MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 16 June) – The world loves a terrorist, although how often is open to argument. I’m not referring to the likes of the ISIS or any of its allied groups, which routinely takes pleasure in attacking civilians and non-military targets. For purposes of this article, I take terrorist to mean someone who acts for the betterment of humanity through means which, though outlawed, are deemed a necessary evil under certain conditions.
He or she may either be guided by an ideology or simply driven by ideals of justice and freedom. In most cases, however, a terrorist in contemporary times gets inspiration from both.
So, why do people embrace terrorists, if not openly, at least in a hidden chamber of their hearts? One explanation could be the mystique of resistance, of admiration for the courage to choose subversion over submission to the wretched state of things. Who wouldn’t admire those who dare to defy the judge’s gavel or the soldier’s gun?
Come to think of it, our independence, whose 122nd year we celebrated last week, is the fruit of the defiance of yesterday’s terrorists (Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini and their comrades) who we now adore as heroes.
Moreover, the preamble of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights alludes to rebellion (liberally labeled by many governments as terrorism) as an implied right by oppressed peoples. It states: “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…”
But when does rebellion (or terrorism or whatever name it is called) become necessary? There can never be a definitive answer to that. Even during the Spanish colonial era where oppression had become intolerable there were reformists like Jose Rizal who questioned the wisdom of waging a war for liberation. A lot may depend on whether its political mercury rises or dips. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)