"Muster the Courage and Wisdom to Vote"
Without doubt, the Philippines indeed had its share of imprisoning intellectuals. These are political prisoners. They get jailed simply for what their beliefs and views.
But there is a different type of tyranny that exists. To the intellect, what is really scarier is to go against the trend. Among intellectuals going against the flow requires one to muster the courage and wisdom to think. Straying away from what is fashionable can mean isolation. It can mean being ignored.
Human nature begs for an audience. And not only an audience, but an audience that claps their hands in applause. It is probably one reason why Facebook has the "Like" button.
So the argument goes; The Philippines is among a less than handful of countries that have only ten years of basic education. The country is being left behind by other nations and is not meeting current global standards (even though there is really no global standard for basic education). But the threat of the "fashion police" is real. And it is the threat that can truly kill an intellectual. Who would want to be labeled as being against the Philippines becoming at par with its neighbors?
Scientists at times have managed to rise above "Argumentum Ad Populum", although in most cases, funding could still be influenced by what society dictates. Society does pay taxes so it is reasonable that society must retain its voice in terms of research funding and priorities. On publications, however, science does not recognize the "argument by what is popular". Scientific publications are peer reviewed and are backed by data and evidence.
Issues such as poverty, climate change, population growth, and basic education have a science dimension. Intellectuals need only to muster the courage and wisdom to be sincere and honest. Still, the "fashion police" are out there. You really would not want to be ignored and have "0" likes on Facebook....