Sitting on a lofty mountain in Bataan gazing south to Mindanao pondering the situation and thinking back to the 1970’s and 80’s and what was going on then…
I was here in Olongapo City many times during Martial Law years ago, it was Inconvenient, for American servicemen who were here at the time, but that was my only real observation of Martial Law in the Philippines during that period as it did not pertain to me except to follow their rules and stay out of the business that was the Filipino’s and not mine..
Except for one time, when my C5-A landed at Clark AFB Pampanga and it was late at night and my driver could not take me to Olongapo until 5AM when the curfew lifted. Even then the road was full of barefooted people carrying AK-47’s, stolen chickens and sacks of rice along the National Highway, my driver Ding told me they were members of the NPA (No Permanent Address?) It did make me wonder just who it was enforcing the curfew in the country.
If we (Sailors and Marines) were in Olongapo at night and missed the curfew we slept in the bars (Or continued drinking) or spent the night with a new found friend. At 5am we’d wander to the open bar on Magsaysay Street called the Brown Fox, which was located across from Station “B” It would be wise to wander over to the police and ask if any shipmates need the fine paid so they could get back to the ship on time. The fine was normally five hundred pesos, and if paid before the Shore Patrol made their rounds then what ever infraction occurred that night really never happened. Do not ask for a receipt!
The local people, not the elite or the media, were content with Martial Law as they explained to me that more new schools and hospitals were built, more roads were constructed or paved than at any other period during their time on earth. The price of food at the market was also affordable and stable during that time.
This is what they told us military folks, so unless they all were forced to lie to us, I took them at their word.
After 911 in the United States we had a form of Martial Law called the Patriot Act where our freedoms were usurped by our government in the name of our safety. The funny part is the Patriot Act is still in force whereas most Martial Law has a time limit. Great Briton just had armed troops on the streets of London, after the cowardly attack by those “Losers” in Manchester. And Briton pulled the troops within days! American media cringed when our President Trump referred to ISIS and other terrorists as losers. It could be that the media thought it was CNN, MSNBC or the others he was referring too.
My weighted opinion on what is happening in Mindanao at this time is, for the sake of the Filipino People I pray it is resolved quickly and peace returns to the area. I further wish that the UN keeps its corrupt nose out of the situation and other countries mind their own business. In a time of a National Situation on the Philippines Archipelagos it reminds me of something I wrote about pertaining to living in a country not your own.
This applies once again to me and the other foreign guests of these Islands who have no wish to be deported.
As a guest in their house we are welcome to partake of their hospitality, we may sit anywhere we desire, but as a guest we have no right to rearrange their furniture. We are still only a guest!
This is why during my 25 plus years here in the RP I avoid commenting on things that do not pertain to guests like me.
Mr. Martin; I respect how you phrased your article, with information and not opinion. Some of the responses (A few) caused me to take pen in hand….