John Nery asked: “What is our clear, nonnegotiable, overriding objective?” this is after recognizing the fact that the country is suffering from a “fog of normalization.”
And I couldn’t disagree more.
Early this morning, I learned that a U.P. Professor friend of mine, an Anti-Marcos as well as a Kakampink who worked closely with the opposition, has now been appointed as an undersecretary in the Finance Department.
While people in our chat group (which she abruptly left, much to our surprise, and later used her husband’s account to explain that she left so that people in the chat group would not feel strange talking against BBM knowing she’s part of the government) were congratulating her, my initial emotion was one of betrayal. (I’ll elaborate on this later.)
So I went around asking questions, and my query is this:
“Would you take a post in the government if Bong-bong Marcos offered you one?”
Friend #1: According to a dear friend of mine, accepting the offer would mean assisting the people and doing what is best for the country.
Friend #2: My professor friend said no because taking the opportunity would hurt the people he cares about. Although he admits that, in the case of my professor buddy, it is more about benefiting the country while providing credibility to corrupt authorities.
Friend #3: Another activist friend of mine responded in the affirmative, stating that doing what is best for the country must be my professor buddy’s primary focus.
Friend #4: My lawyer friend replied “nay,” stating that accepting BBM’s offer legitimizes him and that he can help the country in other ways.
Friend #5: Another lawyer friend of mine stated that he will accept the offer if it will benefit the country, but will decline if he will only be used by BBM.
I responded, but isn’t it the same thing?
He replied no, as long as the method and rules adhere to the constitution and his ideals. However, if the position he holds will merely be utilized to steal money from the government, then it is a big no.
Friend #6: Another lawyer buddy said the question is “extremely good for philosophy, with an ethics class level of complexity.”
True, because the question is more about why the person is taking the job than what will happen to them if they do.
But, before I go any further, I’d like to address the question of why I felt betrayed when I learned of my friends’ decision.
It all comes down to how I feel about the Marcoses and what they did to the country.
Given how much misery and suffering they caused the Filipino people without reason, to say that the Marcoses were evil would be an understatement.
The number of dead bodies gathered by their tyranny is only comparable to the Holocaust and other horrors committed against mankind in the twentieth century.
Having someone who battled alongside you against the Marcoses and then knowing that they would join his government “in service of the people” speaks volumes about the struggle’s failure.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. – Matthew 6:24 NLT
Working with the enemy, no matter how noble the purpose, can only benefit the enemy from the start.
This, I believe, is also the reason why Operation Valkyrie was launched.
Even though Hitler’s Generals meant well for the German people, they knew that working with Hitler would only lead to more pain and suffering for everyone in the future.
Yet there were people like Oskar Schindler, Carl Lutz, Johan van Hulst, and Irena Sendler who went against the enemy while working with the enemy.
These folks, on the other hand, were quite clear about their aim to work for the opposition, and they never said that their intention to join the government was to:
“Assist the people and do what’s best for the country. In hindsight, these people would’ve proclaimed that their intention was to assist the opposition because doing so would be best for the country. “
Perhaps I’m being overly dramatic, but going back in Philippine history, there has never been a truly successful revolution because Filipinos would prefer to work alongside their oppressors than against them.
James Lindsay said it best:
“The question to pose, then, is simple enough: What would it take for you to say that the Woke movement has gone too far?
Why should you ask this? Two reasons, given how out of hand the movement already is. First, people should be asked to grapple with the idea that things could possibly go too far, or even that they already have. Second, in circumstances like these threaten to be, everyone should stake out at least some tentative line that their current principles won’t let them cross, and they need to do this before they’ve already crossed it and been forced to defend that which they currently find indefensible.”
In this instance, what would it take for someone to declare that the Marcos movement has gone too far?
When Leni Robredo was Vice President, she was offered the job of leading the war on drugs.
Personally, I would have preferred Leni not accept the position, if only for spite, but Leni called Dutertes’ bluff and was eventually viewed as the better person.
I would have preferred Leni to focus on more essential things than be lured into a horrible, meaningless trick.
But Leni took the job because the people voted for her, even though the whole thing was a trick set up by Duterte and his allies, who eventually fired her.
Leni could’ve ideally declined the position and avoided the embarrassment of being proven wrong by those who had warned her about “the trap.”
This embarrassing experience by Leni backs up my point that working with a sick, corrupt, and cruel government that doesn’t care about your well-being is a waste of time.
Which begs the question for my professor friend: Why work with the Marcoses when you could be empowering the opposition?