What’s RP’s true Socio-political System?
President Arroyo usually speaks of democracy and the rule of law, and most of the time, as she tries to push her mostly incoherent rhetorics, she has the tendency to exaggerate things and interchange the meanings of the two most abused words in Philippine politics.
The word democracy, which was conceptualized and given meaning by ancient Grecian philosophers, is now the most abused, misused and distorted word in modern history. It is taken as either an excuse or justification by both communist and capitalist worlds, including totalitarian and fascist states, in the pursuit of their respective political and national agenda.
The United States of America was and is very good at warping the meaning of the word in its favor. In the name of democracy, the superpower country invaded third world nations like Philippines, including sovereign states like Somalia and Nicaragua, and waged war on countries that never threatened a single American like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the Philippines, the Arroyo administration used the word to justify its continuing war on insurgency, and what makes the war declaration more dubious is that it was waged at the height of Hello Garci controversy. Perhaps in the name of political survival, the evil forces behind the President advised her to get down to a filthy business against the rebels to divert the attention of the public without minding the casualty and the excessive loss of lives and blood that would follow.
With the advent of modern-day political Hermes, the continued distortion and reduction of the meaning of democracy results in both social and political decadence that is consuming every corner of the world. I’m not a linguist, and hell I need not be an expert in rhetorics and in politics to understand the evil in this systematic distortion engineered by those who hold power.
To me, democracy is just an ideological or philosophical term that has never attained yet by any nation in the world. It’s just part of the political mantra in history.
But to people who wield political and military clout, democracy is akin to a political vacuum that can be filled with meanings, words and ideologies, which are favorable to their desires, whims and caprices. Uncle Sam amassed great wealth from poor and militarily frail countries in the world by invoking democracy. On the other hand, communist China, along with other socialist countries, maintained its formidable political nucleus and succeeded in suppressing political and intellectual dissents for the sake of democracy.
And this political template was adopted by states that seek to perpetuate their political pursuits. In the Philippines, Mrs. Arroyo declared her most controversial edict – P.D. 1017 – to quell popular dissents that, according to her, threaten democracy in the country.
To further seal her presidential intentions, she ordered the rubber stamp Congress to rush the passage of the anti-terror bill, which is now called Human Security Act, “to protect life, liberty, and property from acts of terrorism, to condemn terrorism as inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and to the welfare of the people, and to make terrorism a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity, and against the law of nations.”
Democracy should go along with the rule of law, because in a supposed democratic state, the rule of law is always put above all men. I laughed the last time I heard Mrs. Arroyo speaking about the rule of law. The term came out of her lips during the time the controversial NBN deal poked real threat at her administration.
But to me, the rule of law demands that the violators must not go unpunished, it longs for the unveiling of the truth, and mandates that it is the law of the land that should prevail and not the whims and caprices of a woman.
Democracy cherishes life not death; it promotes liberty and not tyranny; it upholds the rule of law and not the biases of men; it rewards the competent and dooms the crooked, the corrupt and the dishonest. It serves as a barometer whether a nation has truly attained civility and not savagery. Technological advancement cannot conceal the ugly face of dictatorship, more so it cannot disguise as the true form of democracy. High level of economic status cannot be confused with democracy, because the former can be acquired through savagery, slavery, barbarism and indifference, while the latter represents civility, civilization, and nobility of men.
The NBN deal truly brings out the disgusting inner side of the current administration. The controversial deal attended by institutionalized corruption, allegations of bribery and sexcapades rears the ugly head of the Arroyo regime as it implicates highly accountable public officials, including the President’s husband Mike Arroyo.
What’s more annoying and disgusting is that these people are no stranger to corruption and bribery allegations. Abalos faced several accusations of graft and corruption in the past, purportedly using his official position for personal enrichment. The recent case of automation election system, marred by allegations of corruption and lacked bidding process, implicated Abalos as great corruptor and manipulator. The failed illegal automation deal robbed the Filipino people of over 1 billion pesos, which could have gone to public services, including infrastructure projects for the putting up of additional schools in impoverished provinces. Was there any probe on Abalos? Yes, there was an investigation, but not after a series of orders by the Supreme court to investigate the disgraced and disgraceful Comelec chair.
Mike Arroyo is also known for his penchant for using “health reason” whenever he was summoned to appear in a Senate inquiry into issues that implicated him as the turbulent “wind beneath GMA’s wings” or the “man who works silently behind her wife.”
These strings of controversial and irritating issues only prove that we’re living in an Orwellian world, where the powerful few hold the access to illegal and devilish riches and dictate the todays and tomorrows of the people.
We’re not living in a democratic state, not even a single day in the past. I disagree with the Presidential speeches delivered by GMA, including those of her predecessors, that the Filipino people “inhale and exhale the democratic air” of the country. I’m also opposed to the opinions of some book authors and other columnists sympathetic with the current regime, or just ignorant of the topic, that we’re the freest people in Asia. Well, being free is just of one the elements of democracy, because too much freedom would amount to anarchy, while too much restriction on our freedoms means tyranny. There must be a reasonable and justified balance between authority and liberty, because as humans we should be fully aware of our natural rights and obligation in this woeful world we live in. To determine what is right and wrong – this is the universal law that should bind and consume men. It is not right and proper to bribe a person just to induce him to work on your evil intentions. It is not right either to usurp an official duty if you’re not vested with such authority through legal appointment or valid selection.
We live in an oligarchic state where political power and machinery effectively wrests with a small elite segment of society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy). This country is being run by a tiny portion of society that forms part of the business elite, old rich, wealthy taipans and influential corporate leaders, including the paid and rogue military top brass.
That’s why when it comes to Philippine politics, the names of wealthy few like Danding Cojuangco, Atong Ang, Lopez, Lucio Tan, Mark Jimenez, among others come to mind.
In a book written by Earl G. Parreño titled “Boss Danding”, Cojuangco earned the moniker “the boss” for having mastered the “art of juggling business and political interests… that business and politics are closely linked – that one is in fact necessary for the other to flourish.”
Lucio Tan and Atong Ang were said to be close to former Pres. Joseph Estrada, who was recently adjudged guilty of the crime of plunder by the Sandiganbayan.
The Lopezes, an old-rich family that owns one of the most influential TV networks in the country, ABS-CBN, were also involved in some sweetheart deals with the Arroyo administration during the early years of Gloria in power. ABS-CBN has produced a good number of journalists-turned-politicians like VP Noli De Castro and Sen. Loren Legarda.
The Filipino elite really live in a small world in which one can hardly draw an honest line between business and politics. Such a situation is very dangerous to a country that is not economically viable, where poverty yields not just ignominy but ignorance as well. Only an honest education, meaning an education that is anchored on the needs of the people and of the nation, can cut this seemingly endless cycle of poverty and deception.
I’m personally bothered by that notion, or erratic idea, that “politics and business and closely linked to each other.” To me, politics and business should be like water and oil, they must not mix for they are two distinct elements.
Undeniably, this ideology is the very venom that poisons the minds of politicians, including young political aspirants. It runs through their veins, it percolates in their mind, and this makes them indifferent and unfeeling just like zombies. Greed, power and evil intent – these are the sum or total of politics and business combined.
I say this perilous combination causes all the evil in our society. It kills laissez-faire or the free and open competition among businessmen and the competent, and it breeds corruption, incompetence, illegal connections, and barbarism. With this crooked system only the shameless and incompetent prevail, while the upright, honest and skilled stay in the sideline.
This is not how the ancient Grecian philosophers defined democracy. If this is how Gloria defined democracy then I protest. If this is how people in the government view democracy then I say the system of education that we have today is not yet sufficient to serve the true essence of education. To me education should mean enlightenment and not mental imprisonment.
If we continue to go this way in the next several years, this country will fall into the claws of dictatorship, a situation that only glorifies the political elite and realizes the crooked aspirations of the few, but damns the overwhelming majority.