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2016: time for another reset

01:49 AM February 29, 2016

IT IS difficult to change existing systems through piecemeal and marginal reforms. Bold measures are needed; in 1986 the clincher was the critical mass of people on the streets. It gave us a chance to “reset” our systems, through the revolutionary government of the first President Aquino.

Regardless of our sentiments about Ferdinand Marcos, the fact remains that there is still a deep desire for another overhaul. At what cost? Some say it will come naturally, say, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake or one stronger than that hits Manila to literally and figuratively shake things up. Maybe when that happens, our people will once more realize the futility of selfish conduct and then come together (again) for (another) transitory government that this time will decree the fair distribution of land or capital, policies that would eliminate political dynasties, and even the genuine separation of Church and State—in a sincerely progressive sense.

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Earthquakes are unpredictable—as the outcome of the May 2016 elections, so it seems. At least two candidates for national positions openly proclaim their dictatorial tendencies or roots, without shame. On the other hand, a significant number of voters, having been exposed to better systems elsewhere (through easier travel and the power of the Internet) are so disillusioned that they are attracted to an “iron-fisted governance” like moths to a flame.

Will fate, a failed state, or history repeat itself in this sad probability? Or is it the start of a chain of events that will lead to a costly (whether by money or blood) “social earthquake” that could provide another needed chance to reset our systems?

We will find out soon enough. I look forward to the TimeHop/Facebook Memories version of this letter a year, or three or five years from now—that is, if I will still be free by then to access the Internet and voice my opinions.

—ALBERT FRANCIS E. DOMINGO, health policy consultant, @AlbertDomingo

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TAGS: Earthquake, Elections 2016, Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos dictatorship
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