Today is Independence Day in our country. The day is made more meaningful if we consider the issues we are facing today. For the first time since the occupation of the country by the Spanish, Americans and the Japanese, the country is being enslaved once more by an expansionist power with the same aspirations as the old ones. And we are producing the same kind of leaders, those who are able to approximate the level of puppetry and shamelessness of the old colonials.
Can the present dispensation wave our flag with the same pride as those who shed their blood for the fatherland? How can we be proud of our race having leaders who are willing to surrender the country’s patrimony to China? I have said this many times before: The true test of leadership should be a leader’s willingness to defend what is ours. How did former President Jose P. Laurel die? How did Arcadio Maxilom live? With a level of patriotism like no other leader.
When we allow our territory to be taken over by China using as reason our lack of military might, that shows either a lack of patriotism or a lack of creativity. On that, the people will be the judge next year. Yet too often patriotism becomes a mere afterthought in our search for new leaders. Values get lost in the passing as populism takes center stage.
It would be wrong for us to celebrate Independence Day like the term is an abstract one. This is not only about displaying the Philippine flag in offices or putting flaglets in vehicles. The celebration can become more real if we sift through the issues of the day and find out where patriotism can be applicable. Like defending our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
And what about preventing foreign powers from influencing the outcome of our elections? Why did this country produce a pro-
China leadership after the 2016 elections? Because we missed one virtue in considering the candidates in that political exercise: patriotism. Because of that, we could no longer defend our patrimony.
I have always been for us looking back in the celebration of Independence Day. But I say that for this year we should look forward. We should consider patriotism first and foremost in the selection of our leaders next year. Indeed, when we pass by June 12 next year, it should be with joy at having selected a patriot as President.
Yes, a patriot President. That is the kind of leader that we should look for next year. One who does not only talk the talk but who should walk the walk. One who does not fool us with mere rhetoric but one who not only practices what he preaches but is creative in doing so. This is not only about going to war but about winning the positioning without going to war.
China has been doing that and getting the advantage in the process. And it pays to have the leader of the opposing force becoming malleable in every election. That is why we should watch out in the next elections. In Malaysia, Mahathir Muhammad had to return to politics after retirement to ease out a China puppet from the political sphere.