Originally posted in PHILIPPINES FREE PRESS
February 5 1972
President Marcos is seeing "red"everywhere these days-even among members of the Malacanang household help as well as of his own staff and that of the First Lady.
So the Presidet indicated, according to the Philippines Herald, during a brief discussion at the Mansion House in Baguio last December 29 between the President and newspapermen on the extent of the Communist movement in the Philippines.
Communists right in he very kitchen of the First Couple?
"Probably," said the President, who voiced suspicion over the "strange behaviour" of some members of the Malacanang household help as well as of his own staff-and that of the First Lady.
"They have tried to infiltrate our government," the President said, "even Malacanang, but to what extent nobody knows and we are looking very closely into this. If you ask me if there are in the Presidential Guards Battallion or the Presidential Security Unit, the answer is no. But they may be among the help and the employees. We have some suspect individuals-athough we have not confirmed this-some of whom have conducted themselves rather strangely."
Leftists have penetrated into sensitive agencies under the office of the President, the President said, including the office of the executive secretary, the press office, the budget commission, the office of the legislative secretary as well as of various departaments, bureaus and agencies under the executive branch of the government.
In his State-of-the-Nation message, the President saw "red" once more:
"The Supreme Court has taken note of the existence of a state of rebellion in the country, and has upheld the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus which I proclaimed last year. It acknowledged the validity of the view I took the lawless elements engaged in an armed insurrection and rebellion 'have created a state of lawlessness and disorder affecting public safety and the security of the state.' These lawless elements, consisting of Communists of the Maoist faction and members of the New Peoples Army, had been engaged in terrorism and violent acts, such as assassinations and kidnappings, thus endangering public safety and threatening public security. It is significant that the Supreme Court, after assessing all the evidence, declared that the New Peoples Army is per se proof of the existence of the existence of a rebellion, and that consequently the President of the Philippine 'had reasn to feel that the situation was critical' and that therefore 'he had substantial grounds to entertain such belief.'"
The president, of course, blamed the Communists for the Plaza Miranda bombing which nearly liquidted the leadership of the Liberal opposition to his Administration:
"Persons connected with rebellion and with the crime committed during the political rally of the Opposition Party in Plaza Miranda have been apprehended and we are now undergoing interrogation. The military is now in custody of some persons.
...These lawless elements have created a state of lawlessness and disorder affecting public safety and the security of the State, the latest manifestation of which has been the dastardly attack on the Liberal Party rally in Manila last August 21, 1971, which has reulted in the death a serious injury of scores of persons..."
Whoever are to blame for the Plaza Miranda bombing, however, it has since turned out that they were not the Communists. The newest suspects are convicts and ex-convicts supposedly hired to do the job by non-communist or anti-communist elements.
Who is to blame for the increasing lawlessness in the country?
The Communists are behind the armed rblion in Central Luzon, but they are certainly not responsible for te increasing murder, rape, theft and other crimes against person and property with no political motivation whatsoever. The Communists certainly are not reponsible for the mass frauds and terrorism at the polls, the criminals being political warlords, many if not most of them congressen and other pillars of the Marcos regime.
What is the cause or causes of the increasing lawlessness? Poverty, high prices, unemployment and general contempt for a corrupt and wasteful government-are these not the principal causes? Poverty has driven more to crime than any other factor. There are criminals among the rich, of course but they turn criminal not from necessity but viciousness or greed. The poor, seeing how their officials are stealing them blind, ask themselves:
"if they steal or kill, why not we?"
Should we be more moral than the highest officials of the land? One would not be violating any law when there is no law, and there is no law when those who pass laws and those who pass laws and those charged with enforcing them violate the laws and get away with it.
There is a little criminality in Communist China althoug there is poverty there. There is poverty, not only without wealth but also without high prices for necessities.
Who are responsible for the high prices of food and clothing and other necessities of the people in the Philippines?
Nor are the communists guilty of the rampant graft and corruption in the government, for which the people must pay in one way or another nd which has caused such loss of faith in the government.
The Communists are not guilty of increasing unemployment which drives so many to desparation.
The Communists are not guilty of "compartmentalized justice," which enforces one law for the poor and weak and another law for the rich and powerful.
The Communists are not guilty of the transfer of funds from the executive deapartment to Congres to buy the support of "represettives" for Malacanang at a painful costs to public service.
The Communists are not guilty, to repeat of the electoral frauds and terrorism that make a mockery of Philippine "democracy" every two years.
If the Manila International Airport was deliberately set on fire, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of pesos to the government, nobody has suggested that the Communists are the ones who did it.
No cheers greeted President Marcos when he arrived at Congress to deliver his State-of-the-Nation address last week. No President had come to Congress so heavily guarded against whom?
No Congress, for that matter, had been so shielded frm the wrath of citizens. Bullet-proof glass enclosed the session hall of the huse where the President delievered his address, transforming the chamber into a glass menagerie-of "tuta," crocodiles and some human beings moving uneasily in the animal kingdom.
Necessary protection, perhaps, for the President and the Congressmen? But protection from whom?
But Marcos, Villareal & Co. have been the bst recruiters for the Communist cause, it has been pointed out. Everytime they denounce communism, many wonder: If these are against communism, considering the kind of government they have given us, how we have suffered under their regime-there must be something good in communism. How would the communist movement afford to lose these characters? What better allies has communism? When they denounce communism, they recommend it. Every rap has a boost.
Those who are truly against communism, not because they would penetrate an unjust social system under which a few are very rich and most of the poor are horribly poor but because they believe in certain liberties, in the bourgeois bill of rights, which they would, however, not reserve for for a minority but would have all enjoy-these can only hope for the rehabilitation of the President's credibility. Nobody really believes in anythighe says any more, it is sad to say. What kind of a President does the Republic have, then? Does it have a real one?
The crisis in the Philippines is one of leadership. There must be a credible one if it would meet the problems of poverty, unemployment, inflation, corruption, lawlessness, dissidence and loss of faith in the governmet and its institutions. The alternative to a true president is a dictator, who would impose "order" by taking away our liberties without giving us anything in return, who would make the rich few even richer and the poor many even poorer and more numerous, who would only enrich himself and his gang with no longer any fear of being exposed and, somehow, made to answer for it.
Whatever ails Philippine society, it is not the Communist movement, which is merely a symptom. We know what is the disease. Good government would cure it.
Democracy, to paraphrase Bernard Shaw, cannot be called a failure or a success in the Philippines because it has never been tried.
Let's try it. Seeing "red" is not the way.