Carvajal: Pre-emptive people power

·3 min read

I have always used the structural approach in analyzing Philippine society. This approach rests on the premise that flaws in our social structure (in the economic, political and cultural systems that compose its mainframe) is causing our nagging national problem, and biggest challenge, of mass poverty.

Until that flaw is removed through mainframe restructure, elected officials, no matter how sincere, may only promise to but never reduce mass poverty in a significant way. Those who control the structure and use its flaws to their advantage simply do not allow it.

Structural change, however, takes a long time to happen. It takes ages for a people (longer still for a formerly colonized people) to become mature enough to want to change a nation’s flawed social structure. I, therefore, have to shift to non-structural mode vis-à-vis the coming elections. I cannot be doing nothing about it just because the exercise has no positive impact on our social situation.

In 1986 in Edsa, we ended you-know-who’s family’s dictatorial rule by staging an after-the-fact people power revolution at Edsa. We’ve suffered years of Martial Law and Edsa was our way of saying: “Enough” and “Never Again.”

Today, we have a good idea what is going to happen if that family gets back into power. So, instead of waiting for when we can no longer stand their rule this time around, why not prevent that family’s return to power with a pre-emptive people power revolution at the polling places on May 9?

Instead of apologizing for the evils and injustices of Martial Law, the family has defended it by shamelessly painting those murderous and thieving years as the “golden age” of Philippine history. Golden for them alright but not for many who were made to disappear, imprisoned, tortured and killed.

If they claim it was a “golden age,” then it would be safe to assume they will want to bring that age back. Is that what this nation wants, another of that family’s kind of “golden age”?

Thus, instead of waiting for when we can no longer suffer their rule, why not make a pre-emptive move. Why not deny the family another of their so-called “golden age” by voting for another presidential candidate?

For “Never Again” to come true, Leni Robredo would seem to be our best bet. Quite frankly, I have some misgivings about her; but, between her and what’s his name she more assuredly represents democratic rule. Her family might have done their share of mistakes but, to lay it down straight, they did not steal, did not torture, did not cause anybody to disappear, and did not kill.

We have to toss our bahala na attitude this time and not take any chances. Look at it this way. Whatever good what’s his name can do Leni can also do. But whatever bad what’s his name can do, Leni does not have it in her to do. She has none of the dictatorial bones what’s his name has plenty of.

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