Since the Philippine-China agreement over the Spratley Islands, and came the impeachment complaints against the President, and lately, the SC ruling on the legality of the GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, one word that has seemed become prominent is TREASON.
Trea·son [trz’n] (plural trea·sons)
1. Betrayal of country: violation of the allegiance owed by a person to his or her own country, for example, by aiding an enemy. See also high treason
2. Treachery: betrayal or disloyalty
3. Act of betrayal: an act of betrayal or disloyalty
[12th century. Via Anglo-Norman treisoun, “treacherous handing over, betrayal,” from the Latin stem tradition- , from tradere, “to hand over” (source of English traitor, betrayal, and tradition).]
In my previous post I threw in something relative and quite forgotten – the word SUBVERSION. In the Philippines, Subversion is not a crime. Wait a minute, there must be some mistakes. In 1980, during Martial Law, I myself had been slapped with RA 1700 and this is sounding too good to be true now! That’s right. Republic Act 1700 or the Anti- Subversion Law has been repealed since after the Edsa-I Revolution in 1986.
Sub·ver·sion [səb vúr’n, səb vúrsh’n] (plural sub·ver·sions)
1. Activity undermining government: an action, plan, or activity intended to undermine or overthrow a government or other institution
2. Overthrow of something: the destruction or ruining of something
[14th century. Directly or via French from the late Latin stem subversion, from, ultimately, subvertere (see subvert).]
Knowing universal nature of States, and taking the meaning of the word subversion, there must be some mistakes. It appears we Filipinos made our own definition of the word.
While RA 1700 was obviously intended against the Communists it was also applied against the general democratic forces in the Philippines. Criticisms against President Marcos, the first family, government policies – matters that the world today would view as mere exercises of freedom of expression landed activists and people in jail during the time of Martial Law and RA 1700 (as amended by Presidential Decree 885).
Apparently, actual application of RA 1700 put new meanings to the word Subversion so that the new political order which ended the 2 decades of rule by the President, Dictator, and later President & Prime Minister, Ferdinand E. Marcos, totally threw away the Anti-Subversion Law. The post Marcos-era constitution put the internal defense of the State in the words Sedition and/or Rebellion. (?) I guess the essence of subversion is now assimilated by them.
Se·di·tion [sə dísh’n]
1. Rebellion or incitement: actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority, or such a rebellion
[14th century. Directly or via Old French from the Latin stem sedition- “civil disorder,” literally, “a going apart, separation,” from, ultimately, ire “to go.”]
Re·bel·lion [ri béllyən] (plural re·bel·lions)
1. Attempt to overthrow government: an organized attempt to overthrow a government or other authority by the use of violence
2. Defiance of authority: opposition or defiance of authority, accepted moral codes, or social conventions
There is a very thin, or is not it a wider than a mile-thick(?) line separating freedom of expression and subversion. Scrapping of RA 1700 stemmed from the belief, which prevailed, that subversion cannot be proven until it has spelled to treason, or sedition, and/or rebellion. But as we can see in the simple definitions of words, I believe something distinct, peculiar with the word subversion has been lost with the scrapping of RA 1700.
Treason may be, but an act of sedition or rebellion by those in control of the State? Now, that sounds funny ridiculous. A treasonous or a seditious President, for example? That is how some see President Arroyo in several of her recent moves. Why not can’t that be. When Philippine constitution is being undermined by those in control of the state and replaced by rule of whims, then people are being deceived and robbed of their freedom and rights. And the ensuing rule is called tyranny aka dictatorship.
The law will not exempt anybody. That’s right, no one is above the law, some people never heard about that. But I still think that some times subversion might be the word, nearest than any of them.
Block quotations are all from Encarta Reference Library.