CHASING AN ELUSIVE DREAM
The world is in search of a veritable leader who shares the dream of seeing a nation transformed.
The recently concluded Philippine election was the most divisive, complex and rude. This early, the nation is seeing a new leadership – uncouth, hands-on, and decisive, versus the old leadership – decent, hands-off and discerning. It is safe to say that both have love of country. I find the uncouth very open to the point of proclaiming boldly his readiness to die for country and people. The decent appears distant from the needs of a people crying for attention. Both are stubborn.
For the first time in Philippine politics, we have seen a candidate unabashedly, not apologetic at all in attacking, even cursing a traditionally revered institution, the Catholic Church. He even cursed, and then apologized, a globally revered person in Pope Francis for causing heavy traffic in Manila. His indecent but applauded campaign lines catered to an angry, confused electorate, desperate and impatient for TRUE CHANGE.
Surprisingly, quite a large number of voters, poor and non-poor, decent and indecent, enjoyed his antics. What appeared to be decent then has become indecent and is now becoming an acceptable norm. Heavy traffic, uncontrolled criminality and proliferation of illegal drugs were artefacts of the administration’s indecisiveness and ineptness. They pictured an oligarchic government whose control and influence had become an indecent class of democracy by a privileged, elitist cadre.
Die if he must, or kill all criminals and the corrupt without due process was his campaign battlecry to end all these. Rodrigo R. Duterte gained the highest votes of 39.1 percent, enough to win the presidency. That was a loud protest vote, a wake-up call to all Filipinos. The new President has become a phenomenon for Filipinos in search of a veritable leader.
I thought change in our country had begun. “Daang Matuwid,” the sequel campaign line to “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” – dicta that had won local and global admiration and respect began to get mocked by critics. For the first time in our political life these dicta yielded positive results!
Obviously, they were not enough. They needed to be enhanced! The much-celebrated GDP growth, for example, was not at all inclusive. It was a jobless growth. Despite the much-vaunted CCT program, the number of our poor continues to grow!
Support to these dicta was weakened by a divided 60.9 percent electorate to stop a strong, united 39.1 percent vote for the uncouth. Truly, there is a need to enhance all the good that we saw in the old leadership. Hence, President Duterte’s group’s slogan is: TRUE CHANGE IS COMING!
Almost three months after the new President was installed, his trust rating was outstanding at 91 percent! But the euphoria has come too early. While there is vast approval to eradicate criminality, mainly the menace of illegal drugs, the approach is generally seen as dehumanizing. Think about it, Duterte’s shoot-on-sight order builds a culture of criminality. Some who voted for him were sorry they did; others who did not vote for him are now glad. This is the sharp contrast between the new and the old leadership. The nation remains divided. The search for a veritable leader to bring TRUE CHANGE remains.
Times have really changed! We all yearn for change – a change for the best, not just the better. We want a combined best from both PNoy and Digong’s brand of leadership – discerningly humane and decisive.
Politics, beliefs, principles, views – all have changed harshly over the years! What were indecent and unacceptable before are now getting to be acceptable!
I just watched the movie Ignatius de Loyola and this dialogue caught my attention: “The world is changing, Iñigo. Maybe it’s time for a new dream.” Inigo was “raised in a family culture of high Catholic piety but lax morals.” He was a man of courage. With a tiny band of Spanish soldiers, he stood his ground against the attack of a large French army. When a French cannon ball shattered his leg, this led him to a life of solitude, exalting his personal dreams and yearnings in life – but ending in desperation. In his search for the true meaning of life, he was led to read the life of Christ and the saints. This impelled him to a newfound life to belong with and serve the poor.
Unschooled in theology, but passionate in sharing his spirituality, Ignatius de Loyola was accused of being an ILLUMINATI and jailed. However, he stood his ground as an authentic follower of Christ. He was freed based on the testimonials of the numerous poor he had served. If it is true that the Vatican and the United Nations are already infiltrated by ILLUMINATI, are we not far from being infiltrated as well?
We too must stand our ground and not succumb to the ILLUMINATI’s secret campaign or to a similarly veiled campaign by others to see a nation, like ours, transformed based on human values.
The short and simple story about Christ’s willingness to suffer for others, even to the point of death – all in complete obedience to God’s WILL – encapsulates HIS way of life. Modeling on this life is humanity’s only guarantee to see a nation transformed!
Combining PNoy’s and Digong’s best to effect TRUE CHANGE will not be enough. Humans as we all are, there will always be a void in our best. Let us hope and pray that President Duterte will remain open to be transformed in his ways of governance driven by the ways of Christ alone.
Lest we be easily lulled into the belief that WAR ON DRUGS can only be solved the Duterte way, we must remember that the best way still is GOD’s way.
Killings must be confined only to those who have no respect for human life. Extrajudicial killings MUST STOP! Chasing the elusive dream to see a nation transformed will be a long journey. But with GOD, nothing is impossible.
RUBEN C. DE LARA is founder and president of (SHED) Serving Humanity through Empowerment and Development, Inc. His advocacy is to see a nation transformed to make possible the ambitious dream of ending poverty and all forms of abuses.