Opinions

Change: An Illusion?

President-elect Duterte won the 2016 National Elections not because he was the most qualified nor had the most viable platform of government offered. Truth be told, he wasn’t and his platforms are improbable, to say the least. He was even candid in saying that he will “borrow” some of the policies of other candidates.

change is coming duterte

He won simply because the people were driven to the point of desperation by president Aquino and his “daang matuwid” administration.

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The people got tired of Aquino’s hypocrisies and wanted “change“. somehow, Duterte was able to appeal to the people’s emotions and his strategists manipulated that and used it to Duterte’s advantage. His campaign slogan of “change is coming” won over the majority of the voting populace. However, the people forgot the whys & hows of the so-called “change” they want implemented.

For some reason, the majority of the voters had forgotten, nay, neglected, that the “change” they so wanted was already presented to them decades ago in a thing (yes, some people regard it as just a piece of paper) called: the constitution and all they had to do is to know it, understand it and obey it. 

The constitution is not just the standard for choosing “public servants“, nor the blueprint on how “public servants” should conduct themselves in the “service to the people. More importantly, the constitution is the embodiment of all of the people’s ideals toward betterment, equality, equity, justice & human rights. The constitution is the “Bible” of a country and supreme law of the land.

Sadly and ironically, for a country claiming to be the oldest democracy in Asia, our constitution is probably the most abused & violated not only by those professing to be called “public servants”, but also the very people who the constitution represents and embodies.

This is the biggest reason why the Philippines had been on a downhill ride and regressing so much so that even our Southeast Asian neighbor countries which have gone through several civil wars have already overtaken us in every aspect. The reason for their progress? Our ASEAN neighbors protected their constitutions and ensured that their “public servants” obeyed the constitution to the letter.

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The people’s apathy and ignorance of the constitution had emboldened and empowered self-serving entities masquerading as “public servants” into manipulating the people for their selfish gains. To somehow curb corruption, the constitution prohibited political dynasties. yet, out of the country’s approximately 81 provinces, 77 are controlled by political dynasties. In fact, President-elect Duterte is the patriarch of the political dynasty in Davao City. How in the world do you think  someone like Duterte who is “supposed” to uphold the constitution bring the “change” to the country when he can’t even adhere to the constitution? For as long as we still have all the political dynasties, we can never call our country a democratic Republic. We shall remain a feudal colony.

As early as now, patronage politics is once again rearing its ugly head in president Duterte’s “appointments” to his Cabinet. we see old faces of trapos & bureaucrats. Heck, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will also be “nominating” 4 candidates to handle Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) & Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). the nagging question is, will the four “nominees” pledge allegiance to the constitution and shake off their communist ideology?

This brings us to another reason why the country keeps on sliding down- patronage politics. Quite obviously, Duterte is beholden to his benefactors and is now paying his debt of gratitude. Just look at the names of most of his appointees.

Another reason is that meritocracy in governance got lost in translation and got replaced by ineptocracy. Just look at the abundance of clowns disguised as public servants. With everyone being tempted to vote for porn stars in the next election, we know that we are being f****d by professionals.

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This is not a tirade against Duterte or any other politician. This is a wake up call for all Filipinos to remind us that the “change” we so desire will not come from any political personality but from ourselves. If we want “change”, be that “change”. Besides, the groundwork for “change” was already laid out for us by the constitution and all we have to do is to follow it.

JK Galbraith once wrote: “democracy is hostage to the ignorant electorate”. For as long as Filipinos do not learn the lessons of history, they are doomed to repeat it.

Let all Filipinos be reminded that they will get the government they deserve! If Duterte turns out to be worse than Aquino, those who voted him can only blame themselves.

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