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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

too much politics?

Never had the country been divided as today. Ultra rightists, right, left-leaning, ultra-leftists... name it we have it. The recent events in the country divided the people into, at least, three main categories. Pro-administration but not necessarily being pro-GMA, the anti-administration, which is very synonymous to being anti-GMA, and the supposedly "silent" majority. Who the silent majority is rooting for is actually unknown. Are these the apathetic? Or are they the "wait-and-see" population who will jump and join the bandwagon once a sure winner is evolving?

I have received several messages forwarded to me by friends. One is that which is allegedly written by a middle-class citizen expressing disgust over practically everybody there is to blame. Other anti-PP 1017 and anti-administration messages usually coming from the younger set of friends. They all have lucid points which led me to think, where do I stand?

Honestly, I am undecided on the issues. I do not and will never condone cheating during elections. As a matter of, I abhor the idea that the leader of the country is there because she cheated. However, I still have to wait for the resolution of the case in its proper forum. Not on the streets swayed by people crying foul not based on actual solid evidence but only on the allegations of politicians who have a separate agenda (like putting themselves in power). If that is the case, then what is the assurance that what we will have is something better? So, if the courts decided that the President cheated in the last elections, I will go out in the streets to help throw her out. If I have an inkling that the courts is biased and not being objective, I will go out of the streets like I did when the senators tried to suppress the opening of the envelope that was crucial during the Erap hearing.

Again, to my simple mind, what we have is a dilemma with the presidency. I am not interested in becoming President. As long as the President serving in Malacanang uses his/her power to advance our economy, keep the streets safe, does not suppress my civil liberties (which she almost did with the now lifted PP 1017), but try to win me over by the power of persuasion, I have no quarrel with that president.

If I was the President, I would not have minded criticisms on my policies. I will let my actions speak for themselves and let history be my judge. But of course, I am not the President.

What I have observed is that we, as a people, have been too political. I can see people of different persuasions out in the streets ready to fight a war simply because their "bet" is losing. I saw this during the ouster of Erap. Somehow, it became personal. There are countless people in the lower brackets braving a storm for their leader. Instead of trying to make their lot better, or even earn a living, they are out on the streets thinking that should their leader be placed in power, their lives would improve. Or is this a regular job to some of them? I am sorry, but they are just being used by these so-called leaders to shield themselves from harm under the guise of patriotism. I have seen the effects of EDSA and believe me, these same people will go out in the streets again no matter who is in power simply because they are discontented.

Politicians act the way they do because we treat them as stars. I say, let's leave politics to the politicians and work to make our own lives better. You may disagree with me, but these are my thoughts. Period!

19 Comments:

Blogger BatJay said...

yes, we treat them as stars. in some cases, we treat them as gods. and in exchange for a few hundred pesos we allow ourselved to be used as puppets. kaunti lang nagbago simula ng time ni rizal. patronage politics.

siguro yan din ang isang dahilan kung bakit walang masyadong pumalad nitong last bruhaha ni GMA. some people call it people power fatigue. ewan ko, perhaps it's true. a lot of people are sick and tired of being used. iniisip nila wala rin naman mangyayari kung mapalitan ang presidente kasi yung papalit ay gago rin.

sana hindi ganoon ka hopeless.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, hindi lang pala ako ang undecided. I also wrote about my being confused (Ball of Confusion - a take from the Temptations' song), especially with the deluge of emails that I get with totally conflicting views. But I totally and absolutely agree with you that the best thing we can do at this time is to work harder to improve our individual lives. I think that if we keep on pinning our hopes on these politicians, talagang walang mangyayari sa atin.

1:16 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Batjay People power fatigue, hmmmm, magandang term yan ah. Sayang ang mga nakaraaang EDSA no? That was the time when we really showed these politicos that we have to be treated with respect. Ang kaso nga, wala pang nag-rise to the occasion na leader na pwedeng gampanan yung kailangan natin e.

Bugsy Uy, alam ko yang Ball of Confusion na kanta ng Temptations.

TAlaga namang wala tayong maaasahan sa mga pulitiko e. Ang kaso, there are some quarters who believe that the leader will help change their lot. Pwede, pero more than anybody else, syempre yung me katawan muna. Ika nga nung panahon ni Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Meaning, the leaders are there to think about the general welfare. Not on ceratin individuals only. So, self improvement should be based on one's own initiative. E tapos yun pang mga leaders e pangsarili lang iniintindi. haaay, masalimuot talaga.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Also, if you will notice, we have no closure on important issues:

Ninoy Case - no closure
Marcos Case - no closure
Erap Case - no closure
GMA-Garci Case - no closure

Everything is forget and forget, without really establishing what happened, who is accountable, and who needs to be punished. Yes, it's good to move on, and just do our jobs, but that can only be done under the premise that true justice has been delivered.

How can we move on when we do not even know what happened?

We have one messy way of dealing with our problems. In Medicine we were thought that an open wound that's always infected can never truly heal.

11:24 PM  
Blogger MXRR said...

hello po sir rolly... i also am from bambang... and i think we live in the same area...
i basically agree... there is way to much politics and way to much sides...left, right , middle. up, down... politics is business. Everybody's business, so it seems.

3:33 AM  
Blogger bing said...

too much politics can be the reason why there are those who choose to be apolitical.


one reason perhaps why the latest move to oust a president from seat is the annoyance or exasperation almost every Filipino is dealing with. we are annoyed to see hypocrites who shout that they do things for the bayan or for the mamamayang Pilipino. we are so exasperated with the circus that is not entertaining us anymore.

2:46 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Doc Emer U never saw it in that light. Yes, there had been no closures for these events. What these will do is still unknown to us but it sure would be a big help. Thanks.

mxrr Hey, that's interesting. So, you're also from the same place I come from. Teka muna, baka naman kapitbahay pa kita ha. Thanks for coming over and commenting. Teka, magkaiba yata yung connotation ng business in both instances, no? hehehe

Bing Oo nga e. Puro lip service lang naman yang mga yan. Walang sincerity. Well, at least they're sincere in one thing. Oust and take over. ouch!

6:30 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...

1. The diversity in political activities in the Philippines is evident that democracy is alive and thriving. However, in order to benefit from the aggregate of such a spectrum of political diversity, the institution of democracy may have fine-tuned and honed processes and systems to garner the positive attributes of such activities and to discard any negative values that may arise. I believe the democratic institution is still evolving toward this end.
There will come a time when the "silent majority" will be more than fence-sitters and act for the good of the country.

2. The Philippines is unique in history in that her people rose against tyranny and dictatorship to send Marcos into a humiliating exile. The event, popularly and fondly known as EDSA, has bitter-sweet memories for many. Sweet, because that signalled the end of a tough era of dictatorship. Bitter, because the euphoria was shortlived. What signalled hope for a better future eventually failed to materialize. The chance to institute reforms for the long term well being of the country did not happen and a certain complacency began to set in.

History has been kind to the Philippines. Many countries do not even get a single opportunity to institute reforms as EDSA event provided. But in the case of the Philippines, she was given a second chance. A second people power rising led to yet another President being evicted from office and another opportunity to institute reforms. And yet the country is no better off economically, if not worse, than the time when it was under Marcos. What has happened that has perverted the golden opportunities that history has so kindly accorded?

3. The country's political elite has no political will to see through reforms that will ensure a better future for the country. The political elite have vested interests and such needed reforms will mean that they will have to bite the bullet. The marginal progress made by one President is quickly dismantled by the next. Politicians were bent on retaining office and power at all costs.

It is almost an insult to the people's intelligence that politicians call for yet another EDSA to remove the current President. Calling on people power at almost every exposure of another Presidential scandal is ultra vires the Constitution. There are processes within the democratic system to remove the President. If these are inadequate, get the politicians to change them and institute new processes. If they don't, vote them out of office! This is of course, easier said than done.

Calling for people power to remove a President every time a scandal is exposed may be frivolous and irresponsible. It is a waste of economic resources and frightens away potential foreign investments.

4. For some reason, the people adore the politicians and treat them as stars. Why is this so? I believe it is yet another form of escapism. They admire and envy the politicians who have made it in life, who have beaten a path out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Also, the politicians appear to be above the law, able to break the law and get away with it. This kind of insidious admiration degenerates the morals and values of the society we are in.

And yet the people keep voting these corrupt politicians into power every election. So, are the people ready for a truly democratic institution in the Philippines? When will the silent majority act, if they are there?

5. Whether GMA cheated in the recent elections may not be so important an issue. As Dr Emer says, there is no closure in so many important cases that I suspect, and I believe many of us do too, that there will be no closure in this case as well. Even if a verdict is eventually reached, it will be purely academic then.

Yes, there is too much politics and too few real accomplishments.

11:46 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi Thank you for your very insightful inputs.

1. Yes, one of the reasons I like democracy is that it is open to listen to all opinions. The diversity of opinions and the freedom to express it is what makes me believe it is one of the more acceptable political ideology there is. However, we must be wary of what is sincere and what is mere lip service from our political leaders.
2. EDSA could have been sweet only had we learned how to take care of it. Unfortunately it is this concept that no dogooders want to use for their own ends.
3. Precisely. When the ball is in ones hands, it is very tempting to make the shot regardless of winning the game or not. Who would want to bite the bullet when it can be used to kill somebody else? Who would make the ultimate sacrifice of putting aside his/her own interests for the common good?

I have always told my friends that the downside of the EDSA revolution is that it has shown that a president is actually vulnerable. Since it is easier to criticize and that a fault-finder such as someone who has aspirations for the presidency can easily find soemthing wrong with whatever actions the president does and sway people to join him/her for his/her agenda. If my calculations are correct, chances are 9 out of 10 presidents will not finish the term.
4. I will have to agree with you. If there are only three types of people, the elite, the middle-class and the marginalized, who do you think would the middle class identify with?
5. Apparently many Filipinos do not share this idea. Foremost for them is the moral implication of having cheated in an election. But yes, whatever the verdict would be is still academic. The final measure would be will we rise from the economic slump we are in right now?

7:30 PM  
Blogger samantha said...

I'd have to agree with you Sir Rolly. I have yet to see even a fragment of possibility that another People Power Revolution could improve the current state of our beloved country, if anything it will only make matters worse. A country's progress does not lie solely on its government, if you find yourself discontented then do something concrete about it don't just complain and criticize to no avail. It doesn't really matter where you stand, opposition or administration whatever, if it is progress you want (which both sides claim to be working for) then I don't see why you can't work on it instead of bickering. In their relentless arguments no one wins, its just another lose-lose situation of quicksand. For all those policians: get over your egos.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tito rolly, ayun nga po sa kanta ng buklod :
habang may tatsulok
at sila ang nasa tuktok
di matatapos itong gulo

a bloodless, violence-less revolution will never work nga raw--kung tama yung basa ko sa rosales saga ni fsjose.

bote po

12:57 PM  
Blogger The Bystander said...

Though I rely only on the news for information, there's no doubt in my mind that our country is still as deeply divided as it was two or three years ago. The political stalemate between pro and anti-administration forces has only worsened during the last few days. And I don't see this crisis being resolved anytime soon. Depending on which side you are inclined into, the issuance of Proclamation 1017 and General Order No. 5 only widened the animosity between those who feel their basic human rights have been violated and those who are too itchy to get back at their mortal political enemies. However, it is also in these trying times that we get to understand the real pulse of the people and how they are positioning themselves with respect to the ongoing political saga. I therefore took it upon myself to categorize these people founded not on any scientific analysis but based purely on what I think, see and feel.

1. THE FENCE SITTERS -- These are people who basically refuse to go out of their comfort zones. Either they are too busy to pay attention to the country's problems or they simply don't care about the plight of their countrymen. They just watch as political events unfold, thinking that they have no stake in the future of this nation.

Our country by the way has an abundant supply of fence sitters. They may be your parents, children, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends, and neighbors.

No wonder we deserve the kind of government we have.

2. THE APATHETIC AND THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS -- They profess their care for society, or so they say, but are too suspicious of the other side that they would rather remain with the status quo. They always question the motives of dissidents and oppositionists that they forget the fact that the status quo could also be equally guilty of the same motives for which they are precisely indifferent about. They are so engulfed in self-righteousness that they get blinded by pride and prejudice. There are quite a lot of so-called "opinion makers" who fall into this category. You can easily spot them in the opinion pages of newspapers or in your favorite public affairs shows. Unfortunately, it is in this atmosphere of cynicism where tyranny is wittingly or unwittingly tolerated.

3. THE OPPORTUNISTS AND HYPOCRITES -- You want me to name them? Better not. Besides, they're too many to mention and too obvious to require any further description. We see them everywhere, both in and out of government. Accustomed to the politics of convenience, they will be the first to abandon ship when it becomes clear that the boat will sink; or worse, will be the first to seize the spoils of victory at the expense of those who risked life, liberty and property just to see their goals into fruition.

4. THE POOR AND THE IGNORANT -- Actually, being poor and ignorant is synonymous to having no choice at all. In fact, they have been the object of exploitation since Magellan discovered the Philippines. Traditional politicians often mention their plight and trumpet their woes as if they come as knights in shining armor, yet actually do nothing and even scorn at the sight of a beggar on the street. Though they comprise the majority in Philippine society, their intellectual "deficiency" makes them the most vulnerable to all forms of manipulation and are easily agitated by empty rhetoric.

5. THE ALARMED BUT AFRAID -- There is no question about their deep love and concern for the country but are nonetheless apprehensive to make their positions known for fear of reprisal from entities and personalities whose interests may be jeopardized by the mere expression of dissent. They often complain when there's no one listening, confining their disappointment and disgust inside the comforts of their homes. As a result, they are relegated into the same level as fence sitters.

6. THE AFRAID BUT DEFIANT -- Their principles are so intact that no amount of threats could cow them into silence nor weaken their resolve. We may not always agree with them or their beliefs, but at least they are clearly fighting for what they believe in. For these people, courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what they think is right even in the presence of fear.

Given the above "categories", to which category do you think you belong?

1:11 AM  
Anonymous bayi said...

Bystander,

I know your comments are serious but is that a rhetorical question?

3:56 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bystander I don't think I belong to any of the categories you mentioned. Let me throw the question to you. Where do you belong?

7:42 PM  
Blogger The Bystander said...

TITO ROLLY and BAYI:

To reiterate, these "categorizations" were not the result of any scientific analysis. So, if you think you don't belong to any of them, then that's your call. I will not argue on that.

The question, actually, should be answered in its philosophical sense. We don't have to tell the world where we belong. Let our actions be the best judge. Nevertheless, I will try to answer my own question:

1. The fact that I'm voicing out my opinion (however small) suggests that I refuse to be a fence sitter and I refuse to be cowed to toe Mike Defensor's line that "we should move on".

2. The fact that I'm still hopeful about a post-GMA scenario means that I refuse to be engulfed by apathy. I would rather course the uncharted waters of the deep blue sea than remain in hell in the company of the devil residing somewhere in Mendiola.

3. The fact that I abhor hypocrisy and opportunism means that I'm not one of them. And just because we see TRAPOS brushing elbows with activists on the streets does not make GMA the lesser evil. The more we should go out and make our voices heard so that these TRAPOS will be reminded that never again will we allow them to exploit us and steal away our votes.

4. Lastly, I maybe poor but I am not ignorant. I know Gloria cheated in the last elections, used more than 700M pesos through Jocjoc Bolante to finance her election campaign and implemented dictatorial policies (CPR, EO464, PP1017) to keep her in power and silence legitimate dissent, plus the human rights violations in the countryside perpetrated by her security guards in the AFP.

Did I answer your question Tito Rolly?

Now, If I may ask you again, where do you think you stand?

11:56 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bystander I think I have answered the question when I said I don't belong to any of the categories you mentioned. now that you have stated your position, I think we are pretty much on the same boat.

1. Like you, I have been voicing out my opinions via this blog. So, if that is what you think is what a fence-sitter is, then I am not a fence sitter.

2. There will definitely be a post GMA scenario. When this will be, I am not sure. There is a strong clamor for her ouster but I have not joined it yet because I believe that it is only through constitutional means that this should be done. People power does not work the way we want it to. We are only being used by opportunists in the political arena to serve their own agenda. I will no longer go out on the streets simply because of the loud noise the mob is shouting. I want proof and I am looking for a sincere man to lead this country through.

3. Yes. The problem is these trapos will try anything to obtain power and let come hell come shine on them when they power is in them. I have been watching the news the other day where Escudero was showing their new plans for an impeachment. No problem there. The problem is, he was implying to endorse Susan as the next president. The constitution is very clear as regards the issue of succession. Why Susan? Because she was the widow of the alleged cheated presidential candidate? What are his plans? Or any of the oppositionists like him for that matter? That they will put Susan in the presidency and that overpower her making demands on her? and should she not budge, they will go out in the streets again calling for us to oust her? I guess I'm tired.

4. I am poor myself and I don't think I am not ignorant. Maybe not as bright as some of you but still I have my own opinions. While there is strong belief that Gloria cheated in the elections, I will wait till this issue has been decided legally. Again, I want solid proof. Some say that Malacanang had been putting up obstacles so that the issue can not materialize. But that is just to be expected. I say to the people that be, do your assignment well. you want something really bad, work for it. Do not use the citizen's emotions anymore. It doesn't work. Not to me, anyway.

7:33 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bystander Sorry, there were a lot of errors in that response. What can i do? I just got up. No breakfast or coffee yet.

1. ...if that is what you think is what a fence-sitter is not, then I am not a fence sitter myself.

3. "come hell come shine" Aw, where did I ever get that phrase. But you know what I'm talking about, right?
What I am trying to say is, I think the mindset is a "bahala na" attitude. What is important is to get there first. Bahala na whatever will happen next.


Anyway, thanks for your comments. It has been a very good discussion.

7:45 AM  
Blogger The Bystander said...

Thank you also Tito Rolly. I was surfing the blogosphere until I caught sight of your blog. It was a short but very enlightening discussion indeed.

I leave you with this quotation from Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865, US president):

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Tito Rowy said...

Nong naman...pano ka maniwala sa bru na yun eh lahat ng sinabi may question mark...di kakandidato tumuloy...nag-sorry pero wala explination....ayaw magsalita...ginamit daw yung pera ni Macoy sa eleksiyon niya ayaw pa din magsalita.....deklara 1071 tapos punta sa prenta newspaper ipinahinto printing di raw curtailing right to express one's opinion ....nanghuli na ng mga kalaban di pa rin daw martial law yun..nakahalata yata kakampi sa states ayun binawi...pansupil lang daw ng mga nanggugulo sa kalsada..hehehehe lokohin niya lelang niya....yun ginagawa ngayon dati ang suplada ngayon pati batang may uhog hinahalikan para lang masabing makatao siya bwehehehe....neknek niya noh..ano tayo tanga...intayin mo nong mas matindi pa ang gagawin nun..siya prime minister pag ok na ang cha cha....mananalo ba ang negative sa cha cha eh puro kakampi niya ang boboto hehehe...pano natin pababayaan na di punta tao sa kalye eh kung ang kausap mo naman eh puro sa kanya lang gusto ang mangingibabaw...bweheheehe..nay nakuuuu...

4:50 PM  

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Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.


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