09 July 2005

Different Voices, Perilous Times

With so many different voices and messages, some contradicting and yet all supposedly speaking and acting on behalf of the nation’s best interest, how do we then discern whose voice and message should we heed, and whose voice and message truly have the nation’s best interest at heart?

At this point, we’ve already heard Cory, a business group (Makati Business Club), FVR, JDV, a political party (or parties? the “two” Liberal Parties), the ex-cabinet members (the Cabinet-10), the administration’s political party and some of the remaining cabinet members (Tiglao, Ermita, Claudio, Defensor). Of course, we’ve always heard the usual angry voices of the militants, the leftists, and the opposition. (By the way, hearing words like “liars” and “thieves” coming from Imee Marcos’ mouth makes you wonder if she is talking to herself or to her parents or both.)

We also even heard an American government official commenting on the nation’s politics. But we can easily dismiss this American voice and rule it out, as this obviously does not have our nation’s interest truly at heart. We should all ignore it, but nonetheless be very cautious of actions they may take or are already taking, especially those actions done behind the scenes. While they may sound and appear to be after our nation’s interest, the Americans (or any other nation for that matter), as every Filipino should know by now, are really only after their own nation’s interest. Rightly so, I might add. We should not feel bad about it, and perhaps, we could even learn something from that.

The CBCP was supposedly scheduled to give a statement today. While I wonder what the Catholic bishops would say about the nation’s current situation, should we really still listen to them on non-spiritual matters such as politics? As Conrado de Quiros had so elegantly and correctly put, “The bishops do not exist to decide on what's best for this country's political life, they exist to decide on what's best for this country's spiritual life. The bishops do not exist to decide on what's best for this country's body, they exist to decide what's best for this country's soul”. We all know that for centuries the Catholic Church has been a constant factor in the shaping and re-shaping of this nation. For better or for worse, only history can tell. Since Cardinal Sin has already passed away, perhaps it is already high-time that all Filipinos (the clergy included) should now recognize the separation of church and the State. Leave church-matters to the church, and State-matters to the State. This does not only apply to the Catholic Church but also to the other religious organizations, by the way.

I think the voice calling for changing the form of government and the subsequent charter change is very self-serving and very ill-timed. I can see TRAPOS all over this suggestion, as well as ageing politicians with their unrealized ambition of their youth to be in power, or perhaps to be back in power. This is their Viagra, a prescription for impotent politicians, who see this as their only chance at erection, err, election to power (and to hold on to it longer. Pun intended.) I do not think that tinkering with the constitution during these perilous times will serve the nation’s best interest. I am no student of history, and maybe I am mistaken, but didn’t Marcos, at one time, change the form of government to hold on to power?

As I have mentioned before (see post below), the opposition has no alternative (or should I say, “is no alternative”), even if they try to convince the people about a “caretaker council” with “caretaker” Roces as their alternative. So far, their supposed caretaker is not even biting. I just hope and pray that Ms. Roces would continue to be enlightened and not allow herself to be used by these puppet masters (the likes of Binay, Escudero, Marcos, the Estradas, etc). There are too many dark forces (Lacson included) in the opposition to even seriously consider them as a viable alternative.

Both the calls for resignation and the calls for impeachment is a call for Arroyo to step down and be replaced by her constitutionally mandated successor. These voices are the hardest to discern of them all. Which among these calls should we listen to? Which ones should we ignore? Discerning the real objective of the caller is the hard part. What is real and what is not. (Drilon’s call seems to be self-serving as he has something to gain when Arroyo steps down.) I believe that there is more to the resignation of the Cabinet-10 than what it seems, and they are right to say that we should listen to their message, at the very least, instead of entertaining conspiracy theories and name-calling. I have no connections or sources to speak of, but I do know that there are idealists, and there are pragmatists. During these perilous times, the question is which of these two serves the best interest of the nation? Since the future of the nation is ‘only’ at stake here, and since future generations will ‘only’ look back at this episode in our nation’s life, my bet is on the idealists. (Yes, you can call me naive.)

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