Philippine Politics

If You Know Anyone Who Benefited During Martial Law

If you voted for Bongbong Marcos because Martial Law was like living a good life that you’ve missed since then, do remember that it was a specific sector of Philippine society. Yes, good things were done, but I urge you to remember that that is just half the picture and that you vote for your country and not your own pleasure or sector. 

But I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re alright with living the good life at the price of numerous deaths of innocents and the poor starving to death and having no choice but to commit crimes as well as billions of the money you and everyone else gave for the betterment of the Philippines being stolen and used to spoil the ruling family.

Some people are like that, but for the rest of us who care about our country and the lives of those less blessed than us this issue is significant. Even if it was overblown in textbooks and documentaries, the evidence proves these things. It speaks on so many levels when you dampen the stories but still end up having one of the worst times in Philippine history on your hands.

Philippine Politics

Things I Forgot to Say This Past Election

We seem to be in the midst of a post-election hangover. That means I’m lucky enough to fill in the gaps left by my previous articles.

No, Aquino isn’t an unsung hero per se:

Of course he’s not. But being underrated surely is. I previously said his missteps were overblown by the public (many were on a local scale or under other people at best) and that his achievements weren’t given proper recognition. Would you rather live in a present where the outgoing president stole a ton more money and we still remain in the dark about the underbelly of Philippine politics? Aquino started a chain reaction, and while he was miles away from a perfect president, he contributed his own share to our country.

It’s unrealistic to say Bongbong wouldn’t have done a thing for our country:

Same goes for any other candidate, even his father during Martial Law. Even then there were sectors of society that benefited. But it’s all about the overall picture. If he won he would’ve been the favorite to be the next president. The election is a critical part of our future. Risking it all just for a likeable personality or ideal is like putting our future on a spinning wheel and crying when we lose. People were holding him up on a pedestal, envisioning him as the next Ferdinand Marcos. Would you want noninclusive economic benefits like Aquino? Or lots of dead innocents who die because of sounding their opinions? What about billions in stolen money that would’ve gone into scholarship grants, feeding programs, employment opportunities and new classrooms?

Duterte made for a hugely effective mayor, and a surefire bet for change in our country:

And that goes with what I said above. Change for the sake of change is like voting for Trump because he’s brutally honest and the antidote to traditional politics. Ideals alone aren’t enough to ensure a country’s future. Of those extrajudicial killings, how many are innocents? There’s a reason there’s a process criminals go through before being imprisoned. It’s not foolproof, but a better solution than sudden killings still. How can a president that lets his temper run amok lead an entire country? There’d be chaos, or kneejerk decisions at the very least. How about us, the victims? No one was ever going to take incarceration away, and no one complained of incarceration not being enough as much before Duterte said, “Kill them all.” Imperfect as it is just like with extrajudicial killings, justice will continue to be served, maybe even for a lifetime.

Those hundreds or thousands due to die without proper investigation, many are bound to be mentally ill. Those people don’t know the truth about what they’re doing. They try to stop when it’s impossible to do. Even if they don’t, it’s the sickness that drives them. And many too won’t be close to hurting anyone. It’s murder for many, and the majority of us love that kind of thing. The majority that believed in Jesus that taught of forgiveness, patience, tolerance and understanding.

It’s about tolerance where futures can be built. It’s about saving those that look guilty but are actually victims like us. Life is too unpredictable to end a means for a better future. Better save every sliver of hope, every potential teacher, entrepreneur, programmer and inspirational speaker because honestly, our country is in a dire situation. Until we invent a means to eliminate all hope of a person contributing to society, then that’s the perfect time to discuss killing criminals.

Current Events, Philippine Politics

We Were Wrong, Part 2

The hype was palpable for Bongbong Marcos with the pre-election surveys. He’d been leading by a good margin when Leni Robredo started catching up. That was before the Iglesia ni Cristo and El Shaddai endorsed him, and even if they didn’t I doubt he’d lose that many votes. The fight’s been close between him and Leni, with both having huge, insurmountable leads atop the other four candidates. It’s shocking to believe how quickly Filipinos give in to propaganda, expertly-written words and false ideals.

Bongbong Marcos isn’t Ferdinand Marcos. They share the same genes and the political pressure that comes with being his father’s son might influence his performance, but that doesn’t mean he’ll have things done at the same level. It’s not one-to-one unlike the reason everybody says why they voted for him. As I said in Part 1, it is among the murkiest of propositions in the past elections.

All those projects made, structures built and such? People forgot the tons of money stolen from public funds. How about you subtract that from the “progress” made by Bongbong’s father? And the many innocent people whom you can’t put a price tag on who suffered or died because of him. People were focusing on a small part of Marcos’ reign and not the full picture.

If you were willing to vote for Marcos, you accept that in the process of him becoming president in the future, many innocents will die for nothing, and you’ll be part of the blame. All that in exchange for “progress” negated by the billions of stolen funds. Billions that belong to feeding the poor, generating jobs for them and ensuring their kids’ futures. Not to mension the noninclusive benefits of the “progress” you speak so highly of. The Philippines never recovered from poverty during Ferdinand Marcos’ reign.

Current Events, Philippine Politics

We Were Wrong

After all the stolen money, the lavish gifts received and extrajudicial killings, we now have a winner in the May 2016 elections, and surprise surprise, it’s none of the two justifiable candidates. Well, before you let loose on your keyboards, keep your nails deep into the crevices of your desk for now as you hear me out.

I’ll keep the filler out of the way by telling you the two candidates I would’ve limited the choices to: Mar Roxas and Grace Poe (Antonio Trillanes, Leni Robredo and, while I’m still not sure, Chiz Escudero for Vice President). And as for why I also chose those for VP, they’re all practically in the same boat.

You don’t vote for criminals, you just don’t (in most cases). You might have a better excuse if when the ends meet, lives would be saved. But there is no guarantee, even in Duterte’s case. An unmatched and overwhelmingly positive outcome is always preferred, but only when it is a guarantee. When you kill even criminals that don’t threaten others’ lives, you end up killing more than you save. Every person is a son, a daughter, even a friend, no matter what they do. When you kill someone that has potential for a future, you kill that future too. When you steal billions of pesos from public funds intended for feeding programs, job employment opportunities and scholarship grants, you end up killing more people and futures than you save.

It would be a good decision if we knew what would happen in the future, but during the election period, we were wrong. You can’t set aside a candidate just because he annoys you or puts the candidate you like in a bad light. That’s being blinded by campaign tactics and idols. You vote for those that will actually benefit more than hurt. You vote not the name or campaign ad of a candidate but his or her potential in helping the nation. If you don’t think about your vote wisely, you put your vote on a spinning wheel and hope that whatever the result is will benefit you.

And you can’t most of all vote for just an ideal. It’s a half-baked platform when the entire plan is just be tough and unforgiving or relate to the masses. There has to be a concrete plan, a road to success so voters will have a feel for what the next six years will be. When people choose a candidate based on ideals alone it’s the same as I said previously about the spinning wheel.

And that’s why we should’ve chosen Roxas or Poe (and Leni, Trillanes, or maybe Chiz but I’m currently lacking stock knowledge on him). You can’t claim the Aquino administration had zero progress or that the country’s condition actually worsened. Those are most probably just propaganda from rival camps, not based on actual facts. It doesn’t take rocket science to research the facts. Most naysayers cite Mamasapano, Yolanda and the like, but those are mostly on the management side. Overall, there has been at least decent improvement to the country during Aquino’s term. Can you actually imagine Roxas doing a lot worse than him? Poe is more of a wildcard, but that quality is what saves her from the pitfalls of Miriam (Bribery), Bongbong (Corruption) and others. Try to compare Bongbong to Poe in their three years in the Senate and you’ll see. And how about Trillanes who does give up when threatened enough but is a safe bet compared to the ones I mentioned?

As we wind down, let me go back to the talk of guarantees for a bit. Of course there are no 100% ones, but when you see your decision’s probability going towards the majority, the future starts forming inside your mind. We’ll never know what the future holds, but we can estimate, and for something as significant as a national election, there is no room for playing around.

There was no perfect candidate to vote for (Mar and Poe even had some of the problems I discussed), but after weighing the pros and cons of each and a bit of processing the risks I found those two (and two or three Vice Presidential) candidates the most appealing, the safest candidates to vote for while envisioning a future of decent leadership and less lives and futures lost.

I guess there is no point in posting this right as the counting of votes is almost done, but at least I can wake up a few of those asleep in the collective Filipino consciousness. May God bless our new president and those who have and will win in the coming days.