By RUDY D. LIPORADA
Itaga mo sa bato: Duterte, Bato, and other cohorts of the President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte’s government are already set for the downfall. Pity that they don’t learn from history – among the recent event of which is the downfall of Ngo Dinh Diem who was president of South Vietnam from 1955 until he was killed in 1963 in a military coup.
Like Digong, Diem never fulfilled his reform campaign promises, especially on land reform. Diem filled his government echelon with his relatives, close friends, and cohorts. They enriched themselves while in office. During his regime, due to his alienating the Southern Vietnamese, the people were drawn more to the influence and appeal of the communist-inspired Vietnamese National Liberation Front (VNLF) also tagged as the Vietcong (VC). Due to his imprisoning and killing those who expressed opposition to his regime whom he tagged as helping and recruited by the communist insurgents, more intense guerilla warfare was waged against his government.
Although the United States supported Diem on his anti-communist stance, with Richard Nixon even asking him not to attend initial peace negotiation talks with the VC, the massacre of mostly Buddhists at a May rally precipitated the withdrawal of US support for Diem. He was then covertly assassinated in a military coup. He was brutally gunned down with his brother at the instigation of the CIA.
Now, in spite of the encroachment of China on the Philippine soils and resources and endangering the interests of the United States in the Islands and the Philippine seas, the US opts, for now, to support Digong in his rabid anti-communist stand. Digong, in spite of his anti-US imperialism rhetoric, is actually receiving arsenal and military advise from US combat military advisers because he had pledged to eradicate communists who he also tags as terrorists.
Nonetheless, like in Vietnam, like what happened to Diem, there will be a tipping point where, due to the rapid increasing unpopularity of Digong, that he, too, will be more of a liability to the US imperialists than an asset. He will soon be, like his idol, Ferdinand Marcos, kicked out of Malacañang. For this reason, Digong is also courting the Chinese social-imperialists and has claimed that, should there be an oust venture against him, the Chinese will protect him. Thus, for his sake, against the revolutionary movement and the US imperialists, he had to give concessions to China to the extent of virtually selling out whatever resources he can to China – to the detriment of Philippine fishermen, peasants, and, especially, the indigenous people.
Moreover, through neophyte Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Digong made a stand, generally, against students who express their sentiments against government decisions that they thought were inimical to the interest workers, peasants, indigenous people, and the nation as a whole. Recently, Bato berated the National Union of Students of the Philippines president Raoul Manuel after the latter brought up his controversial comment about giving convicted killer Antonio Sanchez a “second chance” during a forum where the discussion should have centered on the revival of ROTC in school campuses.
Manuel commented on how it was hard for the government to teach law enforcement and human rights awareness in the schools when there are politicians who believe that a certain “rapist mayor” has to be given a “second chance” while poor people are summarily executed. In reaction, Bato went ballistic questioning the patriotism of Manuel and said that the lack of discipline among the youth is actually the reason for the need for the re-imposition of the ROTC.
Bato seems not to be aware that outside of the military, there are those who believe that discipline in the military means obey the command first though you could question later. This means that discipline in the military means does not think, just follow orders – like a robot.
This concept of discipline is so far off from the principle of academic freedom where students must be given the leeway to think for themselves, deduce for themselves what is right or what is wrong in society and take measures accordingly.
Bato fails to understand if he knows that, in history, Diem used an iron fist against the Vietnamese students to the extent of closing schools because, to him, like Duterte and Bato, the schools are hotbeds for recruitment of fighters for the Vietcong. This resulted in the hastening at a more rapid pace to the actual joining of students in the fight for the liberation of Vietnam.
Thus, we can say that Bato, with the sanction of Digong, is now the utmost recruiter of the New People’s Army – not because they are undisciplined but because their freedom is being curtailed.
If Digong, Bato, and their cohorts want peace and the students to be disciplined, all they have to do is learn from the downfall of Diem. Easier that done and out of their character, Digong, with his henchmen, should fulfill his campaign promises: eradicate corruption, institute land reform, industrialize the nation, shoo foreign domination, stop the drug lords, remove contractualization or ENDO, protect the environment. Most of all, apart from others, go back to the peace negotiation table with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
You don’t need the ROTC for that. And, for sure, the youth will be disciplined. After all, it is universally true – the youth is the hope of the Motherland – for the future belongs to them.
Otherwise, as set in bato, the regime of Digong, like Diem’s will, sooner than soon, also crumble. # nordis.net