Attention: The people of the Philippines
Democratic deficits are the consequences of our failures as a people to cope with the challenges of development as we confront them every day.
Democratic deficits are the broken promises of political leaders, the apathy and procrastination of our people, the failure of our institutions, alienation of the marginalized sectors of our society, the apparent incorrigibility of some officials and rank-and-file unwillingness to devise ways and means for our communities to have a fighting chance. Have we grown so numb and insensitive to the ills of our society such that other country perceives deficits, we merely regard as inconveniences that we live with day in and day out?” (Professor Clarita R. Carlos).
Undoubtedly, we still have a terribly sick Philippine society. In addition to what Prof. Carlos said, let me say that we are also beset with moral emptiness, culture of corruption, widespread dehumanizing poverty, continuing inequality, unabated environmental degradation, rampant criminalities, messy political system, excesses of our capitalistic economy, outmoded and unresponsive Constitution, unresolved insurgency and Mindanao problem, and consistently failing democracy.
Below are some expert’s sharp commentaries concerning this issue. Hold on to your chair:
• Hector Villanueva: “First, the unbundled capitalistic system and lack of Constitutional and political reforms or status quo is anti-poor. Second, the impulsive, bizarre, and subjective vetting and recruitment policies need to be more eclectic and expansive to attract to government service the best and the brightest Filipinos from all over?” What happened to our government is “Balik Scientists” Program?
• A former top government official: “Our authorities have tended to view emerging problems as minor irritants. There is no long view. And when the minors problems become a full-bloom crisis, they frantically search for palliative solutions… This way of working needs to change. Governance should not be on a day-to-day, piecemeal basis.” How true. Long-range governmental planning must be institutionalized by NEDA and Congress!
• Paul D. Hutchecroft: “The weaknesses of political development (in the Philippines), are a major obstacles to the country’s long frustrated hopes of successful economic development. The patrimonialism found in the Philippines presents particularly obstinate structuring barriers to the creation of more rational-legal state.” He added: “The countervailing social forces are strikingly weak. The dominant social forces – oligarchies – have an economic base quite independent to the state apparatus, but access to the state in nonetheless the major avenue to private accumulation.” President Duterte recently lambasted some of those oligarchs.
• Former NEDA head Romulo Neri: “The Philippine is an oligarchic state dominated by powerful business interests who finance elections. These business oligarchs make and break politicians, and overawe a weak, politicized bureaucracy. They dictate and distort public policies to enrich themselves at the expense of the public good through legislative and regulatory capture.” He continued: “This has resulted in what is described by political economies as a booty capitalistic state, where the political winners and their financial backers help themselves to political rewards and economic rents, which in turn allow them to perpetuate their stronghold on the state and the economy.” How true indeed.
Unfortunately, very few Filipinos are fully aware of these litany of specters that haunts our people. Hence, this article is written to awaken our people to these sad circumstances and do some concrete actions to break up this cycle of oppressions and exploitations. It is written: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when wicked man rules, the people groan.” For decades, our people are groaning because they have been enslaved by a wicked group of Filipinos we call Filipino Imperialists who replaced our foreign colonizers – the Spanish and America imperialists. Now we have local “colonizers”.
These Filipino Imperialists are composed mostly of Filipino oligarchs, unconscionable elite, greedy big business people, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous dynastic families and their cohorts. They control now our political and economic lives that bring grinding poverty to great number of Filipino families. They champion the status – quo condition in our country which benefits them tremendously. They obstruct any movement for genuine reforms that threaten their selfish interests. Filipino Imperialists are the main enemies of the Filipino people’s desire for real social transformation for the healing of our sick Philippine Society and liberate our people from the clutches of Filipino imperialists.
I’m writing this column on Rizal Day, December 30, 2019. Dr. Jose Rizal advocated for national reform movement by helping organized “La Liga Filipina. Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini were members of this “Liga”. Per info, “La Liga Filipina was actually a prescription for how we should be when we should become independent. La Liga’s constitution and bylaws outline the process for gradually converting the country from a Spanish vassal to a nation.”
Rizal’s famous two novels, Noli and El Fili, were about the social ills during the Spanish Imperialists’ rule of our country. This article is about our present sick society courtesy of Filipino Imperialists that replaced our foreign colonizers. It seems nothing much has really change anent the state or quality of our Philippine society. After more than a century later we are still colonized locally.
Reforms to heal our sick society and then independence or nationhood was Rizal’s dream for our foreign colonized Islands. Today, wide-ranging reforms likewise is our prescription to transform our still sick society and rebuild our nation to achieve “Full Democracy”. This is our quest to finish the “unfinished, renovation” of our forefathers. History is repeating itself!