30 November, 2020

The Spectre Of Big Brother

A series of anti-terrorism bills spark fears of a return to authoritarian government

The Spectre Of Big Brother

ON Sunday, February 25, an estimated 80,000 people turned out on the streets of Manila to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 'People Power' revolution which overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos. As helicopters showered confetti, President Fidel Ramos, addressing a gathering, nostalgically recalled: "The high excitement of 1986 (when the Marcos regime was overthrown by democratic forces) has receded into history. The cry of the crowds, the growl of tanks, the flutter of helicopters, all these are merely a memory for us who stood here a veritable lifetime ago." 

Ten years later, in 1996, while memories of the revolution dim, Filipinos wonder whether the legacy of autocracy might not be making a comeback. Commemoration of the revolution anniversary has been less than warm in recent years, with state functions receiving a mere handful of visitors. This year's gathering was said to be the largest in many years. Has the fervour for freedom and democracy become jaded? Media reports cite the continuing corruption and the return to politics by former Marcos aides, particularly his...



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