CAMBRIDGE English Dictionary defines “Independence” as the “Freedom from being governed or ruled by another country;” and/or the “Ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people.” Notable synonyms are sovereignty, self-rule, self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
We are definitely not ruled by another country. I am also of the belief that we have the ability to become self-sufficient and self-reliant. Hence, we either pick our goals and solve our own problems or lose our independence.
Government can ask for help from other countries but no self-respecting country will tolerate any outside entity’s unsolicited help or interference in our domestic affairs. That would be a violation of our independence and an insult to our dignity as a sovereign nation.
What decent Filipino would not condemn the undesirable consequences, like the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJK), of our government’s decision to bury the drug problem? But what self-respecting Filipino would not feel disgust at UN rapporteurs demanding to investigate the alleged crime and possibly imposing their sanctions?
It is offensive for the political opposition to cry to the UN, for what could only be suspected to be selfish political motives, to intervene in our domestic affairs. We have courts of justice, laws, and police organizations to investigate, gather evidence and settle the EJK issue.
Like why doesn’t the Commission on Human Rights, a Constitutional body beyond the President’s control, investigate, gather evidence, and bring whoever to justice?
The independence we celebrate on June 12 is obviously a work in progress. Thus, if we feel we cannot trust our public institutions, we should hunker down to reform those institutions towards capacitating us for self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Not an easy thing to do considering our colonial political genes.
We have a duly elected President. As discerning citizens we should not agree with all his decisions. Yet it is not mature citizenship to cry to foreigners to interfere on problems we should be unraveling ourselves. Government is right to reject this interference by foreigners who might be coming from a self-righteous place called superiority complex.
Other nations, international agencies will only respect our sovereignty if they see us respecting it ourselves. President Duterte is so right to have the self-respect and pride to reject this totally uncalled for interference in our affairs.
We cannot be truly independent unless we have self-respect. It is lack of self-respect to give away our freedom to self-rule and lick our own problems. It is a betrayal of the independence our national heroes lived, fought, and died for.