NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 30 January) — A true and vibrant university is a free market of ideas and produces individuals of different molds and persuasion. Many would concern themselves in making a living and to advance materially, and would soon become cogs of the machines of the establishment. A number would not bother too much in material existence but pursue the intangibles in life – they are mankind’s philosophers, artists, poets and other dreamers – individuals who are unhappy with the world they found themselves in and want to change it.
University faculty and students who are tagged by state security forces as communists and, therefore, as terrorists, are mere dreamers. Our laws protect dreamers, guarantee their right to dream and share their dream to others. They may be political activists but they are not enemies of the State until they actually carry arms, incite and wage a shooting war against the regime.
To call them communists/terrorists when they are not doing anything that violates any law is terrorism itself. It is sowing fear, uncertainty and insecurity not only to those tagged red but to the general public as well.
Red-tagging is a slipshod, lazy and cowardly approach to fight communism or terrorism. It is creating enemies that state security forces can conveniently pursue in chosen places at their good time to bloat accomplishment rather than pursue real enemies in their lair. Red-tagging is a corrupt practice.
But come to think of it. While this regime considers local communists as terrorists it is, however so friendly and cozy with Communist China and allows Chinese communists to come freely like a flood into our country?
How explain this? Everyone knows that Communist China has flagrantly infringed on our sovereign territory and is the country’s primary supplier of Shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
What is behind this inconceivable ambivalence and inconsistency?
Can it be corruption – the original sin from the very start?
The Duterte regime vowed to stamp out corruption but appears to live by it. Even in this sickening pandemic time, corruption reared its ugly head in the very domain of the President, such as the monumental PhilHealth scam and the current raging corruption issue anent the crucial COVID-19 vaccine acquisition. The Presidential Security Group made matter worse when it admitted to having smuggled COVID-19 vaccine inside the Palace for the members’ use and did away with it sans sanction from the Commander-in-Chief. Instead, he stopped the probe on it conducted by the AFP command.
How are we to make sense of the whirling, suffocating controversies in the country’s governance? (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)