• Belmonte: Celebrate democracy like Easter

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    DEMOCRACY in the Philippines should be celebrated like Easter Sunday because social equality brings rebirth and renewal, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said over the weekend.

    Easter is also a time of hope, Belmonte noted, even if the occasion is mainly a celebration of Jesus Christ rising from the dead and victory over sacrifices, oppression and trials preceding His crucifixion.

    “In a democracy, the process is similar,” he said. “After we assess what we have accomplished, where we have been wanting or flawed, we plot out a new course that sustains what is working and reconstructing what needs to be changed to achieve our goals.”

    He added, “In democracy, we experience successes and failures. But the beauty of the [democratic]system is also that it comes with many opportunities for renewal and rebirth. It allows us the luxury of hope and gives us possibilities to effect changes that constantly bring forth positive growth and development for this nation.”

    Belmonte then urged the public to celebrate Easter Sunday by thanking democracy and being hopeful, inspired by the Lord’s own passion and resurrection.
    “I wish all of you a meaningful celebration and the joyous blessings of Easter,” he said.

    Risa Hontiveros, who is running for senator in the May elections under the ruling Liberal Party (LP) after two failed Senate bids, agreed with Belmonte that Easter should bring hope.

    Hontiveros reached her peak in the Pulse Asia survey released before the Lenten break, ranking seventh with 34.9 percent and even above reelectionist Sen. Ralph Recto, who placed eighth for the first time with 34.4 percent.

    “Mahirap, malungkot at masakit ang matalo. (It’s difficult, sad and hurtful to lose [an election], Hontiveros said. “You wonder what you could have done more; you ask yourself what mistakes you could have avoided. Easter, for me, is a reminder of the beautiful gift of waiting and hoping – a reminder that some things are worth the fight.”

    She admitted, however, that the campaign does not get easier.

    “Nothing has changed,” Hontiveros, a former PhilHealth director, stressed. “I still work as hard as a carabao [water buffalo]to get across my message of having a healthy Philippines.” LLANESCA PANTI

     LP/BF

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