Will you fight for our country?
Do you think that our country is going to the dogs, and are you feeling helpless? If so, are you willing to fight for our country, instead of just wringing your hands? To Readers who say, “We pray all the time,” I say, “Bravo,” but prayer is not enough. As the saying goes, “Pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you.”
One relatively easy thing that counts as the “work” part is to write a letter to the justices who formed the majority in that no-account decision in the quo warranto case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Why? Because they can still change their minds when the motion for reconsideration is filed. No, don’t tell me it is useless. It is a looong shot, but the combination of the letter and our prayers may turn the trick. After all, we don’t need all eight justices to change their mind; two will do.
You don’t even have to think about the contents of the letter. Harvey Keh supplies you with the bare essentials. Just fill in the blanks. You can add, subtract, or change as you please. It goes like this:
“Dear Justices Jardeleza, Peralta, Tijam, De Castro, Reyes, Bersamin, Martires and Gesmundo,
“I ______ , a Filipino working in the _____ , am appealing to all of you to reconsider your vote on the Quo Warranto petition because the Constitution clearly states that impeachment is the only way to remove an impeachable officer such as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
[(additional messages if you wish) ________ _____________________________]
Your Name ______________
Where you are right now ______”
Send your letter to email@example.com, and they will print it and deliver it to the Supreme Court. Make sure you put your complete name and your town or city in the letter.
Imagine, says Harvey, if the justices receive thousands of letters from all of us. He is sure they will at least reconsider their vote. In this way, we can show our justices that People Power is still more powerful than People in Power.
Yes, imagine. After all, the eight claim that they were not influenced by the President, or by their biases (remember, five or six of them testified against Sereno in the House of Representatives impeachment hearings). They serve only the Filipino people.
It will take you less than five minutes to do this. For our country.
You think the Philippines deserves more than five minutes of your time? Well, then, a second thing you can do is read the Supreme Court decision and its dissents. Too much, you say? Okay, let’s make it easier. Just read at least the dissent of Justice Alfredo Caguioa, because he wrote down for the layperson the arguments of the majority, and a step-by-step rebuttal of those arguments. The dissents of Justices Antonio Carpio and Marvic Leonen are always worth reading, but you may end up writing a more strongly worded letter to the majority justices. Remember, though, you are appealing to the eight justices, so don’t call them the fatheads that they are.
A third thing you can do is to text your favorite radio or TV commentators that “the Supreme Court decision on Sereno stinks,” and ask them to read it aloud. This takes less than three minutes.
And/or, if you are feeling really perky, you can join a demonstration. This takes more of your time and energy, especially in this hot summer.
These are only for the short term. For the long run, how about all of us making a vow to take an active part in our barangays? We just had the elections—two years delayed. Let’s make sure it never happens again. In these elections, 20 percent of barangays had uncontested elections (including San Lorenzo, Dasmariñas, Urdaneta and Bel Air, for shame), and 25 percent had uncontested Sangguniang Kabataang elections), so clearly the youth are learning wrong.
If we clean up our barangays and set them up as islands of good governance instead of leaving the task to others (because we have more important things to do), if we attend the twice-a-year barangay assembly and help determine whether our barangay leaders are doing their jobs—or, better yet, suggest how to do their jobs better—we will take one giant step toward taking back our country from the cheap trapos who seem to have overrun us.
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