uphold all the rights and freedoms of the Filipinos. There certainly wouldn’t be large-scale protests by the opposition since this political group will not be able to attract even the elite and the middle-class to join the protest marches.

Sison is warning Duterte of declaring martial law, even if the commie leader knows that the President won’t declare martial law a la Marcos.

Certainly not at this time when Duterte, who is getting into his last half-term continues to be highly trusted by the Filipino people with a ranking of 75 percent trusting him.

What Sison is truly afraid of is that should Duterte place the entire country under martial rule, his armed New People’s Army (NPA) and its commanders will be wiped up or captured alive by the military and police as it would be easy enough to capture them.

Already, moves are being made for all citizens to have a national ID. It appears to be the leftists, the above-ground commies, Sison and his group and the usual radicalized student activists who object to the national ID project.

It should be easy for the government authorities to quickly spot NPA members through the ID system since ID carry the information needed on such armed men and women. If they are found without ID that would also be suspect.

In Muslim Mindanao, under the Duterte-declared martial law, there was no national ID, yet the military and police through their checkpoints caught a lot of Muslim rebels who were trying to escape with their attempts to leave the area.

What Sison is really hoping for is for peace talks to be resumed again, for him and his armed commies and leaders in the hinterlands to freely come and go, without any fear of arrests, since many of them still have standing warrants of arrest.

Too bad, Joma, Duterte appears to be the better political poker player. You are washed up, here and abroad.

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