Sabi sa Media, ang eleksyon na naganap nuong nakaraang Mayo 10 ay ang pinaka-matagumpay na halalan sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Sa mata ng mga camera ng media nakita ng buong Pilipinas ang mga pangyayari sa ibang presinto ng pagboto at ang paraan ng pagsasagawa ng eleksyon. Marahil marami sa ating mga kababayan ay sang-ayon sa pahayag na iyon nga ang pinaka-matagumpay na naging halalan sa bansa sapagkat iyon ang pinakita sa kanila ng kani-kanilang mga telebisyon at pinarinig ng kani-kanilang mga radyo noong araw ng Mayo 10.
Maaring totoo nga ang mga iyon sa kabuuang perspektibo o kung ang iyong basehan ay ang eleksyon sa kabuuang bansa. Pero ang tagumpay na kanilang nakita nung araw ng Mayo 10 ay hindi ko nasaksihan sa aking kinalalagyan nuong araw na iyon.
Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon naranasan ko ang maging isang tagabantay ng boto, hindi para sa isang kandidato kundi para sa isang malinis na halalan. Sumapi ako sa isang grupo ng mga abogado at kapwa ko estudyante ng abogasya para maging “paralegal” sa araw ng halalan at magbantay kung tama ang pag-gamit sa sistema ng eleksyon. Marami ang nagtaka bakit ako at ang aking mga kaibigan ay sumapi sa grupo na iyon sapagkat napakaraming malalaking partido ang lumiligaw sa mga kapwa namin “paralegals” para sumapi sa kanila kapalit ng masasabi nating mgandang bayad.
Oo, tumanggi kami na magtrabaho sa isang partido sapagkat alam namin na hindi lahat ng kanilang kandidato ay aming pinaniniwalaan at siyang magiging laman ng aming balota. Masaya ako at ang aking mga kaibigan kahit nagtrabaho kami bilang mga “paralegal” ng walang bayad kundi salamat nuong araw ng Mayo 10 dahil napatunayan namin sa aming mga sarili na mahal nga namin ang Pilipinas at hindi pala kaya mabili ang pagmamahal na iyon at ang aming prinsipyo.
Mayo 10, nadestino ako at isa sa aking kaibigan sa isang “public school” na ‘di kalayuan sa aking tirahan. Marami sa mga botante sa eskwela na iyon ay personal ko na ka-kilala, doon din ang presinto ng aming barangay kaya ako din na isang “election watchdog volunteer” ay nagawa parin na makaboto.
At doon ay aking nasaksihan na garapalang binababoy ang sistema ng halalan. Ayon sa batas, bawal ang ano mang paraan ng kampanya sa loob ng “30 meters radius” mula sa presinto ng halalan. Pero sa araw na iyon, tila nagmistulang basurang dokyumento ang batas. Mismong mga opisyal ng barangay ang siyang nangunguna sa pagsuway at pagbalewala sa batas pang-eleksyon. Isang Punongbarangay ang nasaksihan ng aking kasama na bumubulong sa isang botante kung sino ang dapat iboto sa loob mismo ng presinto habang hawak ng botante ang kanyang mismong balota. Mga kagawad ng barangay ang siyang nabansagan na “bulong gang” dahil sa kanilang pag bulong ng pangalan ng pinapaborang kandidato sa mismong “gate” ng eskwelahan.
Isa muling Punongbarangay ang siya mismong nag “set-up” ng tolda na may pangalan at kulay ng mga kandidato sa mismong tabi ng eskwelahan, isang malinaw na pag gawa ng krimen ng “unlawful electioneering” na siyang may kaukulang kaparusahan sa ilalim ng batas na pang-eleksyon. Balibalitaang bentahan ng kanilang mga boto, pagtanggap ng regalo mula sa kandidato at garapalang pag alok ng libreng sakay sa jeep ng isang tumatakbo sa pagka-mayor. Isa ring kandidato sa pagka-konsehal ay namataang umaaligid sa tapat ng eskwelahan at suot ang kanyang “trademark” na “campaign get-up.” Ang mga guro na nagtatrabaho sa eleksyon ay siya mismong may hawak ng “parphernalia” ni congressman. Mga armadong pulis na nakapaligid sa presinto ng pagboto na di lalayo ng “50 meters radius” na siyang pinagbabawal ng batas.
Lahat ng aming nasaksihan ay aming sinita sa ngalan ng aming pagiging “paralegal” na kinikilala ng mismong COMELEC. Ngunit kami ay nagmistula lamang propeta na walang nakikinig. Insulto ang aming naramdaman ng sa aming mismong harapan ay ginagahasa si inang hustisya at ang batas ng eleskyon.
Sa aming paaralang pang-abogasya itinuro sa amin an walang sinuman ang mas nakatataas sa batas at dapat itong sundin ng lahat ng mamamayan sa bansa. Sa presintong aming kinalagyan, itinuro ng tadhana sa amin na ang natutunan naming mga batas sa eskwela ay maaaring maging basahang papel sa araw na ang nais ng mga pulitiko ay makamtan ang ninanais na pwesto.
Nakakalungkot isipin para sa isang “paralegal” na siyang may pagmamahal sa konstitusyon at mga batas ay walang magawa sa nangyayari dahil sa dami ng gumagawa ng pambababoy na iyon sa kanyang paligid. Hindi namin makuha humingi ng tulong sa mga opisyal sa aming paligid sapagkat sila mismo ay marumi ang kamay at may pabor sa isang pulitiko na maaring nagbigay palaman sa kanilang bulsa.
Paano natin masasabi na ang isang halalan ay bagong simula para sa ating bansa kung ang paraan ng halalan ay madumi? Paano tayo magtitiwala sa isang naluklok na mambabatas kung ang kanyang pagkapanalo ay bunga ng pandaraya sa batas? Paano tayo uunlad kung tayo mismo ay hindi makasunod ang simpleng patakaran inilatag sa atin?
Nakakalungkot isipin pero ang tagumpay ng Mayo 10 ay hindi nasaksihan ng aking mata.
Mapayapa nga ba ang eleksyon? Sabi nila oo, dahil hindi ganoon karami ang nasawi at nasaktan gaya ng dati. Sa presinto na aking pinagtrabahuhan, wala din namang taong nasaktan. Ang tanging nasaktan lamang ay si Inang Hustisya na sa harapan ko mismo ay ginahasa ng taongbayan para lamang sa panandaliang pang-laman ng tiyan.
Mayo 10, namatay ang batas sa aking mga mata. Nawa ay sa bukas o makalawa makita ko siyang bumangon muli at husgahan ang tiwali.
by: Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez II
No administration can thrive without your full support and cooperation. No matter how courageously our next President exercise political will, he will never make a meaningful change and reform without the active participation of the people, especially people like you; a nationalist and God-fearing citizen of the Republic.
A prolific Filipino writer in the field of Public Administration Dr. Jose Leveriza puts it this way:
“The reality of the situation shows that the authority of a public administrator can no longer be exercised purely by the strength of the law vested upon himself, but it requires the acceptance and support of those being governed. A government official cannot fulfill his responsibilities without winning the loyalty and support not only of his own organization, but also of his external environment.”
This nation seeks the cooperation of its citizens, the likes of you is the least expected to just abandon the call of our motherland.
We, who hold this passion for love of our Nation, must accept the challenge. We must embrace the opportunities available here on our motherland, to be at the head of new enterprises. We must lead the generation as we enter the new dawn our Nation will soon face.
I pray that morally upright men and women will get elected in the coming election. I also have faith that you with the grace of our God will be the most enlightened and trustworthy in practicing the duties of a Filipino citizen, considering the training in the Christian perspective that you possess.
The age of computer science has arrived; it is already an established fact of our daily life. The ability to operate a computer will soon be the measure of literacy. No field in the physical science is further than the reach of today’s high technology. These developments we have will radically change and alter the lifestyle of the Filipino people which includes their social values.
The concepts of ethnic loyalties, religion, nationalism and the solidarity of the family will be challenged and perhaps modified. These are the issues and concerned citizens like us must address. These are the issues that will test not just our convictions but more of our faith. We will soon find ourselves making very difficult choices and decisions.
If you despair hearing these realities, then I have faith on your spiritual moorings. I am counting on you to provide the leadership for the generation that is to come. To Christian educational institutionswhether Protestant or Catholic, I call upon you to build up your value-immersion subject even as they revise and modernize the assorted curricula in the physical sciences.
Our fellow Filipinos, although great believers of democracy, are not great believers in its tedious process. They are impatient for quick results, quick progress and quick change. Our democratic institution often fails us, sometimes we tend to think to change the entire institution but the real problem is the anchor of our institution not the institution itself.
We must keep in mind that the enduring and lasting institutions of the human race are those that have been anchored on moral values and on an unshakable faith.
To the Christian Filipino, let us take with us the challenge. Let us serve something greater than ourselves, let us think of our beloved Philippines, let us think of this world and exert every effort to change it for the better and spell the differences in our short lifetime.
SO HELP US GOD.
There was a day when i can say that I will be alright, but im not alright today. There was a time when i could find myself very near to you, but now You seem so far from me. I walked out the door of your prescence and entered a stone cold harsh world that promised me that ill be ok. I remembered that I left you waiting for me to come home.
Back then i can find a million excuses, but now I cant speak of any. I know that I have been away, away from the voice that has been calling me and i know that its time to come back.
Now there is no solid ground where my soul can rest, I can't find any truth in all that is happening. It seems that my life is only goin' around and around. My spirit is drowing in lies and phoniness, like waters that closing in and washing on me. Drifting me down and sinking my thoughts on a stormy wheathered sea with a vision of a light up there which I am having a hard time to see and hearing Your voice that calls my name. That is maybe the perfect way to describe the situation of my emotions and spirit.
I want you to put your arms around this life of mine even for a while because I am trying to find a way to deal with this, and i dont know how. I cannot stop the pain and i do not understand the things that i should do. Nothing really seems the same and my world is falling down, oh Lord how can i get through.
Now, I can see myself on thousands of people I encounter either personally or on electronic media. People like me who are alone, lost and left behind. Now I am somehow ashamed that my life is torn apart, but I know in Your name I can once again be complete. Although "holy" men may condemn me I know forgiveness can mend this broken heart of mine.
When I was nowhere, you knew where that was. I never lost my way, and I knew you were the cause. When I was no one, and felt that I will end it right there, you stood behind me. I really never knew that you've cared despite my imperfection.
I come to your arms from where I was in, this time in the spirit of brokeness. You were crucified and was committed to die, Your'e my pride.
You. A being who is specialized if "comebacks," over time made me see that even though I may not be perfect You will never give up on me. Your Love is for my everyday, and I know that your Love is here to stay with me.
Your Love now covers as your river flows all over me again.
by Manuel A. Rodriguez II
As early as my childhood years I can say that I already earned my PhD in Television Watching. I really don’t know until now why during those days I was so fond of facing that magic box even after the cartoons. As a kid I already watch the news, I can say I already had an interest on current events as early as then.
Every election season I see creative political advertisements some of those ads is saw still plays on my memory until now. I hear how “politicos” say their promises via media, after their term I’ll hear grown-ups say “’di naman nya nagawa pangako nya, sayang boto ko.” As a kid I told myself, “isn’t it wrong to break promises? How come these influential individuals can do it as easy as that, why are they not being punished for breaking their promises?”
As I grow up I learned eventually in the school called life the sad fact that promises are meant to be broken.
Today, the society faces so many problems. We are all in a war now, not against nations but against the evils that surrounds us. I have an opinion that the source of this entire problem is simple, the absence of “love” for the Nation in the hearts of the Filipino people.
Saying the term “love” in the context of politics happens very rarely. There is a sociological stigma in the Philippines nowadays that the term “love” is so limited, we have boxed the term probably only in the realm of family, relationships and religion, it is very seldom that the term is used with regards to society, politics and government. That is a sad reality.
If we Filipinos acknowledge that love must and should be a part of the family, how come we neglect to apply it on our society? While we know the fact that the family is the basic unit of the nation, why then are we failing to apply the love as we know it on our society.
If there is one public health problem this nation is facing, it is not any disease or any sickness but it is the absence of love. It was already been proven by scientific studies that a pregnant woman giving birth at the delivery room will need less anesthesia when a love one is beside her, children lessen their probability of becoming drunkards or drug addicts when they regularly share dinner with their parents. We must accept the fact that love is a part of the human physiology, something that is innate in our being; a thing we cannot live without experiencing.
If only our government officers and employees will love the Nation, the Government and the people whom they are serving then the biggest public health I mentioned will be gone.
I believe one factor why love for the Nation is not rampant is because schools don’t teach it and religions rarely mention it on Sunday sermons. We only hear the topic of “loving the Nation” on campaign periods, but as we listen we are all aware that most of the words spoken by “trapos” are lies.
What must be done is to start it in our homes (oh yes, from the grassroots level). As families love each other at their respective homes, they must educate themselves that the love their sharing should not be exclusive. The Nation deserves love as well.
Our society needs love. Love for nation, for the people and for the Divine author of love. No other political platform can surpass love.
This is not a perfect Nation, but it is our only God given piece of land on this planet. We ought to love this Nation Pilipinas.
God bless the Filipino.
(Opening remarks delivered by Manuel Rodriguez on Sept. 8 at an environmental forum held at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC) Auditorium entitled USAPANG TOMASINO: Kabataan Anong Alam Mo Sa Kalikasan?, a forum sponsored by Batas Tomasino, the UST Law Society.)
To our guests and fellow Thomasians…Good afternoon.
First and foremost, in behalf of Batas Tomasino I would like to thank the people responsible for this Environmental forum series.
Our guest speakers,
our partner organizations;
the Civil Law Student Council
the UST UNESCO Club
Mother Earth Philippines Movement
& Sustainable Development Solutions for Asia and the Pacific (SDSAP)
and of course the officer in charge from Batas Tomasino, our lovely Secretary
Ms. Hera Uy from the Faculty of Civil Law
and of course her executive assistant
Ms. Krizia Reamico of the Faculty of Arts and Letters.
Seminar like this, is meant not only to inform or educate us of what is happening on our environment…but also to eliminate in our hearts the apathy, and awaken our sense of responsibility not only as a citizen of this Nation, but also as a part of the human race.
Section 16, Article 2 of our Constitution mandates the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.
One may ask…Is it less important than any of the civil or political rights guaranteed under the Article 3-Bill of Rights considering that it is found in Article 2-Declaration of Principles and State Policies?
Such query was already been answered by our very own Supreme Court in the landmark case of Oposa versus Factoran. No…it does not follow that it is less important than any of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
Such Right (the right to a balanced ecology) belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation. What is found in Art. 3 –Bill of Rights are civil and political rights.
In fact, the Constitution does not need to possess the said provision in order for us to obey it. It is a part of our Natural Law on "Inter-generational Responsibility," and such law transcends all Governments and all Constitutions….
Even the Honorable Supreme Court of the Philippines acknowledges the authority of the Natural Law.
The crisis of the Philippine environment is a crisis of our passage as stewards of this planet. We have not only subdued Mother Earth, as we have been commanded, in the book of Genesis. We have destroyed it and continue to destroy it, without remorse. It is time for penance; it is time for change.
It is my prayer that this USAPANG TOMASINO forum, change our point of view with regard to the topic of environment preservation.
I ask everyone on this auditorium to join us to make sure that we pass on to the next generation a country that has managed to preserve at least a part of the natural bounty that God has put in its care; a country where the air is clean, the water is pure, the soil is rich and fertile, where the children of tomorrow may still listen to the whisper of rivers and brooks and the songs of birds in lush and verdant forests.
As what former US President Clinton has said; “We borrowed our planet, and to whom we bear sacred responsibility.”
Thank you very much. May the Lord bless us and Mother Earth.
Isang mapagpalayang hapon sa bawat isa!
by Manuel A. Rodriguez
Throughout history of our beloved Nation Philippines, it is the youth that has led our people in our struggle for freedom.
Dr.Jose Protacio Rizal,future national hero, at 26, wrote his first novel "Noli me Tangere" that awakened the nationalistic spirit of the Filipino people of his time.
Marcelo del Pilar helped lead the Propaganda Movement at 32; Gat Andres Bonifacio led the Katipunan at 26, he was later on named as the "Father of Katipunan";
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was 29 when he was inaugurated First President of the Philippine Republic;Apolinario Mabini, the brains of the Revolution, was 34;
Antonio Luna was General at 29; Gregorio del Pilar gave his life for his country at 24.Under American regime in the Philippines, the youth led the nation in our parliamentary struggle for true independence.
Future Philippine President Sergio Osmena was Speaker of the House at 29; Future Philippines President Manuel Luis Quezon was Resident Commissioner in Washington, D.C. at 32;Future Philippine President Jose P. Laurel was Secretary of Interior at 32;Future Philippine President Manuel A. Roxas was Speaker of the House at 29.
During the chaotic years of the Japanese occupation, many young men and women in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao joined Mr. Luis Taruc's "Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP)," a resistance force against the invader.
When Marcos declared Presidential Proclamation 1017, placing the entire country under Martial Law; the cream of the country's youth went underground and gave their all for the sake of freedom and democracy. Many died without seeing the dawn of freedom.
In the Holy Scriptures Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples, mostly obscure, unlettered fishermen, were all young men probably in their early 30s, who left their fishing nets to become fishers of men.
Those who succeeded them were also in the prime of youth when they heard the call of the Divine.History records that in the course ot time, they shook the Roman Empire and turned the world upside down.
Today, the challenge is for the youth of this nation, beset by the worsening problems of poverty, corruption and criminality, to consecrate their lives to a cause bigger than themselves. To live the life their father's dream and share it with their future children.
This challenge was already been laid down to us, it is already present even before our birth. The young men and women who came before we do already did their part. We enjoy the fruits of their labor and as a form of respect to their past efforts we must and should exert the same effort so that our children and children's children will enjoy the fruits of freedom, democracy and peace.
Doctor Rizal our national hero already made the query to our generation, long before our mothers gave birth to us. “Where are the youth who will dedicate their innocence, their idealism, their enthusiasm to the good of the country? Where are they who will give generously of their blood to wash away so much shame crime and abomination? Pure and immaculate must the victim be for the sacrifice to be acceptable. Where are you, young men and young women, who are to embody in yourselves the life -force that has been drained from our veins, the pure ideals that have grown stained in our minds, the fiery enthusiasm that has been quenched in our hearts? We await you, come, for we await you. "(From Rizal's El Filibusterismo English Translation by Leon Ma. Guerrero)
I sincerely hope you will join me in answering the query of Dr. Rizal saying "Here I am."
The youth of the past had their flaws, we must must learn from it instead of blaming it to them.
We must and should challenge ourselves to build a better world.In my opinion the main problem of our Nation is moral crisis, not just in the Government but also in private lives. Massive criminality and rampant corruption and poverty, they are all connected with each other and these problems emanates from a single issue...moral crisis.
We can start changing the Nation by changing ourselves. If we want an honest government, we must be honest as well. We can start by paying taxes right, not cheating in our schools or at work.
There are flaws in our cultural traits, such as utang na loob, pakikisama, the kanya-kanya syndrome and a lack of sense of community that tend to worsen the twin problems of corruption and criminality.Culture of immorality must change.
We can change it if we will start as early as now. If the youth of today will build a world as such, tommorrow will be a better place.
Now is not the time to hold guns and swords and fight, the youth of the past already did it for us. Now is not the time to fight the physical war, but instead the time to fight the spiritual war we are all into.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12). The war has begun. We need youngbloods in the army of morality.
By Manuel Rodriguez
(paper submitted to Edwin S. Martin,PhD, in partial fulfillment to the course of Public Adminstration at the University of Santo Tomas )
A public office is a public trust (Art.XI Sec. 1, 1987 Phil. Const.); it is bound by law, standards, and expectations of impartial, fair, and competent action. To live such a role requires personal integrity, which means that persons can live up to promises they make and can balance commitments to different roles in their lives that often create tensions within the self (Dobel, 1998).
This article is a reflection to the arguments raised by J. Patrick Dobel of The University of Washington on his article entitled Judging the Private Lives of Public Officials  He concluded that citizens need to redefine the boundaries of private and public life and suggested standards by which citizens can judge the private lives of public officials.
Dobel mentioned in his article what Vincent Foster, Clinton's WhiteHouse Lawyer said on his despairing suicide note wherein he is complaining that in American Politics "ruining people is considered sport". Three stories on the article of Dobel demonstrated how true it is.
First is the story of US Senator Robert Packwood who was accused of sexually importuning female lobbyists and members of his own staff. Packwood had served for 20 years as a senator with a very strong public record which includes being a supporter to the advancement of the rights of American women. After 1 year of hearings that proved the allegations against him, he was forced to resign on his office to avoid the expulsion decision by the state.
Another is the story of Democrat future president Grover Cleveland who in his 1884 presidential campaign was accused by the Republicans that he had fathered a child out of wedlock. The uproar over the revelation hurt the Democrat. Ultimately, however, voters correctly concluded that his long and impeccable record as a good governor ofNew York City, coupled with the fact that the affair had occurred in the far past and that he acknowledged the child and continuously supporting her, overrode misgivings about the private scandal. In 1987, Senator Gary Hart was accused of infidelity.
Despite the accusations and the reporters following his every move, he continued his affair with Donna Rice. When the affair was exposed to the public eye, he denied the charges and acted erratic and petulant. The revelations ended his campaign and support. Private scandal, as opposed to abuse of office, can signify great import with someone like Hart and mean little about suitability for office with the likes of Cleveland.
In conclusion of Dobel’s point of view, all officials have a strong right to privacy and at the same time a right to be judged on the basis of their competence and performance. Each private action may or may not illuminate public integrity. He added that when people confront the moral flaws of public persons, they should beware their own self-righteousness. Some people may be saints or prophets, but they too make notoriously bad rulers. We should judge as mortals judging other mortals, one must judge with mercy.
Civium in moribus rei publicae salus
The welfare of the state (depends upon) the morals of its citizens
-An ancient maxim
It is said that the citizens are the ones who are responsible for their nation, however by theory public officials are the ones who perform tasks in behalf of the citizens. Public officials are also citizens of the nation and their responsibility is a lot heavier than private individuals.
The extent to which the media are legally free to investigate and publish details of public figures’ (including public servants) private lives varies from country to country. For example, France is much stricter on protecting personal privacy than Britain is. The debate has recently been given additional importance by the development of Human Rights law within Europe, as privacy is classed as a right under the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as by political scandals in France, Italy, Belgium, etc., which have highlighted the need to scrutinize public figures’ behavior closely. The right to privacy of public officials must not be used to cover their faults as a private individual. Citizens voted them with the thought that they are morally upright aside from the fact that they can perform the job well.
That is why politicians make an explicit or implicit campaign point out of their family values and other aspects of their “private” life, for example by being photographed with their loyal family, and through policy stands on such issues as divorce, sex education, drugs, etc. If the public image such people seek to create is at variance with their practice, such hypocrisy deserves to be exposed. The people voted them because they are morally upright; they must remain that way because theoretically the public owns them. Here in the Philippines, we have a not so wise electoral body.
Most candidates who are winning in our local elections are those who are famous or good looking, most of the time they are from the show business industry vying their chance in politics. Again, this must not be the setting. People must be wise and vigilant in the search for the truth behind the candidates’ façade of good looking faces and promising promises. Setting morality aside, it is still necessary to uncover the private lives of public officials, for the same reason that the public owns them.
President Mitterand of France hid his cancer from the French electorate for years was this a public or a private matter? He also had a mistress and illegitimate daughter, who were secretly taken on some of his foreign visits at state expense; again, is this private or a public matter? The people own the public officials, not just his office but his entire personality. In the case of President Cleveland of the United States, he should not be judged based on what he did wrong in the past. Yet, he must be admired for his courage to admit the wrongness of what he did and moved on with his life taking this time the road of righteousness. A leader must not be someone who is continuously doing the wrong things.
Public officials must realize the cost of their fame. Ideally a person chooses to serve the public because he has the passion for service, a calling, or devotion. Having a strong passion for something means one is willing to pay its cost. In the case of public officials it is their privacy that they must surrender to fulfill the passion, privacy is the cost, the one thing that must be let go to adhere to his calling… serving his fellowmen.
If a public official is not willing to surrender his right to privacy, he does not have enough passion to serve. Most public officials locally and abroad demand for privacy, and we all know that most officials are hypocrites, corrupt, and immoral. If our public officials are morally upright, will they still demand for privacy? If what they do with their private lives is acceptable to the eyes of the people, will they still hide their true selves?
The extent of privacy a public official can demand is only their privacy inside their homes while doing private stuff like taking a bath, sleeping, making love with their spouses and the like for these are irrelevant for the public to know. Aside from these kinds of privacy, the public has the right to see, and the right to know. Their lifestyle, manner they perform their job or any aspect of their life that may affect their public service whether it is directly or indirectly.
Again, a public office is a public trust (Art.XI Sec. 1, 1987 Phil. Const.), we cannot trust someone who we don’t know.
In my opinion people have a right to know things about those in power over them. Their salaries are paid for by the people. The decisions of public political figures affect many aspects of people’s lives; in exchange the people have the right to make informed judgments about the kind of leaders they have. Any attempt to restrict what may be reported about public figures in the press could easily become a conspiracy to keep voters in the dark and to manipulate them. All elections are to a greater or lesser extent about the character of the leading politicians involved. Unless the voters are allowed insights into their private lives they will lack the information needed to make a fair decision at the polling booth. For example, many would think that a statesman who betrayed his wife in an affair was equally capable of breaking his promises and lying to his country. The way a person live their life privately is an important factor that must be considered in order for us to know if he or she could lead a nation.
In the Bible, mistakes made by great leaders were not hidden to us despite its being an ancient manuscript. This makes it an extremely valuable text for teaching moral character. In fact, the lessons learned from mistakes often provide a more lasting and powerful impact than those learned from doing things right. Biblical personalities like Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Saul, David, and Solomon.
Their lives indicate that the purpose of leadership is not fame, power, or fortune but to lead people with truth and righteousness. Leaders must be ethical and should not cover up injustices, even on the part of love ones (private lives). The Christian Bible supports the old saying: "sometimes we may learn more from a man's errors, than from his virtues." Leaders, as well as ordinary people, must be ethical and should not cover up injustices, even on the part of loved ones. They must also realize that no good comes from being interested in vengeance and settling old scores. This means that a nation must have morally upright leaders. Immoral leaders does not have the right to lead a nation, even their immorality does not affect their performance. We must put in mind that aside from doing their task they are role models to their subordinates, their fellowmen and the youth of the nation. Should a public servant be a perfect being then? We know for a fact that such kind of individual does not exist.
If people are the better of angels, no standard is necessary to judge their behavior.
-Yong S. Lee on A Reasonable Public Servant
That being not the case, the courts of justice have been in search for a reasonable person from time immemorial. Nowhere could the reasonable person be found, so the United States Supreme Court constructed a hypothetical reasonable person with a thousand faces. What is this reasonable person?
A reasonable person is a person of ordinary prudence, physical attributes (includes health), mental faculty, knowledge, and skills identical with a reasonable person in his or her place. The reasonable person exercises those qualities of attention, knowledge, intelligence, and judgment which society expects of a reasonable person under the like circumstance. We must know then if the persons who are working on our behalf, our public officials are the reasonable person.
Using the template of a reasonable person the court of justice made must be our standard in judging them. Not just judging with mercy and beware our own self-righteousness.
 Administration & Society, Vol.30 No.2, May 1998 115-142
 Book of Genesis
 Book of Genesis
 Book of Judges
 Book 1 Samuel
 Book of 2 Samuel
 Book of 1 Kings
 Also accepted by courts of justice of many countries (including The Philippines)
 Lee & Rosenbloom (2005), A Reasonable Public Servant. M.E Sharpe, Inc.
By Manuel A. Rodriguez II
Chairperson, Students' Democratic Party
Education, even for the veteran members of the academe, has never been an easy area under discussion. With the rise of technology in communications, education has become more complex than ever. It has become so closely interconnected with the individual’s and the nation’s progress. Truly, it has become the vital battle arena of the national economies trying to outdo each other in the global market.
Many scholars say that in the near future the economic battles between countries will be won or lost according to the educational attainment of their workforce. This is because the cutting edges entering the different production processes of many industries requires high learning and level of competence in science and mathematics not previously required by earlier processes.
This tells us the silent competition that happens among nations – or the struggle for the so called economic dominance. The competition which does not only happen in the workplace but also in the classroom where us Filipinos together with the other races are in conscious competition with one another. Nations helping nations is only an avenue to gain popularity in the international arena; the truth is that it is Nation against nation…a race to the top. Nations are trying to give their youth the toughest training possible in science and mathematics. The last time I read on our school newspaper, four of the top 500 Universities in the world are from the Philippines.
In our country, the present constituiton mandates the state to alocate a huge chunk of the national budget to education. The last time i checked on the internet it is the UP System that gets the highest amount of budget among other public schools controlled by the national government followed by the PUP system.
But to describe the future ahead of us simply as the age of the cutting edge or the technological age, and to produce an army of manpower known solely for its technical skills, is to say only a portion of what must we say to fulfill only a part of the many requirements of human progress. Marked by the incomparable forecast is proper – assuming that the scholar’s forecast is correct – the next century is going to peopled as well by ever more value-free persons, structures and groups. This is what we must greater be prepared for, this is what we must guard against.
The attempt to reinvent the human way of life and the most strong of all natural institutions such as marriage and family will prolong beyond what has so far attempted anywhere by any school of thought. Human civilization will be on trial, and the meaning of being a man will be a major question for every individual who would be alive by then.
For this, we must not only educate our youth with science and mathematics, we need above all to prepare them to challenge the rise of the values in this world in which moral (and religious) truths have lost their supremacy.
The signs are there.
Here in our country many youngsters are engaged in the use of drugs. Most parents no longer know who they children really are. High level of teenage pregnancy. Corruption in the government. Cheating at campuses. Pornographic DVDs being sold right in front of parishes. Lawyers using the rule of law to cover up an injustice. Professionals who do not have integrity on the manner they do their jobs in spite of being educated in a religious institution. Despite our being a Christian nation, most youth are not involved and does not believe in the Church.
I strongly believe that these things are seen as a standard outcome of reinventing almost everything, from the natural to the man-made, in the industrial Western culture. The obsession of reinventing almost everything has replaced all moral and religious values with secular ones, thereby banning the concept of God in the public square and revising the tradition of seeing religion as “sacred.”
What appears to be the cancer of the society in the western world seems to be just beginning here in our nation. But it is the same virus, and we must do every effort to check it before its spreading and become a common moral disease here in our nation. Educating the youth correctly is the best way to check it.
The term “educating” which I used does not only include a classroom technique but also and above all a correct view of man in relation to everything else. We must make our young Filipinos see that the right answers to the questions asked to them are given not by some political thinker or a philosopher but by Christ himself.
The education of the Filipino youth must, as a vital primary step, locate itself and the purpose of its instruction in the proper cultural setting. By this I mean that education must take into realization the fact that ours is a Christian society which must be instilled by Christian values. (Those from Mindanao must read this to mean Islamic society with Islamic values.)
Let us give our young men the Christian education that they deserve, the government has the duty to give it to them. Indeed such duty is to prepare them for the complex unseen battles of a highly technological age, but not by depriving them of the rich Christian heritage that they inherently possess and their right to perfect their Christian lives.
There is no reason why their education must try to teach them about the technological world while doing everything to rule out the belief of perfecting their lives as the key to their eternal happiness with our creator. If indeed the main purpose of education is to bring out the best in a student, why then here in our nation it tend to become silent on the most important thing, namely, salvation?
I propose that the revival of our Christian moral and religious principles is the more critical task of education here in the Philippines. Such task is not only vested on educational institutions such as the Philippine Christian University or of the Catholic University of Santo Tomas or other religious schools but instead by it is vested on all educators (including parents, the first teachers) who believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, Truth and Life.
For while the knowledge of technical skills should help an individual respond to the demands of the futuristic age, only genuine Christian education of consciences will make us confident that the human being himself is making progress. This and this alone could make us confident that re-Christianization is happening in our Filipino culture. Our culture, our civilization, our Nation.
The young people of this generation are searching for the true meaning of life although they may be unaware of it. They are searching for definitive answers; they are searching for a God. Unfortunately many of them never found it yet, but instead found other things such as drugs, sex, crimes and etc.
In their continuous search they cannot help but to encounter the Church and the Church cannot help but to encounter the young. The only requirement is that the Church has an insightful understanding of what it means to be young, of the importance of the youth has for every person. It is also necessary that the young know the Church, which they acknowledge Christ in the Church, Christ who walks through years alongside each age band, alongside every individual. He walks alongside each person as a friend not a tyrant powerful being.
The most important day of the young is for him to become convinced that Christ is the only friend who will not disappoint him, on whom he can always put his trust and confidence.
I can end by saying that if we want an excellent education for our beloved nation, the Philippines. We should give the young people who seek to be good the education that gives them the opportunity to know himself more and the society where he belong as well by listening to God while looking at his fellow men. For a Christian, only a good Christian education makes it possible. This nation is thirsty for Christians in the academe.
Proverbs 4:23 "Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts."
The above biblical passage indirectly tells us that everything starts in the mind. That the mind is a very powerful tool of changing the way we feel about something and eventually making us do the things we never thought we could. Famous evangelist Pastor Rick Warren put it this way: "You aren't what you think you are. But what you think, you are."
Our thoughts, ideologies or way of thinking do not just guide the direction of our personal lives...our thoughts are our life. Whateverchange we want to achieve in our lives, start with our mind.
We must remember the ideal chain of events we must take, its TFA. TFA is an accronym I invented, it stands for Think - Feel - Act. Our thinking will change the way we feel, and such feeling will move us to do the act. For example in anger, its difficult for men to control anger towards someone. Why? because they are focusing on the feeling right away. If they will just change the way they think regarding that hated someone, for sure theyre feelings will change as well and they will act kindness instead of its opposite. Romans 12:2 says "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
I always hated the statement "I fell in love" or "I have fallen in love," it is as if loving someone is just an accident. The truth is people love not because they fell to the feeling of it, its a choice of the individual to love another person. It is not as if you are tripped while walking on rocky road. The same is true in "I have fallen out of love." For couples who have "fallen" out of love with zero reason, change the way you think, remember the good times of being together. Love is a choice. Now, will you choose to love the same person or not and love someone else? Its for you to decide.
If you think of love then you will feel love and eventually youll act love. The method is as simple as that.
In this world where nobody is perfect, we must learn to get along with our fellow unperfect beings. You will never like everything on a person, you must bear with his or her flaws. This is only a temporary world, our God is not yet finished molding us that is why we are not yet perfect.
Love people not because you like loving them. If you ask God to teach you to love, don't expect God to send you a lovable being. You'll never learn the true meaning of love if loving is easy. Instead, He will send you an unperfect one. Its like a gym training for perfection. Still everything starts with the mind. TFL, Think, Feel and the Act.
Let us not all be slaves of our feelings. Our minds have the power to control it.
On May 2010 the whole nation will vote for the new President. Automated election will be used as a method, for the first time in our history. New method of election as it may be, still, many old faces in the political arena will try to join the race to Malacanang Palace. The ousted President Estrada will try to make a comeback and the ousted Senate President Villar will join the race as well. Incumbent Vice President deCastro is making a little bit of noise now that the election is near (why only now?). The leader of the Judicial department Honorable Puno is testing the waters if he can make a giant leap from the Judiciary to the Executive department. Many more are aspiring…in this country almost all “politicos” wants to be the President. Some of those “politicos” who are not so popular yet for the presidential race will vie for a senate seat. The unpopular incumbent President Gloria Arroyo made a statement that she may run for a congressional seat. Many more happenings may still uncover as the nation waits for the coming of May 14, 2010.
As I see these moments unfold from my very eyes through my television set, all I can do from the comfort of my sofa is to sigh. “Magulo ang pulitika ng Pinas.” Even foreign Nations will agree.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH ON NATIONAL PROBLEMS?
The Election Code prohibits heads or superiors of religions from coercing or intimidating their followers in the choice of candidates. Experts say this is so because of the Constitutional mandate of the “separation” of Church and the State. A mandate that is impliedly saying that Priests, Pastors, Imams and other religious leaders has nothing to do with the election so we should not take their opinion on who to vote. I may not yet be an expert in the law now but I believe that such thought is a gross misunderstanding of the principle of the separation of Church and State.
The “separation” came into being to protect the Church from the undue intrusion by the State, not vice versa. The principle doesn’t mean that the Church will just let everything happen in the political realm and practice a “hands off” attitude for it is outside of its jurisdiction. It doesn’t mean that the Church will have nothing to say on the conduct of the government or the quality of our public servants. Or that a spiritually matured Pastor or Priest may not influence another’s vote like anybody else.
It simply means that the State shall not try to run the Church’s business and vice versa. Elections must be conducted by the State and not by Church of course, and no religion may require members to show him his filled ballot before dropping it in the ballot box. Coercion violates the freewill of a human being, and must be forbidden anywhere.
In my personal opinion, although the Church and the State are independent from each other, they are joined together by a same subject: man. The people whom the State wants to be employed, educated and be protected from the A(H1N1) are the same people whose souls the Church wants to save.
The State sees me as a citizen but to the Church I am a man and we don’t need a PhD in Philosophy to know that a man is more than a citizen. The citizen pays the BIR or tax evades it, votes “politicos” or be the “politico” to be voted upon, but he is a man who worships hisGod and goes to Heaven or hell afterward. Church and State serve the same person, they cannot be truly separated.
SHOULD THE CHURCH TELL THE FAITHFUL WHO TO VOTE OR WHO MUST NOT BE VOTED ON 2010?
The answer is usually no, but this becomes a yes whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls require it. At a time when many politicians are propagating platforms which are anti-life, anti-morality and anti-Church? The Church does not only have the right but also an obligation to propose the certain types of men should be rejected from one’s ballot.
But as a rule, Christians, the most numerous in the nation, does not involve itself into partisan politics. The religion “Iglesia ni Cristo” (INC) however believes that members must exercise unity in the choice of candidates. Those who oppose the belief will certainly will not be a part of the INC, they should be free to leave the fold, if they are members already; they would probably violate it, if they stayed. Such belief is already a part of the INC doctrine. That is what freedom of religion is all about.
I believe religious organizations have a right to be involved in partisan politics whether they practice it or not. The Church has a right and a duty to perform in this chaotic nation, form the Christian conscience of all, and lead them in defending Christian values, even after the most unlikely people have been cooped, degraded or silenced.
Churches must deal with national problems if they are to be faithful with their task. If the sovereign God is concerned not only with spiritual matters but also even from the physical realm of man – food, clothing, shelter even the government. God is Sovereign above the State and all, things therefore He cannot be confined purely to spiritual things for He made the same world for which his Son Jesus gave his life. Churches cannot pretend to be blind and dumb in the face of poverty, exploitation and injustice. By their silence they are involving themselves to the injustice.
We, men in the eyes of the Church and citizens in the eyes of the state shall and must respect the laws and the Constitution, but in the event of conflict, our bias must be on the Lord’s side rather that man’s law. Let us all desire order but only to when it is balanced with the human aspiration for freedom, equality and the human dignity.
For years the Philippines has been enjoying a status of being a democratic nation. After the Marcos regime, people believed that democracy has come. People became more jubilant and hopeful to the promises of democracy. Flash forward to the present time, where are the results of those promises?
Our people until now, although they are great believers of democracy are not great believers of its tedious process. They only enjoy its fruits without joining the few that is fighting for it. They thought that after that successful People Power Revolution (which was repeated – yr. 2000) democracy has come and will work on its own, and of course with them as the beneficiaries.
Our professor in Public Administration during college told us that sometime in the 90s Mr. Lee Kuan Yew mentioned that we Filipinos should minimize our democracy. Intrigued by the story, I immediately “googled” it after our class, and found out the entire story and concluded in my mind a personal opinion on the matter.
Singapore then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew spoke to a mass of Filipino audience on a dinner mentioning that as a third world country, we Filipinos cannot afford to be a democratic nation. He added further that what our nation needs is more discipline and less democracy. And ironically his listeners applaud. The same people who were at EDSA during 1986 are the same people who are cheering on the idea that we must forget our democracy. Truly our government even back then is full of hypocrite individuals.
Mr. Lee probably forgot that Singapore is not the Philippines. Our cultures are different, what works on their system may not work on us. Mr. Lee probably forgot that we already experienced authoritarian ruling under the Marcoses, and we all know it was not as successful as his authoritarian government in fact, it’s a chaos. Applying it on our present time, imagine an unpopular PGMA ruling a Philippines under an authoritarian government, can you bear it?
In my personal opinion, the great leader Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is WRONG. His prescription belongs to another time and place, which goes not in accordance with the winds of change all-encompassing the face of the globe. It might work, as it appears to have worked until now, in a small country in size and population. But not in my beloved Pilipinas.
Democracy, not authoritarianism is the key to progress here in our nation. We also have a duty to assure our fellow citizens that we have not erred in choosing a democratic Constitution.
Why then our democracy is not working?
Our only error, which is prevailing in the government, the media, businesses, in the academe and in the marketplace, is that we tend to believe we already have the entirety of the democracy we believe in when all we have is its distorted version. We tend to run the Philippine government through the newspapers and decide what is good to the population on the basis of shocking news headlines and less than informed media, commentaries and educated predicaments.
We Filipinos value entertainment more than education. Our most popular role models are not the ones who are productive workers but those who are only a product of pinoy playful imagination.
Our error is that we elect men and women to high office expecting them to change the status quo when in fact they cannot even change themselves. We often hear them talk about their priority project for progress or their new movement to recover the moral tradition without them first accepting the teachings of morality and getting rid of their immoral attachments.
We Filipinos from every walk of life must realize that the system will not work by itself. We must make the system work. We already have the tool to progress, what we must now do is to learn how to use the tool. As of now, what we can do is to practice our democratic ideals, teach our democratic ideals to our Children and tell them not to commit the mistake our elders did in the past (and continuously doing). And pray to the Almighty to grant our people the wisdom. Yes, it is still a long way to go, but it is the only way.
Even as I speak out my mind here, some individuals may already lose their hope on democracy since they idolize the revered foreigner Mr. Lee and drawing up plans on how to impose the Mr. Lee system here in our nation.
Some may even disagree with my opinion regarding the Marcos regime and the PGMA presidency. They may never understand me, yet in the spirit of democracy I respect differing opinions.
Mabuhay tayong lahat!
APRIL 5, 2009, MANILA
By Manuel A. Rodriguez, UST Batch 2009
There is probably no other time of the year as most awaited by students, parents and teachers than the graduation day. For the students who will not yet graduate, it is the start of their summer vacation where they can enjoy or rest and have a break to re-energize themselves for the next academic year. The same may be true for the teachers, who, after a very stressful year, may now enjoy a deserved rest.
For the parents of the graduates, it is a time of great relief and thanksgiving, for it marks the beginning of the fulfillment of their children’s dreams. To a graduate like me, the graduation day is certainly the most awaited day. Now, I can say that I have partly fulfilled my dreams and realize my vision. I sincerely hope that all of us, batch mates, are setting on the high road of achievement, success, and service to others. I urge my fellow Christian graduates to recognize the deep pride that our parents and our loved ones feel for us. Let us thank them for their support, prayers, encouragement, time and their touch of comfort during our hard times as students.
Reservations and Fears
However, together with our feelings of happiness and excitements are the fears, of what will we become years from now. People, who are older than us, usually say that it is but normal for us to be apprehensive. But I am sure that even if our country is confronted with, and struggling from, social problems, economic crisis and political chaotic scenario, there are still countless opportunities outside for graduates who are Christians. In St.Paul’s letter to the Romans, there is a verse that may be appropriate: “All things work together for good to them who love God.” (Romans 8:28).
We all just have to believe in our capabilities, do the will of our Father in heaven, toil hard with patience, live our values and virtues, give more than we take, and of course, storm heaven with our prayers.
The day we attend our respective commencement exercises, we have already partly achieved our dreams. That moment will mark the end of a journey and a start of a new one. That is why probably we are calling it commencement exercises, to remind us that graduation is not the end, nor it is the ultimate achievement or the realization of our goals. It is more of a start or an opening of new doors leading to a realm of vast possibilities. This is true for the hundreds of thousands of people who have graduated before and for us Batch 2009. Each graduate, with a good academic training and experiences, has been prepared to take the next step on whatever path he or she has chosen to take.
The wars we are all in
With the uncertainty this country is facing, the opportunity before us has never been greater and the challenge has never been more intimidating.
As we are all aware, our nation today is fighting several wars, and our enemies in every battle in these wars are seemingly unconquerable. We are waging war against all forms of criminality, drugs, corruption, poverty and injustice. We are waging war against terrorism. We are waging war against forces that seek to destroy our democracy, and against evils that seek to divide and destroy the institutions of family.
While we now know who are enemies are and already waged war, we need to religiously assess, and firm up our tactics. As our country is trying to heal its wounds, solve social problems and exerts effort to transform us into a better country for our generation and those who will follow, it calls for us Christians.
The challenges that our nation is facing now is to heavy and complex to be left on the hands of the few. Our country is pleading for men and women like us to come to its rescue. The nation demands from us, citizens, full participation, support and dedication. The virtue of loving our nation is often being neglected even by Christians like us; we are too busy praying for our own concerns or of those people who are near to us…forgive us o God for forgetting our beloved Philippines.
The Challenge for us
I encourage my fellow Filipino graduates who are in Christ, to serve this nation of ours in every possible way, in every way we can. Graduates like us have so much to give for the Philippines.
While the generation that came before us, have their experience to rely on, we have the intelligence keenness, knowledge, energy, hope, dreams and idealism to trust on. Our country may already have much brains working for the government, but they without a doubt lack the sustained idealism that can live and bloom in the middle of harsh, selfish, complacent, mediocre, and unprincipled society and work environment. This nation need young blood with bold yet noble, principles and with high and sustained idealism and courage, who can act without fear and correct or rectify the wrong without compromise with Christianity as his template principle.
Government service…why not?
While we hate to admit it, it is common perception that the government is filled with mediocre, undriven and unmotivated people, with the notion that government is for lazy and sleazy people. Most officials in the government are corrupt, and abusive in the exercise of their power. May we see these negative notions of people to the government as a calling for us to do something that will make it the otherwise. If we value our nation that much, we will immerse ourselves in it and we will make a difference.
I am not saying of course that only the government needs good, honest, and dedicated worker. In fact all of us, in whatever field or endeavor we may find ourselves in the future, must continuously preserve and cultivate our ideals, values and virtues that we hold now. The realities outside the halls of our respected campuses are more complex as we think, and as we can imagine. We must guard ourselves against the luring temptation of money, power and influence just to get our wants, at the expense of our values, principles, and faith.
The idealism we should have
When I speak of idealism, I am referring to idealism in action –the nationalist idealism possessed and practiced by the likes of our national hero Rizal, and Bonifacio, and Ninoy and many of our revered statesmen in the past. With regards to the Christian idealism, I am referring to the idealism that Christ himself practiced while he was on this world.
Idealism should not only remain in the head. It should be practiced and tested. Idealism in action cannot be possible without the corresponding courage because it is courage that will actualize it. Winston Churchill once said: “Moral courage is one virtue, that make all other virtues possible.” Indeed, of what is the use of our honesty if we do not have the courage to uphold it? Justice, if we do not have courage to defend it? Democracy, if we do not have the courage to fight for it?
As Christians our idealism should also be grounded on proper values and virtues and should have a special leaning to the disadvantaged and less privileged in life. Its bias should be for the achievement of social equality and justice, as what the ancient maxim says: “Salus populi est suprema lex – The welfare of the people is the supreme law.”
Our role in the 2010 elections
May of next year, we will be electing the next set of people who will lead this nation. We will elect the next president who will lead us for the next 6 years. For many of us, this is maybe the first time that we will practice our right to suffrage. With the realities of the practice of election on our country, and as enlightened graduates, we know that this is, indeed, a not so easy time. This is maybe the first time that our idealism, principles, intellectual maturity and good judgment may be used or tested. But above all, it is still a test of faith for us Christians.
We have been watching the possible candidates closely, even there is still no campaign on going we have been listening to the promises that they implicitly say (some explicitly), seeing how they perform or act, and weighing the virtues of each. Ideally we would like to see how closely they come to fulfilling our own vision of the future and of the future of our nation. Yet, we may be tempted to ask: “How do we choose if none is close enough?” Verily, it may not surprise is if some choices are made out of disillusionment or resignation rather than out of hope.
This confusion, some may tell us is the “reality of the world.” Others may say that this has nothing to do with the books we have been studying all these years. True enough no matter how excellently our books are written, or how esteemed our lecturers are, there will be so much more to any event that inevitably, or even necessarily remains unsaid. All the intrigues that the media is feeding our minds, whether here or abroad, all the backdoor negotiations, or seemingly shady deals merely scratched the surface of everything that is really happening.
This is the sad reality. But do not get me wrong because I will be the first one to say that it does not have to be dire. Evolving social structures are what we must live and work with, and it does no good to do nothing but shake fists at the storm. However this real world will be presented to you, your comfort and hope are in your intelligence and your education. Maybe at first it does not seem enough to stop floodgates. But, if only my words alone can assure you for your lifetime, I say that this is more than enough.
A life for others, a life of purpose
Years from now, we may already be enjoying the fruits of our labor. Yet we may still be living in the poor old Philippines where leaders remain selfish and corrupt, crime is everywhere and poverty and injustice still abound. And we may ask ourselves where were our values, our idealism, our ideals and dreams for our nation and our fellow Filipinos? Indeed despite our success, we may have missed something still. Perhaps we have forgotten to enrich the values, dreams, and ideals because we have focused our minds and our work only to our own future. Please, let us not do the wrong thing our old ones did.
Have you forgotten that we ought to live for others? In a world full of hostility and greed there is no feeling more refreshing and fulfilling than that of having served and helped a disadvantaged brother or sister. The most accomplished life I that one fully dedicated for the benefit for others.
Thus as we all go now to the real world, I would like to urge you to continually assess our virtues, values, ideals, and principles, which we are holding now. And ask where are we in the practice or in our mission in fulfilling or realizing them.
MARCH 22, 2009, MANILA
“With This We Call For Change”
By Manuel Rodriguez II, UST - Students' Democratic Party(SDP)
“…DEMOCRACY… IT IS OUR DUTY NOW, IN DANGER AS IN SECURITY, TO UPHOLD AND SUSTAIN IT WITH ALL THAT WE HAVE AND ARE.”
-excerpt from the Democratic Creed by Stephen Bennet
(Standard creed of the SDP 1st party convention)
The case of Mr. Jocjoc Bolante on the 728 million pesos fund for fertilizers, the disappearance of the 3.1 billion budget for irrigation, Arroyo’s fraudulent acts on the 2004 national elections that made her an illegitimate president, left and right cases of extra-judicial killings and the most recent and controversial NBN-ZTE deal scandal.
For 7 years the Arroyo regime failed to uphold the trust of the Filipino nation, our country is left tortured and wounded. The continuous issues and scandals in the country’s political arena have effectively placed into the spotlight the crisis in the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the crisis which has transformed the people’s search for truth and justice into an advocacy to oust an immoral leader of the land.
The whole truth about the anomalous NBN-ZTE contract is slowly being revealed by the statements of a very credible individual in the persona of our fellow Thomasian, Eng’r Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, former President of PhilForest, a corporation owned by the government. According to Lozada, Mr. Jose Miguel “Mike”Arroyo the husband of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and the former ComElec Chairperson Benjamin Abalos are one of the people who are very willing to close the deal between the Philippines and China, because of their self interests to earn a 65 million to 130 million US dollars commission.
While majority of our people live their everyday life with only 65 pesos or lower on their pockets, people like Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Abalos are earning millions without sweat.
Under this kind of administration our search for truth will not and never be easy and will face many crossroads and obstacles. We can expect the government to discredit witness like Eng’r Lozada and block possible bearer of truth like Sec. Romulo Neri of CHEd.
If the University of Santo Tomas (UST) demands from its students which are their main stakeholders commitment, compassion and competence, then the nation as the same expect from the Thomasians to make use of their education in defining and knowing the difference between justice and injustice with very strong fervor.
In a three page paper titled “Why I Cannot and Will Not Support Calls for the Presidents’ Resignation,” pro- administration priest Fr. Ranhillio Calangan- Aquino pointed out that “when one protests his earnestness in search for truth, and at the same time presses for the resignation of the President (PGMA), one is guilty ofperformative contradiction.”
“If you search for truth, you do not know yet the whether she is guilty or not. But if you do know this yet, what reason is there to ask her to resign?” Fr. Aquino retorted.
My response to his statement? It is not that the current President has lost her capacity to govern the country, however due to many controversial events, I believe that the President should step down or be ousted from her position because of her inability to gain the trust of the Filipino people. Leadership requires influence; clearly the President has lost that.
With this we call for change.
Often recalcitrant, but always principled.