Monday, March 06, 2006

To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets

To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets
(A response to the email of one S. C. Austero)

Dear S.C. Austero and Others Who Are Not Out in the Streets,

I too, am angry. I am angry that there are people like you who have become so jaded, so cynical that you would rather "lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward," meaning wherever GMA and her cohorts are taking it.

Let me make it clear. I don't claim to speak or fight for you or the entire Filipino people. I want GMA out for the sake of MY rights and MY freedoms. I will fight any government that steals MY vote, MY taxes, that lies to ME and tramples on MY human rights and civil liberties. If you don't want to join me in this fight, then don't. I'm sure there are many others who believe that government is there to serve the people, not rob them blind.

In accepting GMA for all her failures, at least you're honest enough to admit that you have lowered your standards about what a leader should be. But please, don't drag us down with you. And don't blame Cory or the politicians for your pitiable compromises. How can you tell me that just because Cory and the rest of our leaders screwed us big time, then we should tolerate someone like GMA who wants to screw us even more? And you justify this by saying you've "taken the moral high ground" by forgiving her? That's crazy. It's like saying that having an extra-marital affair or sniffing shabu is okay because anyway, everybody does it. That's definitely as low as anyone's morals can go.

Oh, but you say GMA has bent over backwards so many times. The question is, in what direction? Sure, she has accommodated the demands of Jose de Venecia, her corrupt and abusive generals, her allies in Congress (whose pork barrel funds have been increased), the terrorist-obsessed Americans and big business BUT SHE HAS NEVER, NOT ONCE, ACCEDED TO THE DEMAND FOR US TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ISSUES AFFECTING HER PRESIDENCY. Do you honestly think her pathetic "I am sorry" speech was a genuine apology? On the contrary, she and her officials have stonewalled every investigation on her crimes, throwing all kinds of obstacles including the "great debate" that is Charter change just to divert public attention and obfuscate the issues.

The bottom line, you say, is that the oust GMA movement has no viable alternative. More to the point, that the alternatives are much worse than a GMA presidency. Well, I have good news for you. THERE ARE alternatives. The most progressive one is a transition council composed of untainted, credible leaders from various sectors and parties that will prepare for clean, honest and credible elections and initiate a number of social reforms.

I have even better news for you. YOU ARE THE ALTERNATIVE. Unless people like you and me act and involve ourselves in the process of replacing GMA with leaders having the competence and genuine moral authority to govern, then indeed we will be stuck with political opportunists and/or coup plotters. In the final analysis, we will only be as good as the leaders we catapult to power. I bet you there are a million more Filipinos who can do a better job than GMA.

But you're really not interested in all these, are you, since you yourself say you "don't give a f*&k who sits in Malacanang." All you want is that nothing disrupts your comfortable middle class existence. To hell with the rest of the country. To hell with good governance. To hell with civil liberties and human rights. All you want is to sip your chilled merlot in peace.

Fortunately, I'm not like you. I DO care who sits in Malacanang and every freaking public office. I care what the President does and does not do. I care to the point of getting angry whenever a President subverts the Constitution, betrays the public trust, engages in bribery and corruption, and does everything in her power to hide her crimes against ME and the rest of the Filipino people. More than getting angry, I FEEL I HAVE TO ACT FOR REAL CHANGE TO HAPPEN.

If you don't agree with me, fine. Forget about GMA's cheating, about Jose Pidal and other thieves and criminals in government, about how our leaders have robbed us of our dignity.

Go ahead, follow GMA's advice to "move on." Better yet, stop bitching and get out of my sight. The country will be better off without you. Go abroad and make some money. You can come back when the dust settles. Come back after we have kicked out the thieves, political opportunists, and abusive government officials. Come back when we have transformed your beloved Philippines into a peaceful, progressive and sovereign country.

From Someone Always Out in the Streets

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