Opinion: GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMICS OF REPRESSION
Its flock knows no boundaries of class, color, or status, yet still the Church is of and for the poor.
Yet now, its poor is circumscribed, marked, targeted and killed, all in the altar of repression. The present chief of state has chosen the poor to take the brunt of his governance and economics of repression – to suppress any and all opposition, even just criticism, to his rule and his aims, through police control, propaganda and an all-pervading fear.
And what is his ultimate and final aim? To assure his and his family’s long-term survival, his ultimate and final selfish goal: federalism, to carve out a large, federated state of his Davao area where his heirs can hold political sway for the next at least 100 years as he had done for the last 30 years. Because a federated state has equal powers to the central federal government, and this power can even be greatly exaggerated by Constitution-enshrined political and legal largesses, such that he and his heirs can be safely ensconced, not having to face the justiciable responsibility for the killings of thousands of the poor. And along the way, to build up the treasury and war chest for this powerful state of Davao, he has set out to be the biggest drug lord in the land, eliminating the other big drug lords who may rival him. The Philippines will revert to the dark days of federalism, with feudal warlords, and overlords.
In the economics of repression, he must increase the tax take of government (dissimulating it by decreasing personal income tax, but increasing all other excise and indirect taxes), being careful not to reach the economic survival limit of the middle class and the poor (providing for their most basic bodily needs), diverting their attention by lowering personal income tax), and channelling more government funding to the security forces (especially the police, never mind the teachers who wield no guns) and propaganda (the best way of enhancing your own propaganda is by suppressing opposing information like Rappler, Inquirer, and ABS-CBN). At present, his best and most effective propaganda is the BIG LIE which is resorted to by despots, which is that surveys show him to have at least 80% approval rating (manipulated by RP through the sub-contract survey arms of the major survey companies), while social media meter readings most currently show 97% against him in Facebook and 95% against him in Instagram (minus the army of trolls which are cheaply financed by him). Why 80% approval rating? If you were in the majority against him, you will wrongly think that your neighbors in front, to your right side and your left, and the one behind, are all for him. You are the lone wolf against him. Again, the use of fear. Notice the police, his firstline instrument of fear, even the lowest ranks are now buying new cars or new big bikes. Notice also that very recently just after one day of protest due to lack of salary increase, the teachers stopped — fear again.
In addition, in the economics of repression, a despot must make sure that a good-enough sizeable chunk of the added tax take goes into economic development (“Build, Build, Build”), for the long term economic survival of the country which would translate to his own rule having a better chance to be prolonged.
In governance, he has fully controlled the House of Representatives, and slowly working his way to seize control of the Senate. His efforts to fully control the other branches and agencies (Supreme Court by an effort to change the present Chief Justice with another of his choice, Associate Justice PV, the most corrupt justice ever; subverting and controlling the Constitutional change process, by having the head of the Advisory Committee, a former chief justice, another transactional magistrate; meddling and trying to control constitutional bodies like the Ombudsman, the ERC, CHED, and others) continue unabated. His vitriolics against them are fever pitch as he bulldozes everything in his path.
With this, the prospects for the poor are scary indeed. And soon, the despotic fear tactics and operation/s will spill-over and reach the D, C, B, with collateral effects on the A, segments. When the designated-hitmen-police get acclimatized to killings and more callous, then they won’t care at all who they kill-whoever gets in their way, be it part of their mission or not. Those who live by the law of the jungle know no bounds. Like the Ton Ton Macoutes hoodlum-police of Papa Doc Duvalier’s Haiti, who not only terrorized the general population but also the elite and the army officers.
We ask the People of the Church to stand up for its poor, doing it at the same time for its full flock.
Awake O freedom’s sword against this strickening malady, now, today, not tomorrow; for when the phone rings, the sirens scream out, the hospital or cell door slams shut loud, we find alas that it sounds for us or our family: for loved ones, daughter or son, niece or nephew, or grandchild.
Huwag tayong malingat o malingon – ang kahirapan na parating ay manonoot sa ikabuturan natin.