Posted on September 25, 2012 - Filed Under Punch Forum | Comments Off
23 Sept 2012
How well I remember the martial law. During that time I was a U.S. merchant seaman. One of the first things you learned was that Manila was a dangerous place. A person couldn’t walk in Luneta without being mugged. Luneta was one solid strip of squatter huts, many populated by itinerants who would cut your throat for a dollar. A visitor coming into Manila was warned about walking around the city. Every bar and nightclub had a security guard at the entrance with an advisory next to him telling you to check in your guns before entering.
If you got robbed forget about getting any help from the police. From my own personal experience the cops would threaten to arrest the victim on some trumped up charge before they would arrest the criminal. Pagpapabagsak ruled! Almost every bar in the Pasay area was a whorehouse.
Then martial law was implemented. Imelda started her beautification of Luneta. The security guards at the nightspots disappeared along with their gun check-in station. The nation’s infrastructure which had previously been neglected by past administrations began to take shape. Roads and bridges were built. Yes, there was the suppression of the press and freedom of speech.
But remember, the country was so corrupt, especially in the Manila area, that a strong hand was called for. As a person who came into the Philippines 4 or 5 times a year, staying a about a week each time, I could gauge the improvements of the country.
Sometimes it’s a lot better to have one strongman than a bunch of hoods disguised as politicians.