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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Friday, October 14, 2005

Is To Be Forearmed

The zero sum game is winding down. The Palace is tired of the stalemate with the Senate, fed up with the mosquito rallyists, sick to the bones with the public complaining of high gas prices. Malacañang is setting the stage for the imposition of martial law and the arbitrary exercise of emergency take-over powers. According to the Inquirer, trial balloons have been released to gauge public reaction or the lack thereof.

In anticipation of a declaration, the Senate will reconvene on October 24, much earlier than the scheduled November 4 session. The Palace is on the offense, the Senate is on the defense, the Supreme Court is prohibited by tradition from being pro-active. As an ordinary citizen, what must we do?

First, call up your congressman and register your opposition to the planned imposition of the martial law. Their phone numbers can be found at www.congress.gov.ph.

Second, start buying. The law of supply and demand will not be abrogated and will continue to hold true in spite of martial law. So, while supply lasts, buy. While demand is low, buy! But don’t be a fool, buy the basic goods and necessities. And if you are a pre-paid cell phone user, buy lots of pre-paid cards before prices become prohibitive rendering your cell phone useless.

Third, if you are a lawyer or have a friend who is one, start drafting a petition to question the sufficiency of the factual basis for declaring martial law. The Supreme Court has only 30 days to decide the case. Who knows? You may yet beat Ernesto Francisco, Jr., the fastest case filer, to the draw and end up with your name forever codified in Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Fourth, martial law will mean no classes, at least for a certain period. And you will be harangued not by soldiers but by your kids who will keep on yakking about nothing else to do. So, buy DVD's from your favorite Muslim retailer to while the children away.

Fifth, start buying bicycles and start losing weight. With martial law, cars will be fewer in the streets. Bikes will have more freedom to ply. Sa ika-uunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan at liliit ang inyong baywang. That goes for Ariel Ureta and for all of us.

Sixth, if you are in the "wish ko lang i-arrest" list of Secretaries Raul and Norberto Gonzales, make sure you pack a brand new toothbrush, and according to my favorite and soon-to-be-arrested political commentator, Manuel Quezon III, lots and lots of toilet paper rolls.

Certainly, all these and other preparations will be for naught if martial law is not declared. But when did it ever hurt someone to be "laging handa"?

Jesting aside, martial law is no low brow fear. Eternal vigilance is the price we are now paying for compliant congressmen and insufferable fools in the Executive branch. So, let it not be said that you were not forewarned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's good to be a boy scout: laging handa.

but boy scouts aren't supposed to be bigots. even in jest.

you have a muslim "retailer", not a "pirate".

Fact is, it is the koreans and the chinese who do the pirating. in concerto with "Fil-chinese" and "Catholic" businessmen, law enforcers and protectors. Ask Edu Manzano and Sen. Bong Revilla.


Jainal S. / Little Baguio, SJ

Assalamu Alaikum.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Edwin Lacierda said...

A thousand apologies, it has been changed.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, I know that you like to kid aside but I hope you're not serious about the suggestions that you made. Because it feels as though that what you thought us in constitutional law will not be applied. If I'm not mistaking the framers of the constitution almost did every precuationary steps to avoid the mistakes done during the Marcos regime. I'm still confident that the Constitution will prevail and lady Justice will still be blind folded....

2:34 PM  
Blogger gari said...

sir edwin,

followed your advised already and made some modifications:

if you are a netizen and has international contacts, advise them that your blog shall be the signal when and if you are arrested for posting anti-government commentaries...

if you happens to enjoy joining rallies, better still put all the leaflets you collected in a picture frame and be sure that it's price will be higher at the end of the martial law...

if you happens to be single and subversive, lose your virginity or else, someone else will lose it for you...water therapy, the g-shock and others...

if you happen to be a rallyist, keep an eye on who is besides you...maybe he or she is your friendly military assets...

if you happen to love the camera, develop all your films and print out all your digicams and be sure that you gave them out to everyone because you might be one of the desaparacidos...

and the number of list goes on and on.

9:26 PM  
Blogger mama_aly said...

Brother, can they really do this? I don't know what to believe anymore.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...


Trial balloons are being put out by the administration to gauge public reaction.

While administration congressmen are equally wary about martial law, we cannot be sure if they will oppose it.

The possibility is there, especially, after Secretary Ed Ermita laid out his three factors. For sure, securing peace and order will require the cessation of rallies. It is not all too remote that certain personalities will be arrested in one guise or another.

That is why it is imperative to pray and to be prepared. Let us hope that GMA is not too wild about imposing it. It will not serve her in good stead. The military might turn against her if she does.

So, who knows but keep watch!

9:49 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...


Nice points you made! Especially if the administration will target bloggers for arrest.

Let's hope not.

9:51 PM  
Blogger categorically imperative said...

the military can turn against her if she imposes martial law? on a scale of 1-10, what is the probability of that happening if she does impose it??? and on a much heavier note, will they suspend cable and satellite tv operations?

10:15 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...

Chances of military turning against her will depend on whether the reasons are credible enough to impose martial law.

Read Newsbreak magazine. It claims that the military is fractured and someone even hazarded that 70% of the military is against her. Who knows?

Will they suspend cable and satellite? Maybe for the short term, to establish peace and order and filter information. Martial law may never be the same like the Marcos type but she can easily ape some of the vestiges to her advantage.

11:14 PM  

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