By Reni M. Valenzuela
The Anti-terror Law is a product of hysteria and paranoia of the previous administration. It aims to fight terrorism, but it is by itself the mother of all terrors, so it seems. From it emerge the awkward, leery stunts and exploits of those in the corridors of power.
One big reason why I have never graced any event of any cause-oriented groups (left, right, middle) that have emailed/invited me to attend or become a part of their gatherings/programs, even with noted personalities present and/or as among the organizers is because I am being extra circumspect with my conduct and behavior as a journalist.
I steer clear being identified with public groupings/associations/individuals (with hot button advocacies) as a writer to maintain credibility, objectivity and independence – let alone my being bold and courageous in tackling various political, social, economic, security, religious and other burning issues of the day (without bias and remuneration, without fear or favor, with nothing to gain for myself — lest the “solvers” might find a way to red-tag or blue-tag or yellow-tag me.
Worse, I may even someday be branded as a “terrorist” on the basis of just one solitary act of attending any of such special occasions being a critic (most of the time) of the government, though sincerely and constructively, and prayerfully.
And thus I could be subjected to the imbecilities of the Anti-terror Law, as deemed “wise” or “proper” by the “solvers.” It happened to actress Liza Zoberano. She was instantly red-tagged (remember?) for simply participating as a guest/believer of women’s rights in an online forum of the youth arm of Gabriela, a Filipino alliance of women’s organizations. Paranoid, truly. Deranging. Whacky. Comics.
Our courts need not bother themselves with legal bitches and intricacies. The devil is in the details as much (perhaps) as God is in the inmost detailed parts of a human heart. There are no “local terrorists” in the country except the real terrorists. “Judge righteously.” – Deuteronomy 1:16. What deserves junking is the abominable Anti-terror Law, not our iconic Filipino jeepney, dear BBM and government officials. Refuse being fed, sirs, with fictions and animations. “Just do it.” – Michael Jordan.
Meanwhile, I see the “anti-terror” broadcast station to be deserving of the same fate as that of ABS-CBN which the latter did not deserve.
And why single out “Senior Aguila” of the Socorro cult for his lesser crimes, while the Pastor “Son of God” of SMNI who is an FBI-wanted man remains untouchable (locally, politically) for the more and much graver crimes (sexual abuse, child exploitation, human trafficking, fraud, etc.) he is facing in U.S. courts? Why not do the same in the Philippines, given the alleged traumatized victims are Filipinos or Filipino children no less? Ignominious.
What prevents our “leaders” from doing what they must do, if indeed they are leaders and public servants? Worried of losing “religious votes” in future elections? Who influences who, even in deciding controversial court cases involving equally controversial figures? Depraved. Political double standard. Call them justice if you may, but I won’t.
I write only upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the reason why I dread nothing and fear no one, and I normally compose a single piece in just over an hour after my morning prayer/Bible devotion. If not for Jesus Christ, there would have been no article/letter (ever) written and published under the name Reni M. Valenzuela since I surrendered my life to Him four decades ago. As a student and all my life, I never became a part of any street/mass protest — not even during the Edsa People Power revolt as a young, idealistic man at that time, and notwithstanding my homage to Ninoy Aquino as a hero and great human being.
God has His way of promoting, bannering and championing truth, justice and righteousness. Isaiah 55:8-9.
By the way, how much do the ‘solvers’ spend for each of the countless suspected ‘terrorists’ (or good-hearted, brave, patriotic Filipinos and well-meaning rebukers) they have in their lists, doing endless surveillance on them, wasting people’s money, wiretapping their phones, monitoring their movements, stealing/fabricating their personal data, and intruding into their privacy?
For certain, these “secret operations” require a huge, huge portion of their annual budget (in billions of pesos) – brutalized and squandered on inanities and tossed (lavishly) in soulless, crooked pockets.