Putting power where it rightfully belongs

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By Orlan R. Ravanera

Kim's Dream

Saturday, August 30, 2014


THE land oozes with ecological resources, yet the people are so poor.

Why? Simply because they are so powerless to have access and control over these resources. Who controls? Who decides? Who profits? Absolutely not them, but a circle of a few elite pocketing 70 percent of Gross Domestic Products.

Who have profited from the massive exploitation of our natural resources?

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Where have all the 17 million hectares of dipterocarp forest gone? Gone to the pockets of the big time loggers, many of whom are still in power even becoming senators, governors or congressmen whose gargantuan rakings have built a strong cabal of vested interest that put them in power until now.

These shameless loggers have left us their lasting legacy in the form of massive denudation that have erased our mega-diversity, making extinct billions of life forms that had evolved for thousands of years yet had been massacred in just a century of plunder.

After plundering what are above the surface, these exploiters could not satiate their greed; they wantonly extract the mineral wealth beneath. This is very much evident in the uplands, a hundred kilometers of plunder of the minerals from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan City.

Be it in the extraction of these resources or in the plunder of our forest – all are in violation of existing laws. That being, how dare we proclaim that we follow the rule of law? You violate manmade laws, you disrupt the norm of a civilized society. But when loggers and miners violate the laws of nature, then, thousands of people would die. Indeed, the sins of a few loggers and miners are now visited upon our people? But who dies, who suffers? Not the loggers and miners who are safely ensconced in their mansions but the poor and the vulnerable.

How dare they plunder our forest ecosystems that are homes to our Indigenous People who have lived there sustainably for thousands of years. The forests were their “pharmacies,” their “marketplace” for thousands of years, our invisible water dams, our carbon sink and where billions of flora and fauna are found. The massacre of our mega-diversity is the greatest sin we have committed against our Creator. The destruction of life on earth is that diabolic act that is unforgivable because it diminishes the sanctity of life and our alienation from the very essence of life, the spirit that gives meaning to life itself.

That internal essence of the sublime has been sacrificed to the mundane, losing the “spirit” for the external. Indeed, what would profit a man if he gains the whole world (the external) but suffers the loss of his soul (internal essence of life).

There is no beauty in the urban because all of these are artificial; what is beautiful is the natural – the beauty of the flowers, the magic in the pupa becoming butterfly, the musical sound of a flowing river, the singing of the birds – all are expressions of that universal collective consciousness. Partake of that consciousness and you feel the presence of the Creator.

Wake up all that are victims of the fallacies of life! We are being bombarded by garbage of knowledge spawned by a materialistic, consumerist and diabolic lifestyle that sacrifices Mother Earth to the altar of greed and profit.

We are all living in oneness with all creation and everything is interconnected in consciousness be it one manifested in a flower or in a distant star. Each one, be human, animal, plant, rock or planet has its reason for being and when one becomes “spiritus luminous” only then will that being be conscious of this truism.

Buried in the darkness and mud of the “ego,” that may sound too weird and alien.

Meanwhile, let us learn from the wisdom of our Indigenous People. Yes, only when you have cut the last tree, polluted the last river and caught the last fish that you will realize that you cannot eat your money. Let us reflect that we have not inherited the natural resources from our parents but we owe these to our children. That at the rate that we have exploited God’s vanishing creation, we have in fact robbed the future generations of their inheritance, guilty of violating the 8th Commandment which is Thou Shall Not Steal.

For those who are amassing so much at the expense of the poor and the environment in a land where vested interest and corruption reign supreme, please be mindful that when Darwin theorized that in the selection of species on the” survival of the fittest,” the word “fittest” means not the “most aggressive” or the “strongest.” By “fittest,” it really means “the most caring,” and “the most loving.”

Join us in Sulog. We must now advocate for a paradigm shift during these most challenging times when the global system is collapsing as the “earth’s tipping point” has been reached because of the unsustainability in ecology, unsustainability in the economy and unsustainability in politics. Let us advance a new kind of politics that is both empowering and liberating by debunking contemporaneous politics that is disempowering the people so that they can continue their massive rakings.

The truest kind of politics is one that puts power where it rightfully belongs and that is with the people and to remain with them even after elections!

Indeed, the people united can never be defeated, be it by cartel or by scheming politicians who, like vultures, are feeding upon the flesh of the poor. May your tribe diminish to give way to the genuine meaning of politics that is subservient NOT to the interest of big business but that for, of and by the people.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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