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RANDOM  THOUGHTS | Let’s rise in solidarity

“PHILIPPINE politics – the way it is practiced – has been most hurtful to us as a people. It is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving full development.” (CBCP President Oscar V. Cruz, D.D., “Pastoral Exhortation Philippine Politics”, 1997)

While I was categorizing my old books for donation to relatives and friends, recently, I came across a pamphlet on “Philippine Politics” mentioned above. The 1997 critical assessment of Archbishop Cruz on our politics is still valid today. Actually, things have worsened and continue to worsen every passing year. This, no doubt, is our greatest dilemma.

Admittedly, our Catholic Church was unusually proactive in addressing the subject of politics in the eighties, courtesy of activist Cardinal Sin, leading to “People Power Revolution” known as EDSA 1. Followed later by EDSA 2. Sad to say, both EDSA radical changes miserably failed.

A true revolution – peaceful or violent-must be really transformative for the better. Our two EDSAs were NOT! Why? I`ve explained in detail why these were failures in my 2021 book titled “Heal Our Sick Society”.

Since, we have a worsening politics in the Philippines, we expect our Catholic Church to be more proactive than in the eighties as “peaceful revolutionary” like our Lord Jesus. It is a sad commentary to say that it is not the case – meaning our Catholic Church is currently like a “tamed lion” – seemingly hiding in the veil of being merely ” vigilant” and paralyzed by inaction.

As Pope Francis recently pointed out, “to be true Christians in this era, we must be “revolutionary in grace”. On the other hand the Jesuits said that to be true Christ-like, Christians must be “peaceful revolutionaries. In other words, we Christian Filipinos and our Christian Churches allowed politics in the Philippines to continuously deteriorate by indifference and complacency. Hence, we deserve what we have.

Pope Francis recently called for “better kind of politics”, “new encounter” and “Politics of Love”. Unfortunately, Christian Filipinos and their Christian churches are deafeningly  silent on Pope Francis` recent exhortation! “Anon a bay an! Natutulog tayo sa pansitan!”

Our new enlightenment in this regard is `to effectively change a nation, change first people’s mindset and behavior.” Thus, we expect CBCP to issue an ORATIO IMPERATA on Real Social Transformation focusing first on People Renewal and later Nation Renewal in response to Pope Francis recent exhortation. “Gising mga Kristiyanong Filipino at ang kanilang mga simbahan!”

The Catholic Church is, unquestionably, the most trusted and influential institution in the Philippines. That`s why our people depend so much on her guidance not only on spiritoral matters but in all aspects of our lives including political matters. Without the like of Cardinal Sin, a peaceful revolution is unlikely to happen. Today, our suffering people badly needs a Cardinal Sin example.

Hence we shout in frustration: “It there no one else out there who is truly Christ-like as a “peaceful revolutionary” who can inspire and lead us to a better Philippines with political leaders who use the “power of love” and NOT “love of power”?! Good politics transform love to authentic public service. Enough of self-serving politicians that perpetuate corruption that breeds dehumanizing poverty in the country. “Mahiya kayo!”

CBCP “Pastoral Exhortation 1997: Philippine Politics” concluded:

“At one point in our history, we badly needed change and we got it-through People Power, without violence, at the EDSA Revolution. What we did in 1986 is an unfinished revolution. The reform of the political life and processes is a necessary complement to 1986 EDSA event (which never happened I would say). The odds we face now are likewise formidable, but we can prevail.

“We invite all of you, our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, to join us in a common resolve to clean up and to renew what we have seen in one of the most harmful aspects of our national life – today`s kind of politics.

“As at EDSA in 1986, so today: We must reason together for the common good, we must pray together and act (ito and wala) together to transform politics into a means of national renewal, a means of just and integral development for every Filipino and for all Filipinos.

“As at EDSA, so today: We do not work alone. As the Psalms remind us: “Unless the Lord build the house they labor I vain who failed it” (Ps 127:1). The work of conversion and renewal is indeed the work of God and He calls us to work with Him. This is the reason for hope and our confidence – the grace of Almighty God. May Mary, the Mother of the Lord and of our beloved country, obtain for us from the Lord Jesus graces we need for this momentous mission so vital for our future as a nation.”

Concisely and beautifully said in 1997 which is twenty five years ago. But where in the definitively and continuous ACTION? “Nada. Gone with the wind.” A “Whole-of-Institution Approach” that harnesses our Filipino “bayanihan” spirit, is imperative for this laudable task of renewal to succeed. This is our God-given mission. “Huli man daw at magaling, maihahabol pa rin!” Let’s continue to have faith in the Filipino people`s ability to truly unite.


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