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Editorial Opinion

Impending danger

Looking at the turnout of the 2022 National and Local Elections, the Philippines is going to experience an administration led by Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte-Carpio. But what does that mean for the Filipinos?

After election day, the partial and unofficial results show that late dictator’s son Bongbong Marcos and presidential daughter and outgoing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio are poised to take the top seats of the Philippine national government. Both getting more than 31 million votes, their wins are an affirmation of the many Filipinos that back their ambitions to lead the country.

However, both perfectly symbolize the corruption in our systems and the perversion of our democracy.

Yet, we cannot deny that the way the two plotted their way to victory was sly. Coming from the northern region of Luzon and the southern and powerful province of Mindanao, they fed off of each other’s and their families’ influences. They utilized this to build their loyalists from among the electorate, strengthening their hold on the Filipinos.

All of these are in spite of the fact that Marcos is a liar, a criminal, a coward, and an incompetent individual, while Duterte-Carpio has dictatorial tendencies who will rule with an iron fist and is an enabler of violence, murder, and other forms of human rights violations.

We abhor the fact that we will be led by these monsters. While their supporters share the responsibility of electing such people and putting them to power, the underprivileged, too, are victims of the so-called tiger of the north and the eagle of the south. But they are nothing compared to the animals they use as their totems. A tiger is not cowardly and an eagle does not symbolize the continuity of a political dynasty.

What is maddening and unacceptable will be how Filipinos, especially the underprivileged, will be left struggling—similar to how they are now if not worse. No help or aid will come to them, unlike what was “promised” by the notorious tandem. The only unity that will take place is among the rich and the corrupt—those who capitalize on the struggles of the masses and use these to further their agenda.

Adarna Publishing House was also recently red-tagged by NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson Lorraine Badoy, who maliciously and erroneously stated that the publishing company has been producing books that plant “hate and lies in the tender hearts” of children. In reality, these books break down the atrocities during the Martial Law era in simpler, more understandable ideas for children. These are manifestations of the kind of government we will have under Marcos and Duterte-Carpio. If people talk about Marcos Jr.’s unresolved cases, if they will not be ignored, they will probably be silenced. If things speak against the UniTeam tandem, these will most likely be censored.

Hence, we will speak while we still can. And knowing how the Marcoses and the Dutertes have antagonized the press and have denied free speech in both the past and the present, we know our days of freedom are numbered.

But what do the people expect from a student publication that does nothing but amplify the voices of those unheard and give voices to those not listened to? During Martial Law in the 70s, The LaSallian was nearly closed after being found guilty of charges—among them the publication of an editorial titled Press Freedom Is Dead—by the University Board Review, an administrative body.

But we will stop at nothing to find a voice—not because we want to be shut down, but because we need to continue sharing the truth.

We fear for the people and we fear for ourselves. Filipinos were tortured and killed by the Marcoses and the Dutertes, those who dared to defy their abusive and dictatorial ways—people who spoke up. We might find ourselves in these situations and to say that it is unsettling is an understatement. Lives are in danger.

Never again should we allow the Marcoses and the Dutertes to abuse and to threaten the nation. We will never forget the atrocities of the now most powerful Filipino families and their cronies.

But since this seems inevitable, let us all just remember that the power is not theirs to have for themselves. It is with the people.

By The LaSallian

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