05 July 2005

Post-Arroyo Options

I would say that almost every other voter who voted for Arroyo (I mean the "real" voter who went to the polls and wrote on the ballot, and not whose votes were magically produced by some magician named Garcillano) thinks she’s the lesser evil of all the presidential wannabes of the last election. While there is no more point in arguing the merits of each of the options we were given in 2004, there is still merit to ask why there seems to be a dearth of potential good leaders for this nation. Is there somebody out there? Is this nation so cursed that nobody is qualified to lead it, somebody who would put the nation's welfare above his own and his kamag-anak \ kaibigan \ kaklase \ kamahjong \ kabit's welfare? (By the way, this does not only apply to the presidency, but also to the justices, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, baranggay captains, and everyone else who is supposedly serving in the public trust). Is this is too much to ask? Is there such a Filipino?

Now that people are looking at post-Arroyo options, these questions are begging for answers. Who to replace her now (if it comes to that)? Some quarters are calling for a snap election (but with the same Comelec and the same archaic system?) Others want a transitional/revolutionary government. Even Erap claims he's ready to lead such a transitional government. The opposition claims (rightly so, I think) that the administration is using scare tactics to cling to power, with Noli being bandied about as the boogeyman, and a military junta as the source-of-all-evil, but the opposition also claims that they will only identify their clear alternative when the administration can give an assurance that Arroyo will step down. (I hope it is not Roces, or worse Cortez. Can we force Escudero to name their alternative? Do they really have one?) Almost everyone who wants a change in the presidency wants to replace it with what they think is the "suitable” alternative. "Suitable" meaning to whatever "suits" their own vested interests and selfish-agenda. Even if they try so hard to claim it otherwise, most of the groups who are clamoring for a change are brandishing a "change" that is really "for" them, and not for the nation.

Some groups (like the civil-society groups, I think) are calling for a systemic change. This sounds very interesting. I even have to look up what “systemic” exactly means, but how can we effect a "universal", "total", and "complete" change? I'm all for change and I honestly do believe that we really need a systemic change for this nation to progress, but other than a total and complete annihilation of every living Filipino in the whole universe, I cannot think of any other means to effect a systemic change in this nation. I think the rotten part of our culture is so deep and so ingrained in each and every Filipino. It would take several generations to erase any trace of them. Is there a way to achieve this systemic change within this lifetime? For all the groups calling for this change, how do you propose should we do this? Believe it or not, I'm not being a smart-ass about this. I am in all honesty interested on how can we effect this change. Are you talking of a revolution? A revolution against who? Against big business? Against the land-grabbers (the landed-elite) who stole the land from our ancient ancestors? Against the government (but replace it with what)? Are you talking of socialism (but the collapse of the Soviet Union has already proven that humanity is not capable of that system, unless we were ants)? Are you talking of surrendering our sovereignty to another nation like China or the US? (I am not very creative and not particularly good at problem-solving. Help!)

I don’t think there is a Filipino who would not want this systemic change to happen as soon as possible. I don’t think there is a Filipino who would not want to see his nation progress and become a nation that can take care of her own people. To those groups who are calling for this change, please, please let us know how we can effect this change, if possible within this lifetime. I hate to admit it, but the reality that we have now is to just accept the person the Filipino people has mandated as a replacement to the President (if it comes to that) – the Vice President. I think no one would doubt (except Loren) that Noli won the vice-presidency (going by the FPJ-Noli supporters during the last elections). There is no other person (or group of persons) who has the authority and mandate (if you still believe in democracy) to replace Arroyo, except Noli. No snap-elections. No transition/revolutionary-government. No military junta. No opposition-yet-to-be-named-alternative. (The opposition can stop claiming that they have an alternative. They don’t.)

We can rant and curse all we want about the intellectual capability, the leadership qualities and the character of this person (to some, he has a questionable reputation as a broadcaster), but that's all we got. Tough luck. Let’s impeach Arroyo, accept Noli and move on. The administration should stop scaring the people just to hold on to power. I too cringe at the thought of having Noli as our President. I shudder at the thought of him making policy decisions that will affect 80M Filipino souls. As offensive as that may sound to him, that is the truth. I am sorry. If this will be good or bad for the nation, we only have ourselves to blame. Perhaps this nation needs to hit rock-bottom before that kind of change can happen (if this is not rock-bottom yet, what is?). Whatever happens, we must remember that we have brought it all upon ourselves. Perhaps then and only then, can this systemic change (in whatever form will that be) can start to happen – and that’s where we will need all the prayers – for him and for us.

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