Monday, August 14, 2006 [ 11:54 AM ]


"Cedula’y punitin tanda yan ng pagkaalipin!" That is one of the lines I can still remember from our school play when I was at grade 5. The setting there as far as I can remember was during the Spanish colonial era where Filipinos without cedula will surely go home with bruises all over the body or worst he may never get home at all.

Just only these past couple of days in seems that the fear of not having cedula aroused again in some parts of the country particularly in Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, parts of Central Luzon that is covered by the powers of Gen. Jovito Palparan. Recent news and interviews says that citizens in the place that cannot produce their cedulas will either be hurt or put to jail.

Some accounts tell that there is an incident where a man showed an expired cedula and the soldiers forced him to swallow the piece of paper. Another says that an old beggar asked a soldier how can he get his cedula when he cannot even buy his food. The beggar was slapped in the face. These accounts were, of course, denied by Gen. Palparan, among with other stories of military abuses.

I personally believe that although some of these stories were exaggerated, there are pieces of truth in it. The smoke wouldn’t be there if there is no fire. Based on character background and testimonies of many, the story of the abuse of power can never be a full fiction. I am not against the military checkpoints asking for cedula, it’s ok. But why not just ask for any valid ID? Private corporations are looking for it for their legal transactions and not cedula. Even if the military says that ID can easily be faked, do they know that cedula, a paper in size of a receipt, is easier to fake? Do they know that the younger generation doesn’t even know what a cedula is? Or even what does it look like? Professionals all have ID’s but I don’t think all of them have a cedula. I think these illogical actions of Gen.Palparan are boosted because of the President’s encouragement during her SONA. “Palakpakan natin si General Jovito Palparan”


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