About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

How to Get Away with Murderous Martial Law

So you think you can rule?

Many people can rule a country, especially a democratic one.

But only a few can rule a country with absolute unchecked power—by killing its democracy—and get away with it.

Previously in Chapter 1, we’ve covered the basics by teaching you how to orchestrate crises and pin the blame on others. You have learned that it can be quite easy to use the emergency powers outlined in your country’s constitution.

In Chapter 2, things started to get fun when we’ve taught you how to finally make a return on your investment:

  • When you’ve been given complete control over the country’s military through martial law, you can now silence (or torture and kill, if you like) critics and seize the media worry-free.
  • Without journalists and the pesky opposition to keep track of your administration’s wrongdoings, you can now steal the people’s money without limit.
  • We’ve also shared to you the expert advice of indiscriminately borrowing funds from other countries—even at very high interest rates—so you can first pocket a huge chunk of it, and then build, build, build infrastructure like roads, bridges, and windmills from the rest. If it’s your cup of tea, you can also build schools, hospitals, and cultural/convention centers. This will be useful later on.

Now in Chapter 3, we’ll teach you (and your descendants) 7 steps on how to bounce back if ever you get toppled down in a revolution. These things happen. But are we going to let a little nonviolent ouster ruin our day?

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

  1. Cut and cut cleanly

Make a clean exit. Staying alive should be your first priority. The people are seething with anger; they are out to get you. Contact your strongest foreign ally, perhaps the Americans or the Chinese, and seek their advice and help.

Simon Says: Before fleeing your palace, remember to get as much valuables as you can: jewels, gold bars, cash. All the paperwork that contains the access details to all your offshore bank accounts must also be with you.

  1. Lie low

Now that you’re living in exile, don’t worry too much. Time is your friend. Don’t rush things.

Thanks to the giant debt you’ve left the nation with, succeeding administrations will have a really hard time cleaning up your financial mess. It will also take time to rebuild the democratic institutions you’ve destroyed, as the monstrous padrino system you have gladly fed for decades is still breathing its fire.

Due to the chaos, people will think the administrations after you are stupid and inept. They will point to all the infrastructure projects you’ve built using high-interest foreign loans and miss your illusion of brilliance.

  1. Dodge cases against you

Retain as much of your wealth and reputation as possible by dodging cases against you. If the cases are filed overseas, be smart to hire the best lawyers in the world, using the ill-gotten wealth in your Swiss bank accounts. But if the cases are filed in your home country, don’t hesitate to bribe witnesses, police, lawyers, and judges.

You ruled the country under the curtain of force and lethal abuse for years—if they won’t be swayed by your bribes, perhaps a few death threats and a little violence will do the trick.  

But if cases still continue to pour in, consider faking your own death by pretending to have a rare disease. This expert move will make you escape any judgment for your crimes by making it legally impossible for people to convict you.

Simon Says: Consider making a wax replica of yourself to make your death extra believable, and just get rid of the replica once you truly die.

  1. Return to your country

When things have cooled off, the face of functioning democracy will slowly show itself once again. Pray that the succeeding administrations after you will aim to be gullible squeaky-clean models of righteousness. Exploit this foolish goodness of theirs; they don’t know how cunning you are. Sooner or later, a window of opportunity will present itself, and you or your family will soon be back to the land of your birth.

  1. Start striking back

Make your presence felt. Get elected again in government positions. Start with your bastions of power, the places where your loyalists are, and slowly work your up to higher and higher positions. On your climb, aside from resurrecting old political alliances, make new ones too. Consider turning some enemies into friends. Remember, you have a new face now. You can reinvent your façade while still being essentially the same.

Simon Says: Hire topnotch PR(public relations) agencies to cook up negative campaigns against your political rivals. Make the people think your rivals are incompetent. That they are socially clumsy. Paint the picture that your time was the “golden age” of the country. Don’t stop showing this picture; more and more people will believe it over time.

  1. Revise history and gain social power

There’s nothing more damaging to your reputation than people still saying that you’ve stolen their money for decades, and that you’ve let the police and military just do their thing of killing and torturing any individual who was against you, even the nonviolent kind. You should put an end to these terrible stories, even if you know they’re all true.

Your PR agencies will have the brainpower you need to rewrite history using new technologies in social engineering. Just give them the needed budget to get personalities to spin the news, to recruit high-reach influencers, and raise up troll battalions from BPO centerspsychology experts will craft the battle plan for your formidable army.

Simon Says: Don’t pass up the opportunity to be seen with hip celebrities and relevant social elites. Being with them makes an impression that you’re relevant too.

  1. Get elected

When you have amassed sufficient social strength, you or your descendant should run for the country’s highest position of power. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to win.

Simon Says: Once you’ve been elected, just repeat what we’ve taught you in Chapters 1 and 2. But this time, don’t be too obvious. InqPOP!/Jaia Yap

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the contributor/s and do not represent those of InqPOP! and INQUIRER.net. All InqPOP! Creator Community submissions appear “as is,” without any editorial intervention. The InqPOP! staff assumes no liability for any error in the content of this material. Got something you want to share to the world? Get a chance to publish your awesome creations and share it to the world through our InqPOP! Creator Community program. Send us your stories, videos, photos, fan fic, and even fan art at [email protected]


Read more from InqPOP!:

Here’s to the forgetful ones

Online martial law museum goes live

A quick rundown of everything that happened at the #LunetaRally

10 Ways Dissenters Can Protect Themselves

DESAPARESIDOS: Now more than ever, a message that needs to be heard

Related Stories

Eloquence is a gift of silence

Popping on POP!