The New Year has begun and the road ahead will be filled with the challenges of Elections in several countries; in Ireland, the United States and the Philippines among many. And what are elections in a democratic system of governance but the selection and election of the leaders who are appointed by the citizens to take command of a nation .
They will be given the power and authority to craft its laws, raise it’s wealth to be spent for the common good and to direct its course and the welfare and safety of the people they represent.
In the selection process the personal and moral values and way of life of the candidates are scrutinized and examined. Because it will be these values or the lack of them that will determine if that person who is elected president or leader has the qualification and the ability to lead the nation along a path of peace and prosperity.
It will be his or her vision, moral courage and determination to do what is true, right and just that will greatly effect the lives and well being of every man, woman and child in the nation.
The task of the leader is to listen to the needs of the people and to respond with concern and the resources, human and material at his or her disposal to improve the lot of the people especially the poor and the excluded. That is among other things the way it should be.
In the Philippines the population is more than a hundred million and the wealth of the nation is in the hands of about 1% or less of the population.
It may seem to be all too obvious and elementary to state these basic facts but they need to be stated because of that one percent that has ruled the Philippine Islands since Spanish times.
In years past the puppet masters and spin-doctors of the election process have promoted candidates who are celebrities and movie stars and fronts of corporate and family groups. These are thrust into the highest office with out experience and virtue and the knowledge necessary to lead a nation. And it can be that they can be controlled and directed by their handlers when in office. The electorate not of the 1 percent are easily duped and distracted by the glitzy charade of show biz election propaganda.
In the minds and election plans of the ruling elite there is no place for a wise, independent minded educated leader of proven integrity. He could not be manipulated. And if one ever does get elected in the Philippines, like President Obama did in the United States, he is vilified, opposed and cursed by those who cannot control him or the national agenda. In the USA the voracious opposition preferred the nation to fail than for him to succeed. But he has despite the machinations of extremists and obstructionists.
The puppet masters in the Philippines are the rulers of the dynastic families that form their own competing family and corporate groups. They contest among themselves the pinnacle of power and they rule primarily to secure their own wealth and position and to protect their corporate local and foreign interests. Besides they entrench and enrich themselves and the members of their group in all levels of government.
The dynastic families that manipulate the elections through fraud, bribery, vote buying, the use of PCOS machines and violence are indeed the greatest burden that weighs down and keeps millions of Filipinos in poverty and unemployed. As few as 140 more or less, such rich families are said to rule the nation and to have placed and infiltrated their relatives and retainers into every corner and office of the government.
Especially in the Southern Muslim provinces the moderate Muslims want no more of dynastic rule and are in constant rebellion to establish their own more independent autonomous government . They want to rule themselves. It may be a worse rule but it will be theirs.
The Aquino government and Congress has to give it before the international extremists of radical Islam get a foothold in that region exploit the anger and try to turn it into a colony of the barbarian ISIS (Daesh).
Despite criticism the Aquino Administration for all its perceived faults and failures to eliminate corruption and poverty it has made significant gains and is likely to win the election in May this year.
In desperation a fringe group of political families and corporate interests who have been excluded from getting major contracts, business deals and juicy posts in government are turning to right wing extremism by pushing for president their unlikely candidate.
He is a city mayor that has openly admitted in public and in televised interviews to a long history of violent practices, womanizing, unfaithfulness, killing suspects, in self defense he says, supporting the assassination of those he judges to be criminals. He vows to abolish congress, become a dictator, bring back the death penalty and jail small children and youth whom he considers criminals because he will not be able to shoot them as allegedly they say he condoned in the past.
This Philippine election in May 2016 will be a contest of contending families and corporate power. They will have their front men fighting for the highest post and through them control the wealth and lives of one hundred million Filipinos.