Archive for June 13, 2018


It is the sad truth that a people deserve the government it gets. The poor quality of our polity is not merely or mainly due only to the poor quality of our politicians and bureaucrats but also due to the steady degradation of the quality of our own people and citizens most of which may be mired in the daily grind of making ends meet.

I speak as a senior citizen whose interest in politics and governance started decades ago–in my grade school years.

However, I also notice a similar lack of civic spiritedness and concern about the common weal among comfortable people thus material poverty may not be the cause for apathy. It is poverty of the human spirit.

Studying the history of other peoples, it seems that great shocks such as international war, revolution, and extensive natural disasters provide defining moments for a nation to unite and put its house in order. Should it come to that?

Reflecting on our own experience, I note that we have yet to unify around key ‘boundary’ questions:

1).

WHO/WHAT ARE WE?

Filipino?

Bangsa Moro?

Ilokano?

Bisaya?

midget Americans?

brown Chinese?

2).

WHERE DO WE LIVE?

 

Treaty of Paris limits?

plus the West Philippine archipelago?

plus the Philippine Rise?

 

3).

HOW DO WE CHOOSE OUR LEADERS?

Elections?

Coup d’etat?

People power?

Vote buying/selling?

Armed violence?

Rizal warned earlier that there are no tyrants unless there are slaves. Politics is really a relationship. Most of our despicable politicians were (sadly) elected into office. We are also complicit in the corruption of state officials and institutions. True, there are pathologies and imperfections in our instititutions. But these pathologies have long been analyzed and sensible solutions had been proposed. Why can’t we as a people adopt these solutions?

Is it because of the opposition of an intransigent political elite?

But then, who is truly sovereign?

Aren’t they our servants?

Or what we have here in the Philippines is an electoral oligarchy pretending to be a full-blooded democracy?

And that, we do not have what it takes to fix our house?

Comments. questions, and reactions are most welcome.