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Shock and awe

When governance becomes a mere shock and awe thing expect the president to order
sardines in lieu of the prepared menu during a cabinet meeting in the Palace.
And of course, still photos are taken and video cameras panned to where the
president is seated when such sardines were served.
This is no different to the gimmick of sleeping inside a mosquito net and had himself
photographed during the presidential campaign period in 2016 to project simple living on
the part of the candidate.
Since that photo won him the presidency, such strategy is being employed from time
to time especially when the presidency is under heavy fire for issues that are indefensible
such as the country’s inexplicable subservience to China.
That subservience is proved by the numerous onerous loan agreements entered into
by the country under this administration with China. Loans guaranteed by the country’s
patrimony in case of default.
Not only that. This apparent subservience saw the president defending and clearing
even before any formal investigation could be undertaken of a Chinese national who became
presidential economic adviser. The guy’s nationality was clearly established when no less
than China’s ambassador to the country cleared him of any involvement in the illegal drug
trade.
This shock and awe strategy in governance was witnessed by the nation when at the
start of this administration it undertook the so-called “tokhang” approach in fighting illegal
drugs.
But when those who are into illegal drugs were identified after voluntarily
surrendering to authorities, the killings of these suspects began. The war became so bloody
that even the administration could no longer handle the situation.
So shocked and awed were the people to tokhang that they were gripped with fear to
even react. It was this fear that the administration capitalized on by becoming authoritarian
in its rule without having to formally declare authoritarian rule.
Even the Supreme Court justices were gripped with fear proved by their own
subservience to the sitting administration like when they removed their own chief justice at
the prodding of the Palace on grounds not sanctioned by the constitution.
This was done under the principle that the law is what it is according to the
interpretation of the Supreme Court.
Even the principle of double jeopardy and the principle governing martial law
extensions were set aside if it means not crossing hairs with the president. If this is what
shock and awe made out of the country’s highest magistrates, think of what it could do to
ordinary mortals like you and me.

But the worst fear that this shock and awe thing caused on the nation is the people’s
inability to discern that the candidates for senators that this administration is endorsing this
coming elections are personalities who do not deserve to have the title of honorable
appended to their names.
For the sake of this nation’s future let us collectively extricate ourselves from the fear
that is gripping us as a result of this shock and awe style in governance by doing what is
right by not voting those candidates endorsed by the administration who are and have been
charged with plunder; that candidate who could not truthfully tell us if she indeed finished
college in the country’s premiere state university; that candidate who wrote finis to
Philippine agriculture, that candidate who authored the oppressive Train law; that candidate
who can spend half a billion pesos in television ads but whose declared net worth is only P12
million; that candidate whose only claim to fame is his being the main implementer of
tokhang, among others.

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