Long, fearsome night

Last updated 01:23am (Mla time) 03/28/2007

Like any typical Filipino kid, I was taught to fear the darkness of the night. "Tikbalang," "aswang" and "kapre" were creatures that ate young kids strolling in dark alleys way past bedtime.

As I grew older (and stayed up late longer), I learned that drug addicts, snatchers and holdup men were to be feared more than the "aswang" in the dead of night. Boy, I must have grown so fast -- now I fear for the country more than I fear for myself in the dead of night. Let me explain by citing some of the incidents that led me to such fear:

• At 3 a.m. of March 19, 2007, detained Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Satur Ocampo was taken out of prison for a plane ride to Leyte. Anyway, the flight was aborted halfway.

• Past 11 p.m. of Dec. 29, 2006, convicted rapist Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith of the US Marines was surreptitiously transported from the Makati City Jail to the US Embassy.

• Twice the House of Representatives stayed up late till the early morning hours the next day to quash two attempts to impeach Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; and once to railroad Charter change.

Hell must be jubilant over Ms Arroyo’s leadership. After all, under her guidance, the government operates “like a thief in the night.” Unfortunately, every time the thief strikes, democracy suffers; and we are robbed of our rights and liberties.

With barely two months left before this year’s elections, I can’t help but worry that there is going on a sort of dress rehearsal for late-night operations come May. Oh yes, of course, three Sundays ago, a building of the Commission on Elections went up in smoke in the dead of night. I just hope this incident wouldn’t count.

But definitely, there are enough reasons for us to wake up from our deep slumber and keep the lights on through this long night.

National President
National Union of Students of the Philippines

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