Thursday, May 17, 2007

we eat our young

edited--- made a huge mistake! misspelled governor panlilio's name! it is Panlilio and not Panilo. my apologies for the error.
Three things struck today while reading feeds: Ed Panlilio's challenges and Archbishop Oscar Cruz's statement on Speaker De Venecia's victory and that it means Charter Change is alive. The third is from the PCIJ and how disappointed foreign observers were in ARMM polls.

Ed Panlilio was a Roman Catholic Priest. It is not an easy thing to turn your back on something like that. I don't know if anyone has come back from leaving. Whether or not Ed Panlilio wins or not is good for democracy. It means that people who have no machinery, no experience, no money can challenge and give people a run for their money. It means democracy is alive!

On one hand, as much as I respect the Church and how they mean well. i must beg to differ on Charter Change. The only and biggest reason why we did and should oppose all and any charter change is because there are sectors of society who stop at nothing to will subvert our democracy to meet their own agenda.

That said, given the condition our charter is--- i think it is fundamentally the right moment to consider revising it and even throwing it away. And not just about all the hoopla on "Economic provisions and term limits" and all that crap.

  • for one thing, it has too much strict and often very socialistic language. like? on education being the highest priority of government. it is not to say it shouldn't be our priority--- it is just to say it shouldn't be written there but left for every Government to decide. why? because these things change. how these concerns are addressed are changed, decade in and decade out. Our Constitution must be perpetual. Specific policy must be addressed specifically by the government of that era.
  • we must also consider a shift to a federal system and giving greater local autonomy. it seems such a drastic and stupid thing to do, given the violence that raged across the country just this last election but having each region determine their destiny, determine their own growth and their prospects will be so much better in the long term.
  • we must also reconsider consolidating the dozen or so cities of Metro Manila into a single entity--- maybe put a governor over all the mayors to consolidate growth, funds and do a better job at building infrastructure.
  • we must also add a bill of responsibilities. we have a bill of rights that tells us what we can expect from each other and what limits government. but to transform ourselves, we need a bill of responsibilities--- what is expected from every Filipino to do for his/her country.
  • we must also simplify its language, so that every Filipino can read it, and understand it. It shouldn't read like a contract, so much shrouded in legalese--- only the lawyers would know about it.
Don't you think these things are justifiable for at least a moment's discussion, instead of reading in the paper what woes our local celebrities or whether or not we should have impeachment?

Given these reasons--- and there are many more that should concern us, Charter Change is the right thing to do, but only if it isn't subverted to personal agenda. I know, that is too much to ask or even hope for.

Moving on to the PCIJ story, given these incidents and given the violence not just in Mindanao but with much of the country, one can not help but wonder where did we go wrong? Why has there been a breakdown of our electoral system? While previous elections were not good--- this election gives the impression that those past elections were better.

Or is that just me?

These things reflect badly on how the Commission on Elections is doing their job and it reflects even more terribly on pGMA because it is happening under her watch.

When people are demoralize, it is a failure of Leadership. Is it any wonder why only 60% or so of voters decided to participate in our democracy down from 70% to 85%? Screw economic numbers: our people are demoralized.

When all these things are happening at an alarming rate. we the people, most especially our leaders should take pause. Do you know what all these things that are happening right now are reflecting?

We eat our young.

And no, that isn't to say there isn't any hope. Ed Panlilio is an example of that hope. People can fight the system, people can change the system. even if they should lose (i hope he doesn't) his campaign is a beacon of hope that we can transform this country, that with greater effort change can be made if only we'd accept it.

Between now and 2010 is a window of opportunity to shape a better future. We can not change what has happened in the past, but what we can do is build a better tomorrow. It starts when we become serious about nation building and serious with ourselves. We need to seriously reform our electoral processes, and right now. We need a moral transformation and a return to civility and that isn't saying we shouldn't have an eye on the past. it is to say, we must look towards the future. With each success towards that direction, confidence in government will return.


Anonymous said...

Panlilio wins, may his soul not be seduced by the dark forces.