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Saturday, August 26, 2006

miracle drug

how often do we lament that our democracy is a messy, mindless thing? pretty much everyday i would suppose because every other person wants to leave the country or has family who has and that is saying a lot about the state of our nation today. may be we expect an all cure. often leaders and people forget what is most important.

everyday we open the paper or tune into the daily news and hear sides discuss the politics of the day: to impeach or not to impeach, to cha-cha or not to cha-cha. Much has been said about Charter Change. last January for example the PCIJ Blog did a number of articles about it. Then there are the recent material written by Ms. Monsod who has asked this question: "By what right does the government spend the people’s money on an advocacy commission that is plugging for a parliamentary form, rather than on an information and education campaign that will help the people come to a decision themselves, without brainwashing?"

Many have dissected this charter change hoopla and much to my surprise, many still do not understand the issue. Are we overloaded with too much information? A year it seems isn't enough. And I lament the fact that many still do not know how or want to read. i regret the apathy our people have. Perhaps those of us who know haven't spoken out as much.

to my humble centrist point of view--- charter change is necessary. yet the proposals that stem from the people's initiative is a dangerous road to follow. what they want can be summed up as "strength through unity". charter change as proposed by the advocates of people's initiative packages it as the answer to all our prayers. too simplistic, they promise a better government, more money, a better life. no one seems to understand that a charter, a constitution is simply a framework for a dream. it is a living document that tells us who we are, what are our beliefs and what do we desire, what do we hope to achieve. it lays down the basic foundation of our national life. it does not descend from the sky and grant every dream, every wish. it does not banish poverty in a single administration or a single day.

the advocates of people's initiative don't seem to realize that promising all this and one day letting down our people is dangerous. when you take the conditions laid down in their proposed charter, two, three, five years down the road--- it means a consolidation of power by an elite class and our society remains a feudal society under the guise of democracy. time and time again, they have failed. their "option" of a federal republic is a sham and a farse. simply put: graft and corruption will be further institutionalized in this country.

this is not to say, we shouldn't go forward with Charter Change. we should. we should do it properly, under the full context of law. If it takes five years to write a new one and twenty years to implement it, great! let us do just that. It shouldn't be rushed. It shouldn't be railroaded. It shouldn't be shoved down people's throats, much less be tainted by doubts it is our Tax money that is being used to brainwash us when there are more important matters that tax should go to. People aren't idiots. Haven't we learned from EDSA 2, from the Election of 2004? this is EDSA 2 and the Election of 2004's lesson: it does no good to usurp the law by circumventing it to the will of the strong, the powerful and the wealthy.

At the sametime We as a People--- not simply as a government, not simply as individuals must address the issues of the day. what are the elements that we do need? we need a government that is decentralized, efficient and small. it can only be accomplished through a federal structure of government. it means empowering the regions and invigorating the grass roots by bringing all our resources to them and even this isn't an over night solution. it would take years of deliberate and careful determined action.

our country needs social justice. this goes hand-in-hand with any initiative, any reform we may structurally do with our form of government because it is an important function to make any nation successful. Social Justice doesn't mean more revolutions. It does not translate to more EDSAs or rallies in the street. this is social justice: we build equal opportunity for all. we create an environment where we can all be self-made in whatever image we choose. that is true democracy and at the same time acknowledges the fact we are a religious nation that is predominantly Catholic.

how do we build our nation? ensure that our Education doesn't become simply a chore. our children simply do not just know how to read and to write. We must ensure that the generations learn and love learning. Give them the opportunity to discern for themselves and ensure a future that they can determine according to the question of their time.

we need to create a nation where we do not live in constant fear. isn't it absurd one can not simply walk towards an MRT station for example, listening to an ipod or using one's mobile phone for fear that some thief might just rush in and take it from you? we need to create a nation where one shouldn't be scared of being seen driving a BMW for fear of being kidnapped or extorted. wouldn't you want to live in a country where everyone is equal in rights as much as prosperity? Better yet, a nation where everyone is prosperous because they have every opportunity to be one?

people demand everyday: we must have strength through unity. there should be one Team Pinoy. One Philippines. everyone must conform. we must not struggle against government, roll over and play dead. we lament our democracy is messy and it is not leading us anywhere. Perhaps because the Political Opposition debate the issues often recklessly and idiotically like what they have done with the Impeachment campaign against PGMA. And we ask ourselves, why aren't there better political parties? We are locked in this mindset: We the People see them no different from Members of the Administration and the Political Opposition can not seem to disengage from this perception.

There are few sensible campaigns like One Voice, whose advocacy is social justice, who do not stand idly by apathetic to the issues and face it head on, in full clear understanding of what we stand to lose should the Law be once more usurp by moves like "People's Initiative". We must similarly hope for our Supreme Court to continue to be independent in their judgement as they have shown in the past and resolve this issue.

"Strength through Unity" reminds me too much of V for Vendetta. This is what we often mean by it. We want order in our lives because Democracy is messy. Our leaders simply want to control every facet of society and Strength Through Unity simply is the People letting Leaders do it. It is simply not enough to simply, endure. We might as well be drones. it is the refuge of the weak. Chaotic order is what life is all about. Social justice is about fairness and equal opportunity for all. Social justice is about being inclusive of our infinite diversity about Unity through Democracy and it means every Filipino is part of and an equal member of our Team with equal rights and responsibilities. all this said, we often forget what it is all about. this is what Miracle Drug means: Filipino children laughing, smiling, happy and with a light in their eyes because they think and discern for themselves.

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