Lobaton: Politics that victimized Bonifacio


TODAY (November 30, 2020) is the birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, our country’s revolutionary hero. He is best remembered to have started a revolutionary movement “Katipunan” to start the resistance against the Spaniards in the Philippines.

Despite the many obstacles in his life being poor and less educated, Bonifacio passionately pursued his mission of making Filipinos understand the dominance and abuses of the governing authority. He clearly related his struggles to that of the many struggles his fellowmen are experiencing in the hands of the Spaniards, hoping that soon the Filipinos will rise up against the government.

The KKK movement became popular as it grew in many parts of the country. However, he had also been the envy of his fellow compatriots and later created a conflict with the government led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

Bonifacio was accused of treason that led to his execution with his brother by the government. He died at a young age and was buried along with his desire to force the revolution against the government.

In my college class, I remember I have allowed students to debate on the life of Bonifacio and Rizal. The topic would delve on the weight of them asking the people to forge a revolution against the authority at that time. Bonifacio for the bloody one, while Rizal for the bloodless.

No doubt, the implications of those desires from either of them, resonate the kind of spirit that we still embody at present. Maybe not anymore on the same structural changes as it would be impossible, but on the realization of things on how this country can become better.

But politics being present at that time of Bonifacio, became the culprit for the disintegration of support for the revolutionary movement. Some members of the group, turned to betray Bonifacio, and some became witnesses to prove he had incited a rebellion against the government of Emilio Aguinaldo. Something we can appreciate as similar to the kind of politics in many organizations and relationships at present.

It is inviting to describe the politics of yesterday and today with the relative struggles being the focus of any political act. Supposedly, a political act should not be realized in the absence of legitimacy and reason just like the brand of politics at present, where mostly attached to the aching stomach that’s carved out of interests over the perks that power can offer.

This means the “problem of ourselves” is not magnified only in our modern time. It can be summoned from the time of Bonifacio where loyalty and concern for the common cause is less regarded in exchange of the modes for survival. I believe this is still the rule in today’s social arrangements. Even at this time of pandemic, it highlights how some would simply look at saving themselves and disregard those that promote for the welfare of the majority.

In our daily struggles, we hope to ponder on the lessons of the past that fighting each other for scarce resources will bring division. While seeking to realize that fighting a common enemy could put our acts together for a cause.

At this time of pandemic, one’s resolve for personal survival is not enough to fight the common enemy which is the coronavirus. A collective approach is best to weave through this collective challenge.

Other than this, there are still a lot to think of in terms of our social arrangements that can tell us to translate those idealism of Andres Bonifacio into something that could move this country forward.*


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