Quo Vadis Philippine Democracy?
Is popular, truly representative democracy being bastardized?
Consider these headlines:
- Malacang-funded party list groups denounced;
- MNLF guarantees its 5M members will vote for Jesus Is Lord standard bearer;
- Presidential bets woo Kingdom Of Jesus Christ d leader;
- Muslim ulamas issue fatwa versus Erap;
- Supreme Court says GMA can appoint a new Chief Justice ahead of current CJ’s retirement and despite a constitutional ban;
Against the back-drop of such events one wonders just exactly what Filipinos are doing with the republican democracy they embraced with much passion after regaining political independence in 1946.
It is a painful realization that unscrupulous, narrow-visioned Filipino politicians and their lawyers have developed an arsenal of tactics taking advantage of legal ambiguities and the vulnerability of social groups using political largesse and token entitlements.
Consider, for example how it is possible for a presidential son to be a nominees of a party list representing security guards or say a most imperious energy secretary being the nominee of a group of public utility drivers.
Hey, even the avowed servant leader of a sect is trying to win a congressional seat courtesy of a pro-life party list
So what we have is an image of the democratic system being turned into a joke while those who have a monopoly of political power and feast and make merry:
Two simple but profound axioms must be embraced by all our polity for the Filipino nation to move forward and reap the progress that grows out of a truly democratic way of life.
We must, all if us, become the change we want our nation to be, and we must be faithful to the mandates of the Constitution and the ideals our forefathers lived and died for.
IT IS NOT YET TOO LATE
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes shared their group’s initial assessment of several prominent party list groups:
Ang Galing Pinoy – First nominee is Pampanga congressman and presidential son Mikey Arroyo. Second nominee is Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda and third nominee is Bacolor Mayor Romeo “Buddy” Dungca. It is strange that a partylist group claiming to represent the marginalized security guards have nominees all coming from Pampanga and are all Arroyo allies.
PACYAW – The partylist group Pilipino Association for Country / Urban Poor Youth Advancement and Welfare (PACYAW) has as its first nominee Department of Tourism Asst. Secretary Janet Rita B. Lazatin. She is a member of the Lakas-CMD party and hails from the first district of Pampanga. Its second nominee is former Los Angeles Consul and businessman Reynaldo Pineda, who is also based in Pampanga. PACYAW is advocating sports development.
Alliance of People’s Organizations (APO) –first nominee is Arroyo ally and former Ilocos representative Salacnib Baterina. It’s Facebook fan page reads “APO of Salacnib Baterina”. It’s advocacy is the “scrapping of the oil deregulation law”.
Sulong Barangay Movement – First nominee is former vice-presidential candidate and Tarlac Vice Governor Herminio Aquino.
BUHAY Partylist – Fifth nominee is evangelist and real estate developer Bro. Mike Velarde
Military officials as partylist nominees
Abante Tribung Makabansa (ATM) – First nominee is former Army Col. Allen A. Capuyan. Capuyan was among those implicated by former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble in the “Hello Garci” controversy. According to Doble, Capuyan was among those who implemented “Project Lighthouse” or the wiretapping of personalities during his stint as head of the Intelligence Service of the AFP’s ‘special operations group’.
ANAKalusugan – First nominee is Col. Roland E. Kempis, a doctor and Commanding Officer of the AFP Medical Center. Kempis held the position under Gilbert Teodoro and Norberto Gonzales, according to the Department of National Defense website.
Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, Inc. or CONSLA – nominees include former Air Force Col. Ricardo Nolasco, Jr. and former Navy Rear Admiral George T. Uy. The group represents savings and loan associations and their members. More study is needed on this type of partylist group.
BAGO partylist – Third nominee B/Gen. Manuel E. Mariano, Jr. who was the Asst. Division Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in 2008