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Two rallies to celebrate people power: Divisiveness is democracy

/ 03:58 AM March 03, 2017

It is highly inaccurate to say that the Duterte administration does not give our economic and social development adequate attention. In fact, it has laid down a long-term vision for our country. Dubbed “AmBisyon Natin 2040,” it builds on from the work of President Duterte’s predecessors, but bears his imprint, hewing to his campaign platform of government. Why the information has not been passed on enough to our people, it’s perhaps because those tasked to do that have chosen to direct their gaze elsewhere.

The campaign against crime and drugs is but one of the many government programs the President promised. The fact that the President was resoundingly elected means that this program was accepted and concurred with by the people themselves. This campaign is also deemed essential to our nation-building in that it seeks to paralyze a nefarious criminal enterprise that greatly worsens the poverty and unproductivity among our citizens; and it sends a chilling effect to the criminally inclined who illegally amass wealth

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from public coffers, egregiously unmindful of common weal. These twin problems aggravate social inequality in our country.

The true spirit of Edsa lies in the virtues of democracy and “people power.” Edsa is never a proprietary cause that selfish politicians may ride on or use to further their personal agenda.

The Duterte administration appreciates Edsa as a historical event. However, the political personalities and the politically charged speeches delivered at the Edsa event are proof of how the Edsa spirit has been turned into a political franchise, serving only to promote the interests and careers of political opportunists.

The administration’s decision to hold another, separate event was not opportunism; it was meant to highlight the sovereignty of the people, and the majority support for the present administration. The event echoed the same virtues the Edsa rally extolled. While the government “encouragement” was criticized, it was no different from the means employed by the organizers on the Edsa rally. And people came on their own free will.

Thirty-one years on, the lessons that we should rightly commit to heart are that sovereignty resides in the people, that freedom of expression must never be suppressed, and that authoritarianism must be eschewed. Familiar political colors, parties, families and career-oriented personalities should be dissociated from the wholesome spirit of Edsa, and they should be brushed aside as mere distractions and hangers-on.

Thirty-one years ago, the people have grown more mature and circumspect in their decisions, unlike the singer-turned-political activist who had only condescending words for our youth. The Filipino people do not need his sermons to be awakened, much less to be forced to accept his own truths and beliefs.

The perceived divisiveness must be called by its rightful name. It is democracy. Our views and opinions are as diverse as there are many of us. Nonetheless, the Filipino people are assured that the Duterte administration cherishes truly the genuine ideals that Edsa stands for, and that it works tirelessly for our economic and social development.

CHRISTIAN MAR BARACENA, [email protected]

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TAGS: Christian Mar Baracena, Inquirer letters, People Power Revolution
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