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I admit that I am still in that stage of grieving.
But how do you grieve for a country?
A country that chose to vote for twelve candidates who has nothing to offer?
How can you grieve for a country that has failed to redeem itself time and time again?
While I was asking myself this question, I looked back at our country’s history.
You see, you can only understand the situation of our country as long as you look back and appreciate its history.
But often even that I find doubtful that it would even effect change in society.
Because my people do not appreciate even history except for cases where long weekends and holidays are concerned.
For if history is even remotely necessary, then we wouldn’t find ourselves in this situation we are in now.
But I digress.
Earlier today, I read this post by Dy Hok Son:
Tanong ko lang. With all the Otsos already conceding, and with the LP president stepping down. Does this mean na we should consider the last elections as totally honest and clean? Kasi parang muntanga na tayo na nagagalit and questioning the election results, tapos wala rin. Yung dapat magreklamo, nagconcede na. Wala na finish na, di ba?
Pero mas malaking tanong. Bakit ba ang ingay pa rin natin? Do we really believe na may impact tong ginagawa natin? I mean take a look at the recent elections.
19.0 million voted for Bato
Para ba tayong tanga if we continue to speak out about the killings? This is clearly what the people want. It’s like Kian’s parents posing for a photo op after their son died.
20.7 million voted for Bong Go and 16.9 million voted for Lito Lapid
This is made even sadder by Bam Aquino’s loss. Nagbigay ng free tuition and a host of other laws na beneficial sa mas nakakarami sa lipunan.
14.6 million voted for Bong Revilla and 15.9 million voted for Imee
The people have spoken. Ginusto nila yan. Bakit pa ako magsasayang ng panahon, hininga, at laway trying to help them. Masaya sila diyan, hayaan na natin?
What’s more, with all the matrices coming out? Bakit nilalagay pa natin ang mga sarili natin sa gulo. Baka bukas makalawa, nasa listahan na tayo. Baka sa susunod na matrix na galing sa Facebook ang intelligence, kasama ka na.
And the people that you are trying to give voice to, the same ones who you are trying to help, sila pa yung mauunang magtatawa. “Ayan kase, delawan. MAGTAGO KA NA!”
Magingay ka man, may nabago ba? Congressman na rin ngayon si Cardema, di baleng ang daming batas na nagsabing hindi dapat mangyari yon. Kahit na malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw ang abuso. Guidelines na lang ang batas ngayon. Enforcement optional. Pag pabor sa kanila, okay ipatupad. Pero pag di pabor, okay lang din, papel lang yan.
Yung totoo, the single silver lining in all of these dark clouds eh nakilala ko kayo. At the very least, kung tubuan tayo ng kalyo sa puso, we have the luxury to be apolitical.
Kung magkadalecheleche ang lahat. Mas may buffer tayo laban sa gutom. Sabi nga ng isang friend ko, pwedeng pwede wag tayo lumabas ng bahay at magparty habang isa-isang namamatay ang mga hindi iniisip ang ginagawa nila nung May 13, 2019.
Kung tubuan tayo ng kalyo sa puso.
Kung papayag tayo maging katulad nila.
Last night I also posted the following on my Twitter:
Thoughts and reflections on the 2019 midterm senate elections:
One can only grieve on the eventual loss of democracy under the newly elected senators in proportion to how much work one has done to improve our country’s democracy.
The ones who were hit the hardest were the ones who sacrificed most of their lives in service of the people.
The practice of voting is just a minuscule attempt on empowering democracy compared to those who choose to surrender opportunities for a better life in hopes of a better country for our people; they are the ones who time and again implored, advised, rallied, and warned everyone of the eventual loss of our freedoms.
Never to be heard and often ridiculed. A number of them will give up, thinking that the work they do towards our people is not worth sacrificing their lives over.
The other ones will continue but with less vigor than before and will ride the wave out. The special ones will grieve profoundly and look at this tragedy as an opportunity to strengthen their case on the importance of democracy.
All the while, the people will reap what they sow and will experience evil inasmuch as they wouldn’t want to share it at the expense of their children.
Indeed, our country needs to hit rock bottom to achieve a breakthrough.
I read the two posts and thought to myself that perhaps it is about time to give up.
But the next question is, give up on what? The country? The opposition? The resistance?
You see, what is strikingly painful in the aftermath of the 2019 elections is not just the results or the questionable undertaking by COMELEC. (even though I was already sure of the consequences before the election proper)
What is painful is the lack of leaders who will stage a revolution that can stand on itself.
And this revolution has nothing to do with guns or armies.
This revolution has everything to do with MORALITY.
And this is what I’ve been harping on since 2016 in the silence of VP Leni and other stalwarts from the Liberal Party and other parties.
Perhaps they thought that democracy and its underlying values would be maintained by being silent.
So I found myself, along with people like Dy Hok Son, raging to high heavens and using the power of social media by storm in calling out the evils of the Duterte government.
Only to find ourselves voiceless as the people we trust to lead us and continue our struggle and perhaps understand better about what’s at stake, disappear by the wayside and this by virtue of them conceding and in a way legitimizing the wrongdoings wrought upon by COMELEC.
But perhaps they are correct, conceding is more important right now than calling for an impartial investigation.
What’s at stake if they admit defeat for now and feign weakness?
What’s in store for people in Otso Diretso and the opposition after each and everyone consecutively admitted defeat?
Perhaps they know better, or maybe they don’t, who knows?
Is this a political tactic that they are doing? A strategy, perhaps?
The last rally against the COMELEC was staged about a week ago, and just like any other rally, it only lasted for a few days and then was eventually forgotten.
Yesterday the ‘winners’ of this election were proclaimed by COMELEC.
Today, the ‘alleged’ Bikoy of the Totoong Narcolist episodes were apprehended by the PNP and is now pointing his fingers at LP and VP Leni.
Suddenly I remember what happened in Germany under Hitler when he was quick to blame and round up the communists after the Riechstag fire.
“On February 2, 1933, for example, a leading newspaper for German Jews published an editorial expressing this mislaid trust:
We do not subscribe to the view that Mr. Hitler and his friends, now finally in possession of the power they have so long desired, will implement the proposals circulating in [Nazi newspapers]; they will not suddenly deprive German Jews of their constitutional rights, nor enclose them in ghettos, nor subject them to the jealous and murderous impulses of the mob.
They cannot do this because a number of crucial factors hold powers in check… and they clearly do not want to go down that road.
When one acts as a European power, the whole atmosphere tends towards ethical reflection upon one’s better self and away from revisiting one’s earlier oppositional posture.”
‘This is too simple I whispered under my breath, too predictable too I added’
The administration will go for every single figurehead of the opposition until every one of them has no influence or power in the government.
And everything will come to a head when all power is concentrated under the office of the President.
Everyone knows that the influencing country over all these is China.
This despicable country will do everything in its power to strengthen its influence in the West Philippine Sea, thus the need to change the form of government into an authoritarian one.
I’m pretty sure that the opposition is just counting the days until Duterte declares Martial Law the way it did in Mindanao.
It can also go the way Ferdinand Marcos did with Enrile, that fake ambush that instigated the entire catastrophe and excuse for Martial Law.
Some bold predictions of what the Duterte government will do next:
- It will need to jail the most vocal of oppositions.
- It will need to remove the oppositions’ any semblance of integrity and influence in media and society. (They are working full-time on this)
- It will need to buy off the AFP. (I heard that this is continually happening)
- It will need to consolidate power against the church and position it as powerless. (Goodluck with that)
- It will harass and eventually close down all media that is critical of the government “legally” so as to appear justified internationally. (a long shot)
- It will need a strong replacement for Duterte once he’s dead (Fortunately he’s old, and he admits that he’s sick, so there goes the problem of succession)
- As it has lost its influence in social media after Facebook deleted most of the fake accounts, the government will continue to churn out survey after survey putting all of the governments’ projects in a positive light. (they need to do this to make it appear that the economy is doing well or better even at the expense of ‘doctoring’ their figures and lowering their targets)
- It needs to control the commission on audit and reign in its reports along with the anti-money laundering council.
Right now, what the government is doing is to entertain people with controversial and highly sexual stories and to force the opposition to react.
This is an ingenious way of redirecting focus. While the opposition expands energy and resources addressing all sides, it fails to protect its other more meaningful resources. They are the identity of the opposition and its supporters.
Perhaps the best move the opposition could do is to focus on expanding its mass support base and putting forward a more moral and progressive narrative that will eventually evolve into ideologies akin to democracy and human rights.
It needs to put forward stories that people can latch on and associate with, which is entirely against the government’s narrative.
Stories that talk about the injustices of the government and the future of the country under China.
This is what the opposition lacks.
An alternative narrative and good stories.
But most importantly the opposition should put forward leaders and people that the masses could admire.
This is the reason why Ninoy was effective when he died in 1983.
People ADMIRED him.
They admired his courage to speak up against the injustices of Martial Law.
They admired his sacrifice of being in prison for more than seven years.
They admired his faith in God.
They admired his hope and love for the Filipino people.
That despite his shortcomings, he is more than happy to continue the fight against martial law and come home even at the expense of a good life with his family.
Apparently this is scientifically proven see below:
“In a world that consists of suffering and malevolence, who is it that you admire or who is it that you don’t admire? Those are the same questions. If you know who you don’t admire well, then you have a negative model, and you can go for the opposite, and if you know who you admire well, then you can copy that, and the instinct for admiration is an instinct for imitation, and we’re very imitative creatures, and our instinct for admiration is the instinct for imitation and what would you call it a deeply biologically and metaphysically rooted guideline to the proper path of life.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson
You can also watch the video where he said this here: Jordan Peterson Speech at the 2019 PragerU Summit.
Where does the resistance go from here?
In truth there isn’t much that the opposition can do other than accept the fact that they suffered a major defeat, and even how much they try to recover from it, their supporters will always remind them of how they capitulated as they conceded one by one while their supporters stormed COMELEC.
Lost with no leader to follow, demoralized and drained physically, psychologically, and emotionally, people who are actively campaigning for a better democracy will soon flounder.
Some are pinning a false hope of having a 2022 election, not realizing that it doesn’t exist.
The church, the last bastion of resistance, fragmented from the start will soon collapse under the weight of its own inactions. It will be forced to support most of its worshippers, who are avid followers of Duterte as evidenced by the election results.
One can only lament an entire chapter in the Holy Bible:
Psalm 10 English Standard Version (ESV)
Why Do You Hide Yourself?
10 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses[a] and renounces the Lord.
4 In the pride of his face[b] the wicked does not seek him;[c]
all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5 His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
8 He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more
Earlier today I had a conversation with a good friend of mine (let’s call him Bob). He talked about his seeming disappointment with our countrymen and why he decided to leave the country six years ago.
He mentioned Lee Kuan Yews’ description of the Filipino:
“It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics.
Some Filipinos write and speak with passion. If they could get their elite to share their sentiments and act, what could they not have achieved?”
I listened intently, sharing most of his criticisms on the country, and I couldn’t agree more.
My friend has worked for the government after graduating from law school had, had enough.
Perhaps the strongest argument he put forward is the thought that I would have to live with neighbors who don’t share the same values as mine.
I shudder at the thought of living in a country like Russia in the time of Stalin where even family members are spies for the government.
My friend ended the conversation with him asking me to consider leaving the country.
I already gave him my answer.
Right after that conversation, a Facebook friend of mine shared this heartfelt letter to my messenger:
My batchmate shared her friend Jun Latonio’s post — it lifts even this weariest and lowest spirits:
Everything is murky—false information coming from all directions. Truth is distorted until it’s no longer recognizable. The people you count on to stand for you are busy licking their wounds and discerning their facts.
And then there are the truths that hurt, too unbearable to accept that we are flawed and easily bought. That our education has failed. That it is hard to be a proud Filipino.
You question your own sanity. Review your version of the truth because the gaslighting is real. And strong.
And the path of least resistance is to stop caring. Because in the reign of the gods of everything that is false, fake, and evil, we seem to be losing the battle. And losing is exhausting. And demeaning.
The path of least resistance is to stop caring. But you know you can’t stop. Not now. Especially not now.
It is not my place to promise victory at the end. The only victory I know is the daily affirmation that my truth can withstand the gaslighting. My truth remains standing on justice and righteousness. My fact remains anchored on the love of God, love of country, and yes, on true self-love that I love myself enough not to sell my soul, my principles, and not to take the easy way out.
The only victory I know is affirmed every day on the truths that I do not cheer when China bullies a just Filipina, that I do not vote for thieves, that I do not believe in liars, that I do not believe that rights and justice are expendable. That I know criminals cannot stop crime.
Everything is murky. Everything is dirty. And I’d love just to wipe the dirt off my sensitive skin and find a quiet, neat little space of fluffy bliss and pleasant peace. But I remember what our pastor once said. The mustard seed in your hand, clean, untouched by dirt, remains there useless and eventually dies. That seed needs to be buried in the ground to grow, feed, and make a difference in the world.
So it’s okay to be tired, to hurt, to rest, to ask the tough questions. But always remember that darkness is not conquered by turning off your light.
My friend Bob also mentioned a famous quote by Ninoy Aquino: “The Filipino is worth dying for.”
He said that Ninoy was wrong.
It should’ve been; the Filipino is worth LIVING for.
While both are equally true, I think that Ninoy’s thesis comes from a religious context after his imprisonment of more than seven years under martial law.
John 15:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Indeed, people who lay down their lives to uplift others are a gift for humanity. Because of this, Ninoy remained relevant and became a hero the way Rizal and Bonifacio did before him.
I believe in the wisdom of giving up. And I also believe in a higher power that determines a proper time for everything.
Ecclesiastes 3 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
My generation has been given a golden opportunity.
I have faith that everything will fall into place.