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Democracy vs. Martial Law

By MaeTalagtag Oct 16, 2012 733 Words
Philippines: Martial Law Regime or Democratic Country

Before the Filipinos attained the democracy of their country, they first experienced the different kind of discipline the most of their leaders gave, the Martial Law regime. Martial Law (Batas Militar) refers to the period of Philippine history wherein Philippine Presidents and Heads of state declared a proclamation to control troublesome areas under the rule of the Military, and it is usually given when threatened by popular demonstrations, or to crack down on the opposition. Martial law can also be declared in cases of major natural disasters, however most countries use a different legal construct like "state of emergency". Most of the leaders establish the dictatorship instead of democracy, because they thought that it would be the best way to help our country overcome the troubles of their country.

The first leader, who established the first Martial law regime was Governor-General Ramon Blanco, next was General Emilio Aguinaldo, then Former President Jose P. Laurel and last was one of the known dictators of the Philippines, Former President Ferdinand Marcos. He justified that it is because of the large threats of communist and Muslim rebels unto the country. Once in effect, it covered the entire republic on September 21, 1972. It was announced to the public two days later. The GNP of the country on that regime, increased at $11.5 billion by 1980. From the declaration of Martial law, the US President gave $2.5 billion for economic aid and bilateral military of the country. Everyone has a curfew on that time. Everyone shouldn’t be caught outside their residences from 12 o’clock midnight to 4 o’clock early morning. Or else, the cops will put you in jail, but will release you the next day. Depends on how heavy your mistake is. Marcos was very strict in that time. He started increasing the rates and prices in the market. Even the smallest mistake can lead you to a punishment. But the crimes lessen because most of the people are frightened and scared about the punishment they will receive if ever they’ll do something wrong. Cory Aquino established the democracy in the Philippines. She started the coalition of social and economic organizations. She also established the governance in which the people are the ones who “rule”. But what has happened only or have changed after Marcos administration is the increased of freedom of people to do whatever they wanted to do including the relentless and useless killings of everyone against their fellow Filipinos, most especially the media people, though the media people have gain more freedom to express their ideas and thoughts, murderers and killers have gain also more freedom to kill media people. It is a directly proportional freedom. Moreover, there is also an increase of murder and massacre crimes in the Philippines wherein still today these form of crimes were not yet totally solved though some cases were filed. Though democracy is the primal priority during the Ms. Aquino Administration, ironically, there are also a number of military coup d’ etats and nationwide brownouts or loss of electricity then, that is  because everyone have now more freedom to do whatever they wanted to do and to say whatever they wanted to say. But thanks God, the Philippines is still “check and balance” by the republic form of government that it has still today and not yet totally succumb to totally democratic system of government, lest the Philippines will self-annihilate itself.

However, I don’t say that democracy is wrong, but too much of it could break down the system because of no major agreement of every aspect in life in the Philippines; too much of it could bring disharmony because everyone will be right on his or her own ways. And, of course, too much of discipline can lead to revolt of the people against its leader, or worse, to its country. To solve this dilemma and to use effectively the privileges of democracy in the country, the new Philippine president should, yes, create portals like public forums to bridge and voice out the ideas and wants of every citizen in the country that will discuss and articulate the advantage and disadvantage of everyone’s ideas. We should always balance things, neither less nor too much. On that way, we’re able to create a major consensus that will bring peace and harmony in the Philippines.

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