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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

"Much to do about nothing," I said about this whole second act of the National Broadband scandal. After all, these scandals, the extent, the greed, the treachery, the depth of it all no longer surprises me. Another whistleblower, no matter the drama or how engaging the story is would not bring Arroyo's government down. It will turn into a farce, and Mr. Lozada will not bring Arroyo down, no matter how disgusted everyone is with her government, with how she and family exercises power.

Our People remember what happened to Estrada, and Gloria was what we got. The standing argument is a huge sign flashing, "dangerous to walk that same path".

I find it fitting that on the ground, in a school that teaches its students to be "men for others", Lozada took shelter and hide behind "a shield of green and white". No matter how this all goes, Lozada is something else. In every quarter, in every turn I hear the same thing. Jim Paredes summed it best when he wrote of Lozada as an Everyman:

It was disarming to hear Jun Lozada readily admitting to his own shortcomings when it was insinuated that he wasn’t quite a pure knight in shining armor but a man whose armor may have a few dishonorable chinks and scratches. To me, it showed his total surrender to the truth at that very moment. He was not using it to vilify others or protect himself. He was setting the truth free, and allowing it do what it must, regardless of who got hurt, including himself.

To me, this entire saga is a watershed in our political and psychological journey as a nation. The tolerance of corruption is one of our worst dysfunctions as a people and it may prove to be the fatal flaw that will sink the GMA administration. In the light of this, I daresay that a new radical template for character, a new paradigm, has emerged from the muck of our political life which may just be what we need to save us from perdition. And all it is is the concept of simple truth-telling.

A new type of hero may have been born, coming not from the usual places — not from showbiz, politics, the Church, the academe, sports or the military. Jun Lozada does not look the part at all. In fact, he is your average, ordinary kind of person, a regular guy who, like all of us, is flawed and compromised. But what sets him apart is his courage to shore up what remains of his self-respect and draw the line in order to preserve it. This ordinary little man, in the eyes of his countrymen, is 10 feet tall.
Everyone acknowledges and knows the extent, the depth of this nation's problem is great.

On one hand, our people need justice. we need to resolve these shenanigans. We need to send a message that is loud and true: "As a people, we no longer tolerate corruption. We no longer expect anything less than service, and truth and honor, even at the expense of national stability. We are no longer a party to it."

On the other hand there is an equally pressing need for civic involvement that says: "what can I do". It may be through civic duty--- enter government and serve as civil servants. It maybe through entrepreneurial zeal. Start a business, grow it for your employees and for your family and watch it echo like a pebble thrown in a pond. There must be a mechanism to unleash a singleminded and parallel desire in every Filipino, in every age, in every demographic to rise up and say "I will do my part, no matter how simple my role is". Put it simply, "true nation building".

US Democratic Presidential Candidate hopeful Obama had this to say when he won the Iowa Caucus:
"...we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it."
All logic says that at the end of the day, this whole battle led by unlikely hero Jun Lozada maybe "much to do about nothing." I still hold hope that it isn't and that our people will have Justice.

This hope isn't blind optimism, but a cautious one. It isn't ignoring the undeniable slow but methodical truth that to transform, to build this nation, it must be done slowly through civic duty and through entrepreneurial zeal of which every Filipino must be a part of. It is after all, also true that to press the fight on such public forum as Lozada is doing, if only to inform, to bring to light the modus operandi of politicians everywhere is important.

All this brings hope, which is in short supply these days: hope for a better tomorrow. To borrow words from Obama, "Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it."


DJB Rizalist said...

What is the alternative to people power revolution? Well: institutions in check and balance.

since the illegal overthrow of erap there has been a major imbalance of power between the Supreme Court and the Congress, whose power to hold Public Officers accountable was usurped by the Supreme Court in 2001.

The imbalance can't be fixed until IMPEACHMENT is restored as a Sword of Damocles over every future leader. Unfortunately, the SC has even more impeachable officers than the presidency. (They have the most, at 15.)

Cocoy said...

yes. i agree! we need better institutions, fix our institutions so we may have effective mechanisms to hold accountable our Public Officials.