Monday, February 19, 2007

Ominous sky

WHEN it comes to politics, the government PR machine resonates with the conclusion that the Filipinos are increasingly numbed, disillusioned, cynical, fatigued. And its call: Leave the government to politicians. Its prognosis may be partly correct, but its prescription is entirely self-serving and wrong.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to discern our state of affairs, it makes more sense to unravel some of the myths that are meant desperately to perpetuate the lie of that sitting pretender to the throne, and further confuse and polarize the Filipinos, especially during the elections in May.

1. But first, the reality: We remain a democracy…for now. We have to fight to keep it alive; otherwise, we will wake up one day to find our hard-earned freedom taken away from us. All it takes for evil to succeed is that we do nothing.

2. All it takes for evil to succeed is for us to sin by silence when we should protest. Aside from making cowards of us, silence allows evil to toy with us at every possible way.

3. You’ve grown familiar with the style. Test the waters or sneak a poisonous idea past the dead of night, see how the “stupid masses” react, or remain clueless, and then make a law out of the sinister idea or keep it for another day.

Cases in point: railroading of the impeachment rejections, the dance with the Charter-change devil, terrorism by the Executive (e.g., Executive Order 464, and libel suits) and execution (i.e., killing the messengers), ad nauseum.

4. Let us stop seeking that perfect hero or so-called alternative as if we’re stuck in some fairy tale in which we leave it to the hero to rid the castle of the evil witch and her ilk, and dispose of our own roles.

5. Heroism burns inside everyone of us; we are the alternative. It’s democracy. It is we the people versus dictatorship, which would have us powerless. Our votes and our voices to spread the word are the true powers of democracy. Let us use them while we still can.

6. Much as it is ideal, we do not fight the evil liar, thief and murderer by imposing on a saint to run the government. We are the government, and again, this is not a fairy tale. It’s ugly enough that we have allowed evil thus far. Let us start with something easy first: Get rid of the evil. The rest will follow.

7. Let not the spin-doctors to take us for another ride. Just like before Ferdinand Marcos’ time when Philippines ranked second next only to Japan in national wealth, we are surviving despite, not because of, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s so-called prowess in economics. If our country is doing so well, why are we leaving it at the drop of a hat? And what progress have we actually felt lately?

8. When time comes the OFW money remittance balloon that keeps our economy afloat bursts or another Asian currency sting hits our shores, should we be surprised if our so-called leaders call for more belt-tightening measures (as if the 12-percent expanded value-added tax and the newly approved anti-terror bill were not enough to suffocate us) while running away to some Swiss/German bank with the national loot? The illusion ends, the suffering worsens.

9. Accept the obvious: Wannabe-dictators would not like us to believe in vigilance and people power “anymore” although they have reaped a harvest from it. Vigilance, people power and democracy come alive not just every time we secure our votes, raise our voices in protests, or march in the streets with a prayer and a purpose…

10. Vigilance, people power and democracy are alive in a nation proud of its race, freed from hunger, unemployment and landlessness, sheltered and secured, and in a people flourishing with a colorful past, a progressive present and a bright future. Do we really want to lose all that to an iron hand?

Again, our votes and our voices to spread the word are the true powers of democracy. And that’s what the evils of dictatorship want stopped. Only we can decide if we shall let them, especially with the coming election and beyond.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Of ill motives

They want Senate dead. Now they’re running for seats in the same embattled House they wish abolished. What gives? The motives behind the administration’s so-called Team Unity’s latest circus are patently questionable, if not obviously deranged. Only vultures and similar predators seek the stench of death, like the late Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer-worthy picture of an emaciated Sudanese child struggling to get to the feeding center while a fat vulture waits patiently in the background for the child-prey to finally fall. It could smell death and couldn’t wait for a piece of its meat.

No, more like a bomb expert given the task of building a house--a house of glass at that. They can’t wait to blow the house down, like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Or a doctor declaring the patient a cadaver even before it could even complain of what really ills him/her.

What’s apparent is that these Team Unity presidential factotums are running to deliver the last nails on the Senate coffin (wittingly or unwittingly, as rubber-stampers that will themselves become), the Senate being the few remaining parts of our democratic system that run against their and their boss’ dictatorial interests.

Indeed, a vote for any of these personalities is a vote for unity. That is: unity in greed, in further spreading mayhem and madness, and in ensuring that the cheater, thief and murderer pretending to be in control of a crisis-embedded nation stays ‘til kingdom come.

But if they think they can confuse the Filipinos this time, they will be united in their shocked surprise that not a word from any of them or their spin doctors will ever be credible—just like the person they serve.

At least, the opposition candidates despite their faults know they’re running to preserve the role of the Senate in keeping the balance of power, and not to make minced meat out of the Senate as this so-called Team Unity bets are only built for once the election smoke has settled.