We’d go on our bravest fight yet
Good news? Yes, it is because we played the game fairly and bravely resolved to move it forward. The bad news is that wicked politicians, coddlers, vulnerable victims, and complicit voters won by foul means.
Unsurprisingly, this was one of the hardest battles and most serious, intractable challenges we’ve had to face. Unfortunately, this country has long been tolerant of abusive oligarch politicians (the likes of the Arroyos, Estradas, Villars, Dutertes, and Marcoses), who’d move heaven and earth to get elected.
We were appalled at their untouchability and by the excuses that saved them from jail despite their high-profile corruption, plunder, and tax evasion conviction, the years of cyberbullying, mudslinging, and deception on social media, and now this: high-scale vote-buying, mind-conditioning survey firms, and a poll body packed with political appointees.
Compare that to the cases of indigent suspects who are herded straight to miserable congested cells, often without being given access to a lawyer and their day in court.
While other countries like France vigilantly guard their sovereignty and repel any intrusion or foreign influence even on their culture, our leaders sell us down the river for billions of pesos in unfulfilled promises of loans and investments. Instead of using our arbitral win in our territorial claim over the South China Sea, President Duterte maintained a defeatist stance that has led to hundreds of Chinese military vessels occupying our reefs and shoals, while aggressively keeping Filipino fishermen out of their traditional fishing ground in the West Philippine Sea.
In a bid for continuity and stability, will our new leaders follow this ill-advised pivot to China? Unfortunately, the incoming President’s overtures to our superpower neighbor are hardly reassuring.
But resist we did, even as social media trolls and rabble-rousers bullied us, peddled fake news, and revised history. Before the May 9 elections, the number of enlightened professionals, workers, and committed youth had ballooned to millions, loudly proclaiming their newfound truths. They also rallied around the candidate they perceived as standing up for their rights, a sincere, hardworking leader with a heart for the poor, and a record of can-do initiatives.
Sadly enough, she lost. Her supporters would now have to trek a long and treacherous road to follow her lead of using this crushing loss not only to demand answers but also to raise questions when the new government fails to live up to its promises. Tolerating treachery, incompetence, and opportunism may have gotten us to where we are now, but rest assured, we will not allow it to inhabit our future.
“Who are we, what are we, why are we” are all the questions we should ask ourselves, said Shakespeare. Though the answer is far from celebratory at the moment, a look backward might yet define our way forward.
Pit M. Maliksi, [email protected]
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