“They” are the rich and powerful who, by themselves or their surrogates, have ruled this country ever since. “We” are the majority of the population who so far have not found the courage of our conviction to unify and oppose the diktats of “They.”
The 1987 Constitution, in spite of the contextual reasons for its drafting, is still fundamentally unfair to “We.” A basic defect is its lack of a provision that binds government to fund the formation and operation of duly certified (as public institutions) political parties that would carry the collective voice of “We” in government. For lacking that provision, the Philippines is not a genuine representative democracy.
Government is in the hands of “They,” society’s wealthy few who alone have the wherewithal to form a party and finance expensive campaigns for top national positions. Since “We” are not represented in government, nothing that “We” want goes down in this country, only what “They” want. And what “They” want is invariably what promotes their business and political interests.
“They” want a Sovereign Wealth Fund. “We” don’t want it because the country has barely enough funds to meet the basic needs of its people, thus has no business venturing into high-risk investments. But are “They” listening? No. “They” never think that “They” have to. It’s always what “They” want that goes down.
“They” also want an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with the US. “They” claim it is additional protection of Philippine sovereignty in the event China invades Taiwan. Yet, “We,” the majority of Filipinos, who have nothing to protect and who, anyway, are not sovereign in our society, can hardly relate to it as all “We” really need are housing, jobs, better pay, better health and better education. In truth, Edca will only protect the assets of the ruling class, but only secondary to the national security and imperialist interests of the US.
Now, “They” want to revise the 1987 constitution. Extremely biased as it already is in their favor, our leaders still want to change it. For being unfair to the majority of the population, the constitution needs not just some tinkering but a major overhaul. But since “They,” not “We,” are doing the changing, the change will presumably be in their favor.
The next point bears stressing as a critical ingredient in the reform of our society. Not until the constitution provides for government to fund the formation and operation of certified political parties will the farmer-laborer sector have a fair chance of forming a party strong enough to effect changes favorable to their sector.
Yet, a strong farmer-worker political party is a long way off unless a charismatic leader would emerge to unify our disastrously fragmented labor groups. Until then, “They” and not “We” will define our social reality. Since “They” alone have a party, it’s only what “They” want that goes down in this country.
March 28, 2023
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