Imee Marcos said, “Wise move” referring to Duterte’s declaration of September 21 as National Day of Protest.
Burn my effigy. Hoarse your throat of your curses. Stay on the street if you want. Permits unnecessary. My police on standby just to watch the traffic. But don’t provoke violence. Because I will put the country under Martial Law. Duterte warned.
Before Duterte’s Presidency remembrance of Marcos Martial Law tapered off. It revved up now. Because people saw Duterte as a perfect likeness to Marcos. Digong knows this. So instead of repressing people’s rights as Marcos did, Digong do the opposite. He gave leeway to protester; march, rally, throw in spiteful and fiery speeches, raise their fist. But forewarned them not to destroy people and government property. Not to violate the Law. Because people will meet Martial Law again, the Duterte’s version.
His threat has teeth. People aware it produced results. Drug lords killed. Mighty cigarette manufacturer, a tax cheat forced to pay – helpful to the government. His corrupt appointees sacked.
His ultimatum instills fear and discipline and people followed. The National Day of Protest turned out peaceful.
Peaceful though it was, it sprang up emerging pattern. Dissent on Duterte’s rule crept up judging from the crowd turnout. Danger zones come into view. Throwing the weight of his office to his Congress counterpart, providing the Human Rights Commission a 1000-pesos budget. Impeaching Maria Lourdes Sereno, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Attempts such as these if it gets out-of-bounds – to his own peril.
But as he said, he doesn’t care to lose his Presidency, anyway.
So, is his declaration of National Day of Protest a Wise move?