Educational martial law films, a means to rebel? The military got it right.

What is wrong with informing oneself of the atrocities of the country’s dark past under the fascist rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos?

Amid the incessant historical revisionism, the youth are ever critical of the past "as not to repeat it." Thus, condemning the present sins of the Duterte administration and relating it to the vile dictator Marcos is akin to their assessment of pressing social and political situations.

While the Armed Forces of the Philippines pushes for the fictional Red October narrative, it red-tagged Manila universities - alleged them to be breeding grounds of the New People’s Army, and undermined its students to be radicals and rebels with their analyses of the socio-political landscape today. Never mind that being reminded of the bloody martial rule only “hurt” the military than being inspired of constructively rectifying its ranks.

Duterte should be wary of the signs of the times: it is not the well-informed and democratic students that instigate a destabilization to the society but it is his ill-management of the economy, rabid attacks to the political opposition, inhumane state-sanctioned drug killings and disregard for the general welfare of the toiling masses, which engenders a broad resistance against his administration. He is only making enemies out of the people whom he should serve.

While parading a supposed weakness of the revolutionary armed movements in the countryside, the state under Duterte is seemingly turning to the legal mass dissenters, who hold not arms but placards, banners and principled unity. It is imperative for a working democracy that the people can express dissent and be critical of their governments. Apparently, Duterte is a paper tiger who muscles his illusory strength and yet is trembling before the broad disgruntled people.

Nevertheless, Duterte must be reminded that it is not the critical mass that encourages rebellion but it is with his anti-people policies and unresolved political and social crises that pushes the people to tread the higher ground of armed revolution. It is not a secret; it is a fact in the poverty-plagued society.

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