• The Pasig Review

Today is Wednesday

Jonathan Olabre

Today is Wednesday. September 20, 1972.

Wednesday is what most of us consider as the middle of the week. Something to look forward to at the end of the workday knowing that the other half of the week will lead to the weekend. It is a touchstone for most of the working class. It is as if the worst is now behind us. We can cruise until the weekend comes. Wednesday is the crossroads in the week. For those who have labored so hard on Monday and Tuesday. In most bars, Wednesday is Ladies' Night. A Promotion to lift up the spirits of the stressed and tired, to tide them over until the weekend. Days of recuperation and respite. A time for home, family and friends. A time for the weekly rewards.

Today is Wednesday because our country is being battered by the COVID-19 Pandemic, reeling from spiraling inflation, loss of foreign investments, the whammy of suppression of Press Freedom, closure of businesses, hunger, poverty, a Damocles Sword hanging over our heads with the Anti-Terrorism Law, massive unemplplyment, president that calls God "Stupid", a compromised Supreme Court, a House and Senate suborned, State Security Forces acting with impunity, islands and territory conquered by China and above all, a significant portion of the population blindly supporting this.

Today is Wednesday and the War Against Drugs continue. More than 30,000 dead and counting. Now they kill our young. Kian, Carlo, Kulot and many more. No death penalty law in the country and yet death is now the law.

Today is Wednesday. We have lost the West Philippine Sea to China in exchange for still unfulfilled railroads.

Today is Wednesday. Our democratic institutions are under siege. The Supreme Court, the Ombudsman. A House of Representatives and a Senate suborned by a president.

Today is Wednesday. The very fabric of morality and values are being shredded. There is no more civil discourse. There is only hate in social media. There is fake news and above all, a foul mouthed leader who curses everybody. This Wednesday is also when many applaud uncouth behavior.

Today is Wednesday. The economy is a shambles. Millions of Filipino children who will sleep on mats, cardboards, bare floors and garbage without eating supper. Those who are sick will not get any doctors, medicines and medical attention today because it is Wednesday. Many of them will die because they did not have the medicines and medical attention because it is Wednesday. Many are sick and dying of the Covide-19 virus.

Today is Wednesday. Many of the people have no jobs because of failed economic policies made during that Wednesday. Industrialization was thrown out so as to assuage the IMF-WB conditions on what the Philippine economy must be after the 1947 Bretton Woods Agreement.

In exchange for loans, the country must not industrialize. our people will just be the market for the products of other countries. our people will just be hewers of wood and carriers of water.

And yet the country will need dollars to survive. Hotels, the Cultural Center, PICC, Folk Arts Theater, the Manila Film Center were financed by those loans in order to attract tourists. Agreements were made with Middle East countries for Philippine labor. At such a cost. The cost was a Presidential Decree, PD1177 that automatically allocated 40% of Philippine government revenues to automatic debt payment. Now, no industrialization meant no jobs. Now we have the Diaspora of Filipinos to foreign lands. The cost is social and very hard to measure. The very fabric of the Filipino family is now being threatened. How I miss my sister and brother. These all happened on Wednesday.

Today is Wednesday. When elected and appointed government officials run roughshod over the people. Giving them crumbs, corrupting their values and morals so as to sustain a Ruling Class that is answerable to no one. Of having the biggest mansions, the most delicious food, the best and fanciest vehicles, the most lavish parties, the finest clothes and the most money. They do so because of the Pork Barrel system. They do so because of corruption. They do so because they have made beggars of the people so that they will be elected again and again and again.

Because it is always Wednesday and they made a Mendicant State. Macliing Dulag. Dr. Johnny Escandor, Eman Lacaba, Edgar Jopson, Alex Boncayao, and thousands of soldiers, MNLF, NPA, activists, workers and way before them Elias, they all died on Wednesday.

It is a Wednesday today and tomorrow, shall our country be in a perpetual Wednesday?

Today is Wednesday. Our country is at the crossroads. We must decide if we are to be a better country, having ridden over the hump for the promise of a weekend or to be stuck on Wednesday.

All the evil started on Wednesday. In Malacanang. Marcos surrounded by his Rolex Twelve. They were making the countdown.

September 20, 1972 was a Wednesday. The next day was September 21, 1972. The day Martial Law was signed and two days later the Rider on the Pale Horse arrived.

Today is a Wednesday.

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