Advocacies

Ang kagawasang gipakigbisogan, padayong panalipdan

I was three years old when the EDSA Revolution happened, so I never really have a personal experience with it.

I did not take up a political science degree in college, so I never really have any formal training in analyzing political changes and cycles.

But I have read, and my readings had convinced me that a progressive move to greater and greater freedoms, the institutionalization of constitutionalism and the rule of law, a social support system which makes sure that the most vulnerable are protected, a socio-economic-educational system which provides the most options for upward social mobility for the most number of people, and an ever-expanding middle class are some of the features of the most stable political systems, able to withstand threats of invasion from without, by closing ranks as a people even though they disagree on politics, at the same time able to fend off the rise of tyrants from within, by returning to the common ideals for which they agreed upon to coalesce into a body politic, ideals memorialized in their written constitutions.

I have also seen material poverty with my own two eyes, both in my own immediate family and in the surrounding communities I spent my life with, esp. during the years I was taking up my undergraduate and master’s degrees from 2001 to 2009, when I lived in a slum area in Brgy. Lorega-San Miguel, those slum houses now already demolished. I have seen an ocean of disconnect between the ideals of the 1986 EDSA Revolution, as memorialized in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, and what was happening on the ground, yet I was optimistic, because, still, the government was moving forward: schools were open, traffic was being addressed, the country’s interests in the South China Sea were protected by Ramos ramming a dilapidated warship to serve as semi-permanent outpost and B. Aquino finally having the courage to hail to international court the Chinese giant, the police and the military were having courses in human rights and had actually applied their learnings in practice thus slowly changing their image destroyed during the Marcos years, the economy was upbeat and we survived the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the world economic recession a decade later, morality and ethics in government were improving although there were still a lot of controversies, etc.

Now, 38 days before 32nd anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution, we are a people who had forgotten who we are and why we ousted a dictator who did not represent who we are.

Schools are still open, but we have a President who threatened to bomb schools for the lumads.[1] Traffic has worsened.[2] When it comes to the South China Sea, our government spokespersons speak more for China than for our Republic[3], that China should be ashamed and should probably include them in their payroll.

The police now, as admitted to me in a caucus meeting by a human rights officer of a police unit, are viewed in almost the same sinister view as during the Marcos years. Not surprising, considering that we have a President who tells our police to plant guns[4] and shoot suspects who fight back and make them fight back[5] and and publicly brags that during his stint as a public prosecutor, he planted intrigues in order to convict.[6]

While the world economy is going up, and the Asian currencies are strengthening, our Bangko Sentral now moves away from the monthly inflation forecasting.[7]

Morality and ethics in our government are on their lowest since 1986. The President is a confessed womanizer[8], and while technically Ms. Avancena is not his mistress, she is not his wife either, while his first wife, who had their marriage declared a nullity, is still alive. The Speaker of the House claims that as a Manobo, he is entitled to have more than one wife.[9] The Senate President has been accused in the past of psychological abuse by his wife.[10]

This is not who we are as Filipinos. These things are not in accord with the ideals of the 1986 Revolution as reflected in the 1987 Constitution.

Perhaps that’s the reason these people who are in power want to amend the Constitution.

They want to impose upon us a new identity, different from what we agreed upon in 1987, fresh from the 1986 Revolution.

It’s up for us to whether to agree with their intentions, or to fight it out.

As for me, I stand with Tindig Pilipinas. Ang kagawasang gipakigbisogan kaniadto, padayon namong panalipdan sa umaabot. #NoToCharterChange

References

[1] https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/07/25/Duterte-threatens-to-bomb-Lumad-schools.html
[2] https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/618084/dotr-exec-says-use-of-new-mrt-3-trains-on-hold-traffic-to-worsen-from-build-build-build/story/
[3] See, for example, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/945942/philippine-news-updates-harry-roque-south-china-sea-disputesunclos
[4] https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/12/20/1655205/suspect-unarmed-give-him-gun
[5] https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/12/1718912/duterte-shoot-suspects-who-fight-back-make-them-fight-if-they-dont
[6] https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/808126/duterte-we-planted-evidence-we-first-planted-the-intrigues
[7] https://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=bsp-moves-away-from-monthly-inflation-forecasting——espenilla&id=148976
[8] https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/743793/duterte-i-have-2-wives-and-2-girlfriends
[9] https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/26/1721904/speaker-im-manobo-polygamy-allowed
[10] https://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/08/12/13/estranged-wife-accuses-koko-pimentel-abuse

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