On the grounds of drug-related charges, Sen. Leila de Lima was arrested on Feb. 25, the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
The coincidence of these two events brings intriguing questions: was there an irony in the situation? Was the arrest a subtle political move to silence Sen. De Lima who is a notable critic of the current administration’s war on drugs? Did the arrest of Sen. De Lima directly oppose the historical essence of the Philippine Revolution of 1986?
A pattern can be traced back to Emilio Aguinaldo’s administration, when prospective threats to Aguinaldo’s power such as Andres Bonifacio and Gen. Antonio Luna were executed by their own countrymen. While the late president’s involvement was never proven, many historians through the years gathered evidence that strongly suggest its truth.
This behavior was even more strongly exhibited during the Marcos regime when journalists, politicians, authors, and many others who had publicly criticized the administration mysteriously ended up missing or dead.
While to make suspicions that Sen. De Lima is a political prisoner based on mere patterns is fallacious, the situation on its own strongly appears to send a message from the Duterte administration that those who dare express political dissent will be gravely punished. Essentially, this impression is a threat to the idea of democracy.
For the Filipino people, it is important to always be vigilant. We must never be apathetic nor passive when it comes to our country’s welfare. “People power” does not require a revolution for it to be enforced. It simply needs to be perpetually active to deter any evil intentions from the scoundrels in our government.
A dictatorship in a democratically-aligned country is a disease that is difficult to cure. The first step to prevent this disease from ever flourishing, then, would be to know the symptoms.