Carvajal: Step by painful step

Break Point

Heedless of the clearly audible opposition from ordinary Filipinos, our incorrigibly insensitive political officials continue to bullheadedly push for Charter change. Which leaves us to wonder why. Of all people, they ought to know that changing the economic provisions of the constitution is neither necessary nor urgent. Not just yet anyway.

There are more necessary and urgent things to do if Philippine society is to start getting on the road towards becoming truly democratic, hence able to improve people’s lives fairly and equitably. The operative words are “fairly and equitably.”

On top of the list is the illusive law implementing the anti-dynasty provision in the constitution. This should be coupled with a law that thoroughly reforms our election system, mainly by eliminating money as the one decisive factor for an election victory. It is not hard to imagine how people’s lives will improve if capable and honest but short on cash Filipinos can win elections and serve the people.

Dynasties rule over just about every local government unit in this country mainly because they alone have the financial resources to win office. They are destructive of nation-building as our oxymoron of an elitist democracy allows them to own everything and everybody and thus do everything they want for themselves.

Next is a harsher law, and stricter implementation thereof, against corruption. Although rife at all levels of government bureaucracy, it is corruption among elected officials that is most damaging. These use corrupt money to cover the election expenses of all members of their dynasty and thus stay in power to exclusively further their own economic and political interests.

It is not too hard to imagine how much fuller people’s lives will be if every centavo of people’s money is spent for social services and none siphoned off to the pockets of corrupt politicians.

Sadly, however, we are faced with the most likely prospect that the present crop of politicians, inured to their lives of luxury, will not enact the laws mentioned above. They stand to lose so much if money is factored out of our elections and if corruption is reduced if not totally eliminated. Why would they kill the goose that lays the proverbial golden egg?

While despotic pharaohs of ancient Egypt said; “So it shall be written, so it shall be done”, our equally despotic rulers say: “That’s what we want, that’s what gets done.” And people be damned, that’s exactly what’s going to be done: charter change to solidify their positions of power over a hapless population.

If they won’t do it, make us a true democracy, who will? That leaves the displaced, the marginalized of society to strive for it, if somehow they can move as one. But there’s no elevator to take us up to the top floor of unity. We have to take the stairs and go up step by painful step. In any case, that’s either done or, to borrow some famous words, “this nation will perish from the earth.”


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.