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Poem: Why fear Martial Law in the Philippines?

By: April Mae M. Berza

As I have said, it will depend on [the President]. It is his decision, I cannot preempt him. Anyway, why are you so scared of martial law?
-PNP Chief Dela Rosa, Rappler


PNP Chief Dela Rosa humbly said,
“Why fear Martial Law?”

My tiny voice
would like to speak
about a lot of souls
whose past lives
would have been merrier
with their families
and friends
this holiday season,
but now, spending time
in the dungeons of hell
or the gates of heaven.

Duterte is no god
and no one should worship
Martial Law or any
of his selfish acts.

I’ve seen mothers lost
their own children,
children left in orphanage
for their parents died
in the siege in Marawi.

If only the president
would weigh his conscience
better than his head,
I would have just
been a voice
in the wilderness,
ready to be silenced.

But I am not.


April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) She is currently studying Diploma in Creative Writing in Filipino at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is the associate editor of Bukambibig PH. Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the America, France, Canada, Belgium, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain, and the Philippines. Some of her poems are published in Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. She used to work as the associate editor of Toe Good Poetry. Her poems are translated in Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Her poem “E-Martial Law” was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM


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