Five on Friday: Thoughts on Philippine Democracy

Today’s date marks the death of Ninoy back in 1983, an event which has led to the world–changing 1986 EDSA Revolution. If not for that period in Philippine history, the reign of Marcos’ dictatorship might have never stopped, and just maybe we can never just put out thoughts to share with everyone. Blogging (and freedom of speech) may have never been born in the Philippines.

I think I’ll just share five thoughts on the democracy that we have now.

  1. The Philippines is a democracy. It is not perfect, but in its twisted form, it is still a traditional democracy. Unfortunately, our form of government, or more precisely, our way of running our government, has always been wrong. Politicians have never grown out of their dark pits, and sadly the young ones are encouraged (and they oblige) to dig their own too. It’s a dark world they have out there, and I don’t think I can clearly point to one who has swam out of their self–made Hades that is Philippine politics.
  2. Though we hear about suppression of information and limitations to freedom of speech, most of us Filipinos get to say what we think. Some though die for it. It is a sad fact that our society has developed a webbed network that lets information move freely, generally, yet we have all grown the seeds of apathy within us. Our voices scream revolution but our actions spell lethargy.
  3. Democracy is the rule of the people. Ideally, democracy calls for unity after a plebiscite or an election; we respect, uphold, and defend the popular choice, even if it’s not one’s own belief. You may still have your opinions, but you have to use it to better what has been the consensus. It does not happen in the Philippines. We instead choose to put down each other into chaos.
  4. The disparate distribution of wealth and education in the Philippines has produced a less than ideal democracy. Because the rich and the poor have different concerns, they tend to patronize different values and personalities. This has led the poor to elect a president in ERAP, for he championed the cause of the masses. In some way, it has also elected GMA in 2004. If she really did win, perhaps it was an act of the middle class and the filthy rich trying to “choose the lesser evil” and saving us from FPJ, which would’ve been ERAP part two. The truth hurts, and it’s painful to know that our democracy has fueled a clash of Filipino classes.
  5. We have in our sleep sown a democracy ruled by rulers, not by the people. We have grown leaders that have no sense of accountability to every Filipino. We have failed to punish the wrongdoers and have made pedestals for our leaders. We put them up when they should be raising every Filipino above the drowning waters of mediocrity. Instead, we have politicians grouping among themselves according to their own self–serving interests. Their loyalty is to their cabal, not to the Filipino people.

One day, the Philippines will again be ruled by the Filipino. I could again use “we” to collectively point to all of us, but such a word has been corrupted so much that everyone thinks it is their brothers’ and peers’ duty to fend for their person. It’s time to use “I,” to do it in your own way, here, and now.

(Okay this post missed Friday by a few seconds. Bummer.)

3 Responses

  1. Nice article you have written here and yes I agree of you about democracy in the Philippines. Ninoy Aquino is one of the heroes that really fight for his country. He fought for his country to be free from dictatorship. I salute Ninoy Aquino and his late former President Cory Aquino for everything they did for the Philippines.

  2. For me, we have a blind democracy. This freedom will only truly liberate us if we all open our eyes to what we should have been doing in the first place, respect and take care of each other. We should serve one another instead of our selfish monsters.

  3. “The disparate distribution of wealth and education in the Philippines has produced a less than ideal democracy”–this is one of the roots of the conflict in mindanao. twisted–true. i have said that while i read statements about the preservation of democracy, i do not forget that the dictate of democracy is for the good of the people and not to block charter change (if for genuine reforms), for example.

    you might want to listen to that famous speech by Ninoy at L.A :) recommended. you can find it in youtube.

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