Monthly Archives: May 2013

“POVERTY IS NOT AN ACCIDENT…”

poverty

 

Iconic Nelson Mandela said “Poverty is not an accident like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”  Of course, human beings here denote government or that force which compels society to move towards a direction of its preference.  If government will be true to its principles of governance, then poverty can be addressed effectively.  Government has so many resources at its disposal that a fraction of which can be dedicated to eradicate poverty.  But politicians never wanted this to happen.  Once a population has progressed, the field becomes leveled, society becomes flat and eventually, there is no more need for leaders.  When that happens, politicians will be out of work, will have no more commissioned largesse and they will all be extinct in no time.  Hence, poverty is even wished for if not intentionally programmed by a significant sector of government itself.

*****

It took a Lincoln to eradicate slavery in American.  It took a Mandela to push out apartheid in South Africa.  It takes however government to eliminate poverty in its midst.  There are countries whose government succeeded.  There is New Zealand, where poverty incidence is almost zero.  There is Switzerland, Nordic States (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), all welfare states—-where government has guaranteed welfare for its citizens.

***** 

It has been concluded in studies where empirical evidence suggests that taxes and transfers considerably reduce poverty in most countries, whose welfare states commonly constitute at least a fifth of the GDP.  This means that most welfare states have considerably lower poverty rates than they had before the implementation of welfare programs. (In economics, GDP or gross domestic product means how much a place produces in some amount of time.)

*****

Poverty to a certain extent is a personal choice though.  One can live in complete opulence yet would remain simple and poor.  Pope Francis removed the luxurious habiliments and bejeweled throne of the papacy in favor of a plain cassock and unadorned lumber as his chair.    It is a form of sacrifice that is highly philosophical and profound.  It is the basis of humanity and its advancement.  But another form of poverty, a societal driven ill and an imposed social condition, is something that is never a choice.  As a matter of fact, it is one form of poverty, which can be seen as a curse.  It is this kind of poverty that sends an innocent person in prison, one that consigns a whole community immediately, if not instantly, from birth to the cemetery.  It reduces man and defaces his integrity.  It makes him inhuman and delivers him to desperation.  This is one cause, which makes man rebel and revolt against the establishment.  And it is this kind of poverty, which can be eradicated.

******

 

Advertisements

THE ME ME ME GENERATION

me me generation

The Time magazine (May 20, 2013 issue) has an intriguing article on the present generation.  It featured today’s youth as the Millennials or pejoratively called the Me Me Me generation.  Accordingly, “they are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.”  This generation is about themselves.  Their pictures including their adventures are posted on their timelines and everything about themselves are published for the world to see.  This is also the generation, which has no enemy.  They “never rebel at all.”  Simply put, “they are just nice.”  The article has described them as “earnest and optimistic.  They embrace the system.  They are pragmatic idealists, tinkerers more than dreamers, life hackers.  Their world is so flat that they have no leaders.  They want constant approval—they post pictures from the dressing room as they try on clothes.  They are cool and reserved.  They are informed but inactive.  They are probusiness.  They love their phones but hate talking on them.”

*****

This generation is “so comfortable in front of the camera that the average 1 year old has more images of himself than a 17th century French king!”  They understand the world better than their parents or ancestors and this is a generation that can live smoothly and relate perfectly with almost everyone.  That makes this group “the new greatest generation of optimistic entrepreneurs or a group of 80 million people.”

*****

We may misunderstand this generation, in the same manner that previous generation were misunderstood by their parents or ancestors but it is their composure and maturity, a quality which was difficult to cultivate before, would be the saving grace of the future.  That was in essence what the Time magazine has described this complicated generation is in the first place.

*****

We are so obsessed with how foreigners greet our country that when we hear of something unpalatable, we react as if the things they were saying were all lies.  Dan Brown’s imagination on the “gates of hell” described Manila’s slum.  MMDA’s Chairman reacted violently as if he has not been to any of Manila’s slum areas.  When a fiction writer writes about fiction, some people react as if what has been written down was non-fiction.  There are a number of non-fiction issues, which these people’s reaction ought to be heard.  Like the Spratly islands row with China, the Sabah tiff with Malaysia, the contested waters up North with Taiwan, matters which anyone with substance ought to submit their response.  But there was a spooky silence. 

******

Finally, MMDA has already taken note of all “hellish” spots in the metropolis with a renewed vigor to have it cleaned and spruced up.  And that should have been the principal response instead of indulging to a debate a fiction writer in the first place.  Philippine Star editor Amie Pamintuan is correct when she said that Dan Brown has a literary license to write his novels but MMDA Tolentino has no license to debunk a work of art.

*****

 

SNORKELING FOR PRISON REFORMS

snorkeling

While appreciating the white-sanded cove of Pearl Farm resort in Davao along with the new Prison leadership, General Franklin Bucayu, we were informed by the agency staff that the President has signed into law the Bill “Strengthening the Bureau of Corrections”.   We have received the information in between snorkeling and brain storming.  It is a break worth indulging.  As it is, the legislative intervention amended Prison Law of 1917 and improved the provision in the 1987 Administrative Code.  We found ourselves at the vortex of a perfect occasion to contemplate on the changes to be conducted.

*****

The significance of said law advanced the view that prison management and the treatment of prisoners should be responsive to the requirements of the times.    For years, prison authorities are tied with obsolete principles in governing the correctional institution that it could not flex any policy consideration in addressing institutional problems.    Congestion is the order of the day.  Professionalism among the ranks of those on the ground are found wanting.  A new crop of inmates, the so called celebrity and influential ones, have found gang life a favorable atmosphere in the pursuit of their previous illicit activities.  Even if prison authorities wanted to control and be relevant in realizing the mandate of corrections, they are limited with stop gap measures and ad hoc rules as reactionary response.  As a consequence, prison administration would find themselves at the bottom of every controversy.

*****

The law was a response to a series of controversial incidents that marred the correctional system beginning with the treatment of prisoners, especially those who were referred to as the celebrity or the so called VIP prisoners.  For quite a time, media had a field day amplifying what ailed the system.  Former prison leaderships were pushed against the wall explaining on how certain celebrity prisoners were able to gain privileges and even an upper hand in the reduction of their sentences.  With the passage of the Corrections Act issues pertaining corrective problems were addressed and provided with the necessary responsive resolutions.

*****

There is however one specific concern which must also be taken into consideration.  The term “Corrections.”  It replaced “Prisons.”  Hence, in the 1987 Administrative Code, the Bureau of Prisons was replaced with Bureau of Corrections.  At first glance, the term invited rehab as the main approach and restorative justice, the corollary methodology.  But that is not what is obtaining.  Corrections has two major facets—institutional and non-institutional.  When we say institutional corrections, we mean prisons, jails, lock-ups, detention camps, custodial centers.  Non-institutional corrections on the other hand speaks of probation and parole.  When something happens in jails or on those under parole, the Director of Corrections is immediately collared and obliged to explain.  Technically however, the Director of Corrections is only in charge of prisons or penitentiaries.  There lies the confusion and the controversy.  While corrections in the Philippines remains fragmented, in the eyes of the public it is integrated.

*****

This should be spelled out when the new law on Corrections will have its IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations).  Once the Corrections Act will operate and will be applicable, the decades of neglect will finally be over.  It will dawn on criminal justice administration a new beginning as far as handling prisoners are concerned including the eventual professionalization on the ranks of corrective officers.  It is hoped that standards in corrections will be fashioned by the agency and extended towards all corrective agencies in government.

INFERNAL MESSAGE

inferno

The latest novel, the third of a series, of Dan Brown’s symbologist character Robert Langdon is out.  Its title is “Inferno.”  It is one of the books readers wanted to chew down.  And why not.  Brown’s fiction is almost presented in a non-fiction manner.  His two previous opus “Da Vinci Code’ and “Angels and Demons” were awesome as it captured much attention and garnered praise even from the conservative academe.

*****

His latest flick “Inferno”, a term he borrowed from Dante Allegheri’s classic  “Divine Comedy” ,likewise earned not only raised brows but controversial allusions too.  In the novel, the gates of hell was a picturesque description of Manila , as the foremost location and those that inhabit, the local denizens.  Quite smart.

*****

Dan Brown is a very conservative man and it is indicated on the characters and subjects of his novel.  In his latest novel “Inferno” he wrote that the gates of hell is Manila.  For him anything, in his estimation, where there is fun, it must be in the netherworld.  Anyone can describe this place according how he sees it fit.  Using the parameter of Dante’s Hell, it should feature enigmatic negativism, which is universal like poverty, pain, torment, anguish, struggle, but these should be embraced in a place where contentment, resignation and understanding reign as if it is celebrated and even declared as amusing.  There is no place indeed in the planet where pain is accepted as truth and wisdom understood as fate than in Manila.  If indeed Manila is such a place, then by gum!  Everybody wants to be there!  Thanks Mr. Brown!

*****

Hell, fire and brimstones, these are the threats that early invaders using the Cross would intimidate the tribal folks until the latter would relent and succumb towards conversion.  As a consequence, they become malleable populace which the conquering Spaniards could impose social control.  This is the same pattern which latter day cults would apply and in the process would regain their prosperity and luxurious gains.  This, at the expense of the gullible people.

*****

But why did Dan Brown specified Manila and not Pattaya of Thailand, or the ghettoes of USA, the slum of Kenya, the dungeons of Mexico?  This is because in Manila there is tolerance of grief and agony over discomfort.  And the denizens would treat each other lightly, entertainingly and with hilarity to boot.  In Africa, the poor are sullen, in Cambodia the lowly are gloomy, in India the desolate shantytown is miserable.  But in Manila, the poor are relaxed.  Not that Manilans are completely submissive and docile, not that they have forgotten to argue and push themselves to improve their conditions but they are absolutely buoyant that life is worth the struggle, worth the brawl, worth the fight.  Manilans therefore have remained cool in the boiling cauldron of poverty.  Hell is therefore no match for this attribute; hence the hellish intensity is stranded merely at the gates.

*****

In the gates of Hell, Hades is nowhere.

THE REALITY IN PRISON

prison community

Every Tom, Dick and Harry or rather every Juan, Pedro and Mario know that once a person is convicted there is cleansing already.  That the accused will have no recourse but repent, that he eventually becomes vulnerable and sensitive, a changed being almost saintly and initiated to act and think without vice and sin.  That the prison community where he will spend and serve time is an ideal place for contemplation, where every space is devoted to principles, where every period is dedicated to honesty.  In a perfect world, that is also what every Corrections officer wanted to believe.

*****

In the scale imagined by the public, courtesy of fiction and film depicting prison life, prison officers are projected as “kontrabida.”  They are a bunch of nitwits, corrupt (corruptible), abusive and impervious.  They are even portrayed as sadists and insensitive.  While it can be said that a rotten apple may in time infect other good apples, a single swift does not a summer make.  True, there are wayward prison officers who besmirched the professional outlook of their uniform but they comprise a small minority, an exceptional mote in the entire organization.  They are never representative of the greater service.  Once caught in the lens of media however, they become an ideal issue thrown at the whole mandate of corrections.  As a consequence, the picture is reversed and prison administration is forced to defend itself.

*****

The reality is this.  A convict lives in a world of make believe.  Majority of them never pleaded guilty.  They would still continue to maintain their innocence and would prompt and entreat their custodians that the courts erred in their estimation.  That their incarceration is wrong and that to keep them is unjust.  To skip nay, to escape is therefore their only recourse to recover fairness.    Finding their keepers unresponsive to their plight, they try to court them through various means, worldly, psychologically and even through tempting ways.  The guards can only do so much.  The facilities that promote security are still wanting.  The programs are insufficiently maintained.  There are no concrete standards to speak of and management is torn between a series of shortages and deficiencies.  That prison officers are left on their own devices to fill what is lacking, to be exposed to hazards, to deal with the elements, and make do with anything just to sustain their responsibilities in the prison community—-even if it means that they should look bad and unresponsive in the eyes of prisoners.

*****

Prisoners on the other hand are also torn between survival and a quest for a sane environment.  They cannot do it without persuading their keepers towards their struggle.  They must convince prison workers even if it means buying their principles and professional outlook.  They needed visitors to facilitate their connection in the free community.  Without them, they are literally buried and easily forgotten.  Hence, the privilege to be visited and for visitors even to “stay-in” is something they must procure.  Failure to get this license will push prison officers on the cross hair of inmate hatred.  It is one simple battle, which the prison community has steadfastly embraced to pursue with genuine concern and commitment.  To date, it has remained a single most precious dispensation that the prisoners would exchange for anything.

*****

In prison, the world view must be seen in the prism of understanding.  Not in the context of reason but rather in the perspective of emotion.  Prisoners wanted their curators to be sympathetic to their concerns in whatever manner it could be done and failing to get it, the prison workers get the short end of their career.  That explains the fact that prison service while a simple act of overseeing is actually a complicated vocation on Humanities.

HOW THE STARS FARED

filmstar

Let us check who among our theater stars earned the nod of the electorate.  In Quezon City, we have Mayor Herbert Bautista.  In Manila, Joseph Estrada and Isko Moreno.  Manny Pacquiao in Gensan (legislative) and wife, Jinkee Pacquaio in Gensan (Gobernatorial).  ER Ejercito in Laguna.  Jolo Revilla in Cavite.  Vilma Santos in Batangas.  Lucy Torres in Leyte.  Loren Legarda for the Senate.  Previous election also featured the success of Lito Lapid , Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla in the Senate.

*****

There are those who were however repudiated.  We have Annabelle Rama in Cebu, Aga Muhlach in Camarines Norte, Richard Gomez in Leyte, Christopher de Leon in Batangas, Joey Marquez in Paranaque, and Imelda Papin in Bulacan.  The previous election were also a debacle for some celebrities like Ceasar Montano, Edu Manzano and Rico J Puno.

*****

There was also character actor Rex Cortez who campaigned as representative of Camarines Sur.  Imelda Papin in Bulacan.  Lani Mercado for Cavite and Dan Fernandez in Laguna.  Their votes as yet to be finally counted although they are leading already.

*****

At the way the people voted, there seems to be no formula for winning, even if in the process, the tried and tested means is applied—that is, celebrity status and popularity.  Traditionally, politicians tap the drawing power of celebrity personalities, popular thespians and big names in the celluloid world.  Until such time that celebrities were cajoled and courted to run on their own believing that star power alone can make a great difference.  For some, it is a proven recipe but for others it is a fluke.

*****

Sometime ago, in the early 60’s, moviedom heartthrob Rogelio de la Rosa threw his hat in the Presidential race only to back out later.  Two decades later, another movie matinee Joseph Estrada would be elected to the highest post in the land, garnering the largest margin in the election history of the country.  Had the votes properly counted, another movie idol Fernando Poe Jr. would have ascended the throne of Philippine politics too.  Had another media personality Noli de Castro who was already Vice President mulled running for a higher post, he could have given his opponent a run of their money.

*****

This early and as the smoke of the 2013 has as yet faded, there are those who wanted to preposition themselves already in the next electoral exercise.  Presidential sister and herself a celebrity Kris Aquino is contemplating on running for a government post.  There are also those who are into public service like those in media who also wanted to take a crack at the political arena.  Media reporter Mon Ilagan is into his third term as Mayor of Cainta.  Also ABS CBN TV Patrol Sol Aragones for Congress and GMA TV correspondent Charie Pineda for a local government position.

****

I overheard a mother and son arguing on what course to take in college.  The son insisted he wanted to enter the field of entertainment.  The mother was objecting.  Eventually, the mother relented when his son whispered the main reason that he wanted eventually to be elected Mayor of their town.

 

ACT OF VALOR

warfare

Tom Clancy, a bestselling author of military exploits, wrote a novel, which easily became a hit film “Act of Valor.”  It began with a catchy quote “You stop to live if you cease to become dangerous.”  For a movie to catch goers without any known actors and actresses and be watched and gained a following, much like a classic is something.  Aside from the fact that the protagonists’ were not only featured as vicious soldiers, the film likewise projected the serious and sensitive part of their basic role in their families.  They comprise the cream of the military establishment.  They are dispatched to dispose the enemy and in the process, are exposed to be disposed too in an instant.  The only difference for their survival is knowledge and training.  They are the elite forces of the USA, the so-called Delta Force.

*****

In the present leadership of USA, under the Obama administration, this special unit has been given the weight of fulfilling what for decades has been a role assigned to the common military conscript, the ordinary soldiers, the cogs, numerous of them to impress and sow fear.  This unit is not assigned to invade or take over, not to occupy and reign high over a defeated territory as tradition had it.  The unit is there mainly to destroy the will of the enemy, daunting the challenge and however impossible it may be.  While an entire army can fight for years to prove their point (and lose like what happened to USA in Vietnam),  a handful of trained soldiers are brought into the scene and expectedly, in a matter of days conclude their mission with success—taking down the brains of the enemy.

*****

It took years to neutralize an enemy whose face is buried among the masses.  At times, it takes a generation to discover the real identity of sworn enemies.  There was even an embarrassing situation, like the Jack the Ripper case in London, where the sinister murderer is still unknown at present notwithstanding the advances of forensic science.  Now, the process of dealing with nemeses could be dealt with in a jiffy.  Osama Bin Laden for all his exploits and sophisticated manner of hiding was instantly extracted and taken down by the US Special Forces.  The same is true with Iraq’s erratic Saddam Hussein and a number of trouble spots.

*****

The world of warfare has been drastically changed and almost went through a circle.  And western military thinkers have tapped the vast reservoir of ideas from their eastern or oriental counterparts.  In ancient Japan, landlords retain the services of highly skilled martial artists, the ninja, to fulfill delicate and hazardous tasks.  Although these were mainly limited to revenge, the approach had been pushed to include almost any endeavor from espionage to occupation.  In India there was a brotherhood of assassins pitted against a known enemy and in Portugal they were even maintained by a shadowy group called Templars.  In recent contemporary times, Israel has the Mossad, the Russians have the KGB and in the Middle East, the Taliban.  Not necessarily in this formal order.

*****

At the rate we are confronted with conflicts in the Asian region, it pays to review what we got.  In the Philippine setting, there was a group before that specializes on dealing with warfare.  For in the insurgents, there was the Sparrow Unit.  For the establishment, there was the MISG.  Now, they are merely a part of history at times just a footnote, although they were game changers.  To date, there are no more shades of this group.  What we have at present are the phenomenal mercenary called “riding-in-tamdem.”  However, there are no known approaches on how to drop this unit behind enemy lines.

*****

It will not take long when our security forces will also be able to use sophisticated drones to watch over enemy lines, but in the meantime, we must have to perfect our way of flying “boka-boka!”

A PORTENT OF THINGS TO COME

fortune teller

Whether we like it or not, we are a matriarchal society.  We are like Lebanon.  Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the birthplace of warriors, Vikings, reckon their women as their leaders too.  The woman under a matriarchal system is not only holding the purse, she is also the gatekeeper, watcher, supervisor, administrator of her family.  In other words, she is In-charge.  The discipline of running a family is akin to running a business establishment, overseeing a neighborhood or even managing government.  She maintains everything.

*****

Sometime past, Filipinos had deep social link with Muslim culture.  As a matter of fact, their forefathers were high on Islamic belief.  Even the concept of neighborhood dynamics such as barangay, is patriarchal through and through like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.  But somewhere along the line, in between reckoning invading cultures, the country slowly veered away from the highly patriarchal influence into the matriarchal approach.  In the Philippines, the woman is the most revered symbol of social salvation.  This change is partly, if not largely, a consequence of its Christian orientation.  At best, the Marian spiritual component grabbed much of Filipino faith.  Hence, their predisposition for women leadership.

*****

The Filipino’s love affair with his woman transcends earthly politics.  They venerate the wife of their leader—the First Lady.  She is reckoned more than her partner.  Respect for her presence is enduring more than the authority of her husband.  Her intuition guides her spouse’s vision.  Disregarding her counsel at times would prove fatal.  In the Philippine setting therefore, a woman leader is more preferred in practice.

*****

Cory Aquino, a reluctant leader, when she was shoved into national consciousness and became President, became not only an icon of hope but also a symbol of democratic governance.  She restored a fledging country on the brink of collapse into a model from whence all countries besieged with autocratic mismanagement followed their deliverance.  The Philippines was no longer the same after her ascension.  Then came another woman leader, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.  She had flaws as a consequence of her controversial husband but she steered successfully the country to accomplish certain economic merits.

*****

The leadership, accidental as it were, of President Noynoy Aquino could have been made possible because of the untimely death of his iconic mother, the almost saintly Cory.  He won because of the collective respect for his mother.  Forward looking, the country would be in a bind if there is no woman leader or woman inspired leader would be in sight.  Such confusion can already be felt in the forthcoming 2016 election when once again, the people will have to choose who their next leader would be.  It is either VP Binay or DOTC Secretary Roxas, assuming that the political configuration will not change.  This early however, such arrangement would change.  The election of Grace Poe as she ascends the top post would have a chilling effect on the known protagonists.  And knowing how Filipinos choose their leader, it is almost a fait accompli.

*****

Her Excellency, Grace Poe.  Hmmmm.  Sounds good.

OUR PARENTS DEFINE US

parents

Filipinos would oftentimes ask a person they came to like in this manner:  Who are your parents?  What are they doing for a living?  Where do you live?  In what school did you graduate?  In our culture, the status of the parents is very significant for social mobilization.  You have a fledging, struggling parents?  You must crawl and push a lot harder to be made.  Your parents are accomplished, influential and popular?  You are already there.  But in a popular exercise sometimes there is an exception.

*****

The most intriguing fact that manifested through the results of the final tally is the Honasan mystique.  He occupied the last slot in the final senatorial list or those who succeeded to get into the so called magic 12.  And it was no mean feat.  While Honasan may not be aware of it, including the electorate, what was proven is that a candidate can edge better candidates, better advertised, better campaigned, with better credentials, more popular, more preferred, more sought after.  Imagine a Honasan beating to a draw the likes of a Dick Gordon, Migz Zubiri, Jack Enrile, Ramon Magsaysay, Rita Hontiveros, Ed Hagedorn, Joel Villanueva, Ricardo Penson, Tingting Conjuanco….etc.  all of them high caliber and worthy candidates.  Not that Honasan is a tyro, a newbie, a beginner although he is not, like that of Bam Aquino and Nancy Binay (their bloodline makes it happen), but he succeeded where everyone down the line failed to catch up.  What made the win amazing is the fact that he belonged to the opposing camp.  His ascension into the political firmament is a perfect subject for a case study.

*****

Those who never made it never lost at all.  They will serve as a yardstick, that standard on which the performance of winners will be gauged.  Their turn will eventually and definitely be clearer the next time around.  From their benchmarks will rise the new criterions or touchstones on which administration will be appreciated.

*****

Amidst a deluge of flyers, tarps, posters the future lays buried beneath a cacophony of assurances and promises.  It is hoped that those who made it should also consider those assertions bannered during the electoral campaign.  Ms. Conjuanco’s legislative agenda when elected would review and formulate prison standards.  Mr. Enrile’s food-on-every-table guarantee is worth legislating.  Mr. Penson’s anti political dynasty posture, while it has been successfully observed in some provinces, is worth digging into by Congress.  So on and so forth.

*****

Note:  We have come full circle in challenging the so-called “Chinese line”.  First, our law enforcement agency fumbled in a hostage drama that caused the untimely deaths of several Chinese tourists from Hongkong in Luneta.  And then we challenged the Chinese poachers in Kalayaan island strips, which pushed us on the brink of war against the Peoples Republic of China.  Thereafter, our coast guard shot an unarmed Chinese vessel from Taiwan on territorial waters as yet to be agreed upon.  And lastly, in accidental feat, Chinese stalls in Divisoria were gutted down my local flames.

THE COLLECTIVE VOICE

election winners

The previous election is proof that indeed the electorate preferred scions over lions.  Grace Poe is daughter of Action King Fernando Poe.  JV Estrada is son of matinee idol now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.  Sonny Angara is son of illustrious and academe favorite Edgardo Angara.  Chiz Escudero is son of former Agriculture Chief Sonny Escudero.  Bam Aquino son of President Aquino’s uncle, Paul and look alike of famous uncle, hero Ninoy Aquino.  Nancy Binay is daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay.  Allan Peter Cayetano is son of an illustrious senator Renato Cayetano.  Koko Pimentel is son of former senator Aquilino Pimentel.  So on and so forth.

*****

So what else is new?  We have bequeathed our legislative future to familiar, popular and easily recalled personalities.  We wanted change but we delight on the other hand by resisting change.  We want our cake and we want to eat it too.  We want to progress but we do not want experiment.  We want to be prosperous but we abhor hard work.  That is fine.  That means that we aspire to be successful but all that we wanted is to be pretentious.  That simply means we are as a collective very conventional and conservative.  We are only trying to be Filipinos in the real sense.  There is nothing wrong with it.  It is our very own culture.  We hate poverty but we are contented with it.

*****

There is nothing wrong electing a set of leaders.  What is wrong is never to elect at all.  It is like loving.  It has been said that it is better to love than not to love at all.  Whoever is elected reflected the will of the majority.  It should be respected at all times.  Whoever they are, whether some would claim that majority of the people are to be shunned, it is a derogatory and an insulting presumption.  The electoral process, the choices, the limitations may not fit an ideal setting but imperfections included, it is the most that a country can hope for.

*****

After the house has been divided, there should be a disciplined acceptance.  The people must rally behind and support those elected. They should be followed and adhered as leaders.  That is what political maturity means.

*****

Reaction:  “The automatic electoral system it said violates human rights because it removes the right of voters in favor of machines. It is a substitution that cannot be defended because the secrecy of computers and its programming is incompatible with the public nature of elections.’ Says Star columnist Carmen Pedrosa.  What is advocated here is that we disregard technology?  How can we count properly votes in the millions without using calculators—just because it is a counting machine and therefore should never be replacing manual counting?  It is inconceivable on the other hand if we revert back to counting raised hands.  Let technology perform complex tasks.  Let us just be experts in using it in the most objective and professional way.

 

%d bloggers like this: