In the world of lies, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (Crass, 1984)
We have just witnessed the zarzuela of the local elections in the country, when the Filipinos voted for their barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials that is months after the national and local synchronized elections held in May 2010.
Aspiring and incumbent politicians have been busy preparing, organizing, and reaching out even to the far-flung barangays to ensure their respective votes and are trying to win their aspired posts. The winners were proclaimed, while the losers admitted their defeat hardly and some accused of being cheated, after elections, then what?
Many politicians now are trying to catch the affection and support of the masses. Even today, many go to places to visit their families, friends, and many people to highlight their visibility. As it is a common line heard during election time, they say they are for the welfare of the poor and needy, or their platforms of governance will save the trailing economy, food on the table, job security, etc., but with those promises often used what among those were answered?
Our country’s economy is bankrupt, political bickering among the national and local politicians is a predicament, peace and order are at their worst, poverty is worsening and the common people can no longer appreciate the government’s programs and actions that mostly are detrimental to the sake of the majority of the peasants and workers that comprises the 80% of the Filipino people. With this situation, many will grab every opportunity for the temporary release of every day’s hardship by accepting bribes and money to buy their votes. But we cannot blame them. They suffer for so long and it’s their only recourse. The sad part is, the politicians are exploiting this situation for whose profit? You already know the answer.
Many promises have been brought through speeches, paid advertisements, leaflets, and the like to promote politicians’ aim to garner the favor of the masses. But with those promises, especially to those who will win the race, turn their backs to the people to whom they owe their positions. Such reality exists, though it is painful to accept.
Who among them have the sound economic, political, and social policies and programs to address the basic needs and demands of the common tao? Who among them, have tried to increase the salaries of the workers on private enterprises and public entities, implement genuine land reform, stop demolitions among urban poor communities and give them affordable and decent housing?
Who among the technocrats and capitalist educators who are the ones sitting in Congress and Malacañang have the guts to stop the perennial tuition fee increases, oil price hikes, and the water and power rates?
Who among them will have the political will to stop the trampling by foreign nations on the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will make this nation equal in footing and be respected by the world and not just a stooge and puppet of the imperialist? Maybe for some but not many.
Since the granting of nominal independence in 1946 from the imperialist United States, the calls of demands stated above were completely ignored by preceding presidents and lawmakers.
Thankfully, some party lists and individuals were given a chance to sit on the congress, but still, it is dominated by the ruling elites and the system is still the same. Of course, not all politicians are like this, I’m not generalizing the accusation to those who are willing to genuinely serve and protect the interest of the many. But they are just a handful of admirable individuals that despite the rottenness of the political system in our country, they strive for the betterment of the people.
An election is a time, where the poor people should choose their leaders to serve them wholeheartedly and faithfully. However, people are given a little venue to select the leaders that are espousing their ideals and aspirations. For the record, who among the presidents, and even the people of the congress was from the common tao or the basic masses?
It is imperative to cite that the Philippines are divided into classes. And in each class have their own political, economic and social agenda. The peasant demands land, workers for just wages, students and youth for free and liberating education, and the rich crave for profit. Then who among these classes has the capacity to run for a post and eventually holds the electoral positions? Then what interest are they espousing?
It clearly shows the system that exists in this country. An election that serves as the carnival of the elites that fools the masses of their political rhetoric’s and promises but will not even answer the basic demands of the people but is only up to the coffers and political machinery to serve their kind, their cohorts, cronies and their business and political ambitions. Where is the hope for the common tao? Or is there any hope? Well, at every end of the tunnel there is a light and of course an exit. However, this cannot be reached overnight.
After 54 years, of self-governance where are we going to go now?
We have a system that is semicolonial and semifeudal that is in deep and worsening crisis. Foreign dictates prevail and our leaders are the parrots of their imperialist’s masters.
The Philippines remain an agricultural country where peasants, workers, and other marginalized sectors of the society that comprised 90% of the population lived in the quagmires of poverty, remain oppressed, exploited, and disgruntled.
Many resorted to criminal acts, prostitution, and other anti-social activities in their desperate attempts to survive. While many fight back and struggled to end the inequalities that are being propagated and impose by the ruling few.
Some choose to take up arms because they no longer believe in the system and they want to replace it with their own, as in the case of the New People’s Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, while some took on the streets and shouts at the top of their lungs the injustices and irresponsibility of the present and past governments.
Though we recognize the fact that an election is just the contest of the elites, we cannot stop people from voting, and it is their democratic right to do so. Though the choices for the electoral posts are of the same kind but not all, we should choose the lesser evil that will govern our country for three or six years.
But let us not put our hope in their hands. We have been hoping for so long. People, especially the oppressed are the true makers of history. We shall forward the interest and democratic aspirations of our class and with our might, we will confront those corrupt and evil politicians to subdue to the people’s demands, and through a painstaking arousing, organizing, and mobilizing the people for their democratic interest, we shall have our government that is represented by all oppressed classes of the society.
A democratic, independent, and progressive government that will put forward the interest of the many, with a sound program to answer the question of land, and national industrialization. A country that has an independent, and fair foreign policy, and the people that are equal in the name of law, justice, social equity, and opportunity. A nation that is proud to be a nation. That is a dream that will soon be realized. So, are you one of us?