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June 16, 2018 - Yes or No

June 16, 2018 - Yes or No Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time Father Matthew Kaderabek, LC Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus said to...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

PRRD genuinely cares for the masa, the people


A lot of people are pushing for this and that; a lot of people are against this and that. At the center of it all is the President. Given his overwhelming popularity, and despite all kinds of brickbats being thrown at him, he still commands the loyalty of the majority. And if nothing else, democracy is still the rule of the majority...
Federalism and parliamentary government -- This is a political movement that is perhaps getting more popular as more people are convinced about its advantages, as more people continue to also be disillusioned with the current presidential form of government. However, being convinced of its advantages and benefits is different from finally getting persuaded to go for it. Changing our government system entails changing the Constitution, setting up new structures down to the regional and provincial levels, overhauling our laws, and educating our people on how the new form of government actually works in practice. Each of these major requirements is no walk in the park. And those who oppose it will certainly be putting all kinds of obstacles in the way if and when the whole package is attempted.
If we remember, Marcos had experimented with the transition to a parliamentary form of government (on the basis of the 1973 Constitution). We had tried the Interim Batasang Pambansa -- a unicameral parliament. But ultimately, nothing seemed to change (only the labels) -- because as an authoritarian regime, the government of President & Prime Minister Marcos still operated largely based on his dictates. When the Cory government replaced the 1973 Constitution with the 1987 Constitution, reverting back to the presidential form but with a fixed non-renewable term of six years for the president, the "restored democracy" actually operated as a plutocracy: only those with immense wealth and influence (or the backing from the elites therefor) could ever hope to hold power in government positions. The elites that did not hold any public office still had exclusive access to power and authority, anyway. The masses were led to believe that their mandate really meant they had power over the government.
After over 30 years of such (yellow) "democracy" -- and thanks to social media -- the people are now aware that they were only made fools of. The culminating act of this charade was the term of BS Aquino III -- he called the masses his "bosses" -- but now we all know that it was just a load of crock, and the Liberal Party's grand master-plan called "Daang Matuwid" is really just their modus operandi for their members to have the straight, easy and convenient path toward riches for themselves -- and never mind the ignorant and naive "bosses" who were all wallowing in the kang-kongan!
Realistically, a federal and parliamentary form of government would be a bear to undertake and carry off successfully. PRRD is probably also hesitant about it all himself -- not necessarily only because of the many difficulties entailed (systemic, procedural, material, and practical), but perhaps more importantly as an old politician he knows and recognizes the predatory ways of Filipino politicians when it comes to having and exercising power in government. In a new system, he realizes that everything will be wide open to not just mistakes but also abuse. And who can predict what the people will do under such a new system?
Revolutionary government -- A Palace coup and the suspension of the 1987 Constitution for the purpose of expediently crafting a new one (whether to adopt a federal and parliamentary form of government, or not) still holds practically the same risks of encountering a lot of errors and abuse. One particular factor is especially scary -- the proven adage that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." PRRD probably would not want to have his memory be tarnished in history as the one who returned the country to a dictatorial regime. While the intention of revising the Constitution is a noble one, we all know that the actual state of our political system and leaderships is far from being trustworthy and/or really confidence-inspiring. Even if PRRD himself is trusted by the majority of the people and would support a Rev-Gov initiative, PRRD himself is not too keen on it -- because it seems the risks (of failure and abuse) simply outweigh the prospective benefits of success... if ever.
Preserving the present system, but eliminate (as much as possible) the ills bedevilling our society and governance -- This is probably what PRRD is really holding on to, at least for the time being -- "staying the course!" By eliminating the evils of illegal drugs trafficking and reducing drug addiction, the incidence of crime is also impacted. By effectively addressing government corruption and inefficiency, our political system may yet improve and encourage "new blood" to infuse our governance with the needed thrusts toward better and more efficient government operations. In turn, these political changes could also motivate the people to adopt changes and improvements to themselves as citizens, in order to complement the new and improved government capabilities and performance with a truly responsive and more responsible citizenry -- and thereby the whole country will be able to move forward in lock-step toward greater and higher economic development goals and targets. So that when PRRD steps down at the end of his term, he can hand over to his successor a country and people that are more prepared to take on even drastically radical changes -- if that is still what is wanted or needed by then.
All these may just seem speculative or mere conjecture. If you look at all the ongoing discussions on social media at this time, you will notice that practically everyone is gung-ho on something while others are all-out for another thing. However, almost no one is really emphasizing the many difficulties and trials to be encountered and overcome. They all just want to "GO, GO, GO!" If we really observe PRRD, however, we may notice that he's shrewdly playing his cards very, very close to his chest -- and sending out all manner of mixed signals to confuse and confound everyone, even his allies and close associates. Having spent much of his life in local government, PRRD is an old fox in politics, pragmatic and wise in the ways of governance -- and he knows how to get away with his being bugoy, even probably also knows where "all the bodies are buried," figuratively speaking. However, PRRD genuinely cares for the masa, the people, which is why he is reluctant and careful in treading the treacherous "waters" of power, politics, and the destiny of the country that he loves -- and leads.

~ 'pag may time 😉

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