Impunity and Dictatorship

Impunity, if left unchecked, would usher in a full-blown dictatorship. With the way the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is running the government, it would have no qualms about declaring Martial Law. Its greed for power and wealth fears no institution; and it would lie, cheat, bribe, harass, abduct, maim, and kill to keep itself in power.

But every act has its consequences. The Arroyo government has turned Joe De Venecia from a “trapo,” which the people do not trust, to a martyr in the fight against corruption. Whether De Venecia would take advantage of this to leave a legacy by exposing what he knows or hasten his political demise by keeping his mouth shut and be the whipping boy of the administration is entirely up to him.

With its political blunder of kidnapping Lozada, the Arroyo government has added credence to everything he would be revealing. The Arroyo government would expectedly continue with its denials, but the weight of Lozada’s testimonies may yet shake the foundations of this administration.

While what the Arroyo government is saying may be true: that it does not fear Lozada’s testimony; because it can be so ruthless, brazen, and callous and it can lie with a straight face. But it also has it fears. It fears the Filipino people.

It is this fear that prevents it from declaring Martial Law. It is this fear that made it backtrack from its plans to amend the 1987 Constitution to keep itself in power beyond 2010, constrict civil liberties, revive the anti-subversion law and use its enormous powers under the Anti-Terrorism Law, euphemistically called the Human Security Act, and from further intensifying extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. It is also this fear that forced it to rescind the NBN-ZTE deal.

That is why it is doing everything to preempt and suppress any collective action of the Filipino people, be it a rally, a strike, a people power uprising cum military rebellion, or an armed revolution. But the more the Arroyo government acts with impunity and tries to suppress the people, the more it digs its own grave.

Impunity begets a dictatorship. But a dictatorship begets a people’s collective action.

It is only the Filipino people who can effectively check the Arroyo government’s impunity and prevent it from declaring Martial Law. It is only the collective action of the Filipino people that can get rid of a rotten government and usher in change. (

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