Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Martial Law

Tomorrow is the 34th year anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. Congress was dissolved, press freedom was curtailed, guns were confiscated, curfew was instituted and political opponents were arrested. There was real fear palpable in the nation at that time. Marcos exercised absolute power.

Too bad such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do good was squandered. Remember Lord Acton's warning regarding absolute power? Or did an adventure rooted in greed and avarice really have a chance to justify its means?

I was not yet 10 years old when martial law was declared. I remember hitting the jackpot at a slot machine a few hours before gambling became illegal. For my generation, that fateful day 34 years ago changed everything. Suddenly, the study of law seemed irrelevant unless one was fully prepared to co-opt with the dictatorship. I still muse every so often what I could have done differently then. It was at that period that I resolved to become a physician and prepare myself to fight another day.

"Time is long," and we continue to find ourselves in our personal daily struggles. So many people have been born since and many of the major characters of that time have died. We have had our little share of progress and yet it seems that most of our problems remain. We have nobody to blame. Seems like the enemy is truly us.

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