The real ‘Red Oc­to­ber’

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION -

If any real “Red Oc­to­ber” plot was un­cov­ered this month, it was a ver­sion of char­ter change ap­proved by House Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo and some of her con­gres­sional col­leagues that ex­posed the ex­tent of an­tic­i­pa­tion of a pres­i­den­tial va­cancy among Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterete's own al­lies.

Un­der the Ar­royo ver­sion of char­ter change (hur­riedly amended to re­store the vice pres­i­dent to the pres­i­den­tial line of suc­ces­sion), the Se­nate Pres­i­dent was des­ig­nated as im­me­di­ate suc­ces­sor to the Pres­i­dent in case he was in­ca­pac­i­tated or va­cated his of­fice.

This fu­eled spec­u­la­tion that Ar­royo found the end of a Duterte term im­mi­nent and was plot­ting to re­turn to the high­est of­fice in the land by gun­ning for the Se­nate and se­cur­ing its lead­er­ship to po­si­tion her­self for a sec­ond takeover of the pres­i­dency.

The other Duterte sup­porter who looks ea­ger to be Pres­i­dent is of course Ferdinand Mar­cos Jr., whose protest of loss to Vice Pres­i­dent Ma. Leonor Ro­bredo is still be­ing heard by the Pres­i­den­tial Elec­toral Tri­bunal. That is the Mar­cos who is Duterte's pre­ferred suc­ces­sor should he come to the point of re­sign­ing.

The real “Red Oc­to­ber” is a scheme against the vice pres­i­dency (fired by ex­cited fan­tasies of a Duterte exit), not against the Pres­i­dent as the po­lice and the mil­i­tary claimed in­fa­mously, com­plete with an un­ver­i­fied list of schools al­legedly serv­ing as New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) re­cruit­ment hubs.

That em­bar­rass­ing episode of de­fi­cient in­tel­li­gence was capped with the list­ing of a Caloocan City Col­lege that turned out to be nonex­is­tent, the city univer­sity’s name be­ing in fact Univer­sity of Caloocan (for­merly Caloocan City Com­mu­nity Col­lege and Caloocan City Polytech­nic Col­lege).

Ac­cord­ing to the mil­i­tary lead­er­ship, the screen­ing of films about mar­tial law and the dic­ta­tor Ferdinand Mar­cos in the 18 schools is ev­i­dence that they are in­sti­gat­ing stu­dents to rebel and help over­throw Duterte who is be­ing por­trayed as the new Mar­cos.

If this were the case, then schools and com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try have been re­cruit­ing for the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines and the NPA since the lat­ter half of the 1980s and the Apo Hik­ing So­ci­ety should be charged with re­bel­lion over that “Han­dog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” mu­sic video that shows the depth and strength of Filipino op­po­si­tion to the Mar­cos dic­ta­tor­ship and oli­garchy.

It was only right that school lead­ers, artists, stu­dents, teach­ers and other ed­u­ca­tors con­demned the un­founded as­so­ci­a­tion of ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions with sub­ver­sion.

“Our film screen­ings pro­vide an in­valu­able ser­vice to the youth, the stu­dents and the gen­eral au­di­ence, es­pe­cially since our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem has largely failed in in­form­ing them about the sys­temic atroc­i­ties that hap­pened dur­ing the mar­tial law era,” read one state­ment con­demn­ing the red scare.

“The screen­ings hope to pro­vide them with knowl­edge and in­sight into that dark chap­ter in our his­tory, es­pe­cially since many of the ac­tual per­pe­tra­tors and ben­e­fi­cia­ries of that fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ship have fully re­ha­bil­i­tated them­selves back into main­stream pol­i­tics and into po­si­tions of power.”

The real “Red Oc­to­ber” is not the en­light­en­ment of stu­dents’ gaps in his­tor­i­cal learn­ing, but the plot among the pres­i­dent’s clos­est al­lies to sub­vert our con­sti­tu­tional or­der as they feed their ad­dic­tion to power.

War against hege­mons, any­one?

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