Political suicide

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By Orlan R. Ravanera

Kim's Dream

Monday, May 5, 2014


WHAT is in the best interest of the people in whose name and for whose cause they were elected for? This should always be foremost in the mind of every elected official especially in a poverty-stricken country where a circle of a few elite controls the economy?

Beware! When self-interest prevails over public interest concretely manifested in the pocketing of billions of pesos that should have been allocated to empower the poor and the vulnerable to be freed from poverty that is the fastest way of committing political suicide, although am sure they will never kill themselves as they are without shame.

When public officials become subservient to the demands of cartels, conglomerates and monopolies enriching the rich that makes a mockery of oft repeated phrase “inclusive growth”, that will not make these politicians eligible to commit political suicide because the people do not know yet how powerful cartels and big corporations in this country are and how those who control the economy are also in control politically.

The people have yet to be conscienticized on these realities that economic growth as shown by GNPs are going to the pockets of a few elite. That there is no such thing as inclusive growth because development has not trickled down to those in the “D” and “E” brackets (the poor) but has remained with the “A” or the super rich. Yes, the so-called trickle-down approach in development is as if you allow a few sparrows to peck on what has already passed the digestive systems of cows. You know what I mean if you stretch your imagination a little bit.

Well, people are in the threshold of the awakening process, made faster by the Napoles Scam. But I suspect such scam is just the tip of the iceberg, meaning 1/10 seen, 9/10 unseen. Am sure people will be more awakened when the Asean Economic Community will be fully implemented by 2015 with goods specially agri-products flooding our country at much lower price, to the detriment of our farming communities which have been tied-up to costly production technologies all these years because of conventional agriculture. Because of this, everyone has profited from farming (seeds and fertilizer dealers, usurers, compradors) but not those who are doing the painstaking work of farming, the poor farmers.

To prepare our farmers to become globally competitive, they must be capacitated technically and financially to venture into value chain approach, meaning, not just producing but processing and packaging these products as well to command higher prices. But where are the funds for these? Please ask NABCOR and some legislators.

Magmata na ta. And when people are awakened, the much needed paradigm shift will begin. Yes, more and more history is now happening faster and faster than we can make a sense of it. People are now realizing that there is something wrong with the global economy. No less than His Holiness Pope Francis has pointed out such truism. Yes, the combined wealth of the world’s billionaires equals the income of three billion people. In the Philippines, “75% of GDP growth in 2012, was monopolized by only 50 families.”

Yes, the present dominant paradigm (elite capitalism) is like a giant-off balance. So as not to fall, it has to run. In running, it steps on communities, forests, seas, rivers, biodiversities, iceberg – killing the earth (global warming), wrecking havoc to the ecosystems, impoverishing the people and destroying life-support systems.

Yes, the “money-must-grow” principle which is anchored on growth-at-all-cost development strategy is only successful in sacrificing mother earth and the people to the altar of greed and profit. That economic system is now collapsing like the twin towers in New York.

In its stead is cooperativism where money is used not to make more money but to enhance the well-being of the people and where there is no individualized pursuit of wealth but collective and empowering the people to craft their own destiny.

A political leader, like a good father of the family, must now cease to be a politician (whose vision is just up to the next election) but must be a statesman (whose vision is up to the next generation). The call of the times is social transformation for people, for planet, for prosperity and for peace, thus, a leader must cease to be transactional but must become transformative.

By being so, that leader can never commit political suicide but always to serve the people, especially the least of his brethren, for the greater glory of God.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 06, 2014.

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