Saturday, November 19, 2016

325: The National Rape

So this is what being raped feels like, the physical attack being secondary, the primary one being the assault on your dignity and on your very person. Make no mistake, the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani is a deliberate insult, first to the victims of Martial Law and the Marcos dictatorship (and we are all victims, perhaps to varying degrees, but victims all the same), and second, a reminder of how helpless they think we really are. To our faces, they say: what are you going to do about it? what can you do about it? Truly we are victims several times over, of a dictatorship in time past, and a looming dictatorship in the time to come.

The rape itself was perpetrated at noon of November 18. It happened quickly, without announcement, all the better so we the victims could not find the sense to resist. But the premeditation happened long before, perhaps hatched in some backroom deals of the election campaign. And yet it's not as if this should come as any surprise. Interview after interview, during the so-called debates, it was out in the clear: if The Dirty became president, he would bury Marcos at the LNB.

So this is what being raped feels like, and those you looked up to care for you stand aside or even collude with the rapist. The Supreme Court: like lecherous old men, wisdom bent to evil, whispering in your ear: "it's justified, it's right, it's his right, don't resist", providing the basis for the rape. The Senate: the brothers you thought would stand up for you, who instead, stand aside, turn their backs, perhaps even making a joke at your expense.

And from the perpetrator himself: "I am only doing what is legal." This rape is legal, like primus noctae from the days of kings.

At the end of all this, what is left? Just the seething anger and the rage at your seeming helplessness. Because the next day, you will have to see your rapist's face at work, at school, in your house. And there are many around you who will say: "oh, never you mind, look at all the good that he's done, look at all the good that he's doing." Good? What do they know of good? When they can condone, even justify, murder in the name of peace, what gives them the right to say what is good?

Really, what is left? Will no one stand up? Will no one speak up?

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