It has been a tumultuous few weeks for the Philippines, first with Duterte declaring martial law in Mindanao and now this.
As tragic as yesterday’s event was, my greatest fear is not of armed robberies or terrorist attacks. My greatest fear is that the Philippines will once again find itself living under martial law.
I have heard the stories from my family and friends of the years under Marcos and his abuse of martial law. The stories are not pleasant, and they leave me wondering how anyone could willingly put their faith in a system that has been wielded by the corrupt as a weapon of oppression.
We have already seen what a man with too much power can do to a nation.
No matter how scared we are of the evil that happens around us, giving up our freedom is not the answer. The Filipino people have worked hard to claim and maintain our independence.
In the last 119 years, our ancestors have freed ourselves from colonizers, invaders, and dictators. We are a people who thirst for freedom–so why are we so quick to forget the horrors of our past?
One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, said “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Martial law is not the solution to the problems our homeland is facing. Martial law is meant to be used as a temporary measure in states of extreme emergency. I fear that President Duterte will become frivolous in declaring martial law, enacting it when it is not necessary.
I urge you all to be vigilant in the days ahead. Be wary of further empowering those who already have too much power.