Is The Philippines A Democratic Nation?

After Vincent here asked about whether or not the Philippines is a Catholic country, here’s another question I’d like to ask our supposedly “democratic” nation:

Are we really a democracy?

Well, we like to claim that we are. Given that we take a lot of cues from Big Brother America, we try our best to espouse the brand of freedom and justice Americans like to talk about. Unfortunately, over the years, it seems more like we’re simply trying to keep up appearances rather than fully realizing what it means to be “democratic”. Again, much like with our alleged “Catholicism”, we only understand the superficial aspects of democracy and not its true meaning and spirit.


I have always thought that the true essence of freedom is having the freedom to choose but also having ample knowledge of what every choice entails. In essence, going back to some of my earliest articles, freedom isn’t just a right but essentially a responsibility. After all, when we vote, we’re not just picking someone we like or someone who can give us freebies, we’re essentially selecting a person whom we believe will lead the country to safety and progress. Unfortunately, with the way things are today, this can’t be any further away from what’s happening.

Allow me to expound:

The Dominance Of Political Dynasties

Well, one of the reasons the Founding Fathers of the United States espoused democracy is because they wanted to do away with all the troubles of royalty and nobility. Even George Washington himself turned down the opportunity to become king as he would just become another “King George”. But while we may take cues from the Americans when it comes to our brand of democracy, one can note that our elections are driven by a feudal mindset and not a democratic one.

Note how some of us almost yearn for a “royal family” as ChinoF here states in his article. Note how some of us choose to vote for the same scoundrels and their family members into office because we essentially see them the same way as medieval peasants see their feudal lords. We see our politicians not as leaders chosen by the people for the people but as near god-like beings even though they don’t have any real leadership qualities at all.

The Overuse Of Religious Dogma

While I myself hold religious views, I find it outright preposterous how many politicians and their supporters like to use the name of God to justify both their questionable position and their incompetence. They rant on and on with phrases like “I was chosen by God” or “He was chosen by God” as a viable explanation for how politicians get into a position they are clearly not qualified for. Few of them bother to remember that said politicians are chosen by popular vote and not because some deity thought that they should run the country.

Which brings us to the next question: Which “god” are we even talking about here?

I know we’re a predominantly Catholic country but don’t you think we should also pay respect for our non-Catholic countrymen? What about the Protestants and Muslims we share our country with? Don’t they get a say in who gets to become our leader?

There is a supposedly clear division between church and state.

I wonder where it went.


Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance...

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52 Comments on "Is The Philippines A Democratic Nation?"

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GREAT ARTICLE, Grimwald. Like you, I’ve been around and lived in several countries, and I have found Philippines is purest example of a Constitutional Oligarchy. While it is a democracy in that voters get to choose, the Political Dynasties limit the choices to “Oligarch A or Oligarch B”. Article II, Section 26 has been waiting to be defined by legislators for 30 years, but any 18 year old student could define it instantly in 20 words or less. Terrorists also justify their atrocities and crimes by claiming to be chosen or appointed by GOD. While beheading and kidnaping are different… Read more »
NO, the country is a ‘Klepto-cracy’. It has the illusion of a democratic election process but the elections are rigged by multiple atrocities: there are the ‘Smart-matic’ machines that can be rigged as the source code is controlled by unscrupulous entities and flash cards can virtually disappear or be created as needed to effect the desired results.Votes are literally purchased at the polling sites. The agency that sets the elections up,the ‘COMELEC’ is one of the most crooked beauacratic institutions in the world.’Democracy’ ,please…the notion that it applies to this trainwreck of a country is laughable. The wages in the… Read more »
Go Rico, I totally dis agree .for your answere is no…what is a democracy????freedom to choose….not dictated or force into….am I right!!!!!!so therefore the Filipinos choose who ever they want to vote….majority wins…and they also chose their religion what ever it maybe..Democracyyy is you has a freedom of choose your destiny …nobody else but YOUUUU…the Filipinos are in their current situation righg now because they chose it…unlike Marcos era..nobody has a choice but dictated to them…Do not blame your choice if it did not come out the way you wanted it to be…you chose it’s your fault and… Read more »
If I may add (again) a third point: Does our representatives really represent us?” Isn’t that the president delivers his/her SONA at the House of REPRESENTATIVES because he/she is reporting symbolically to the people? However, do they truly reflect the needs and demands of their constituents? When was the last time your congressman (aka representative) gathered you and your neighbors to discuss and consult some urgent legislative matter? Example, I wanted to talk to my congressman regarding RH bill but, lo and behold, I suddenly heard that RH bill is now a law. Deep inside I was screaming “I wasn’t… Read more »
And for DFS,,, you are right until the new and good leader comes ,,Philippines will not change..and my friend who that maybe…you think God will provide somewhere somehow ..he will make miracles and Jose rival…or Gen.Emilio Aguinaldo’s patriotic leaders will all of a sudden will decent from heaven and take the lead .and be like the era before. Who among Filipinos will sacrifice his life, his family , and everything he got for the sake of the many….and none for his self ….My friends we are here in America..even Filipinos in America will not do that…for I don’t see that… Read more »
It is seeing the Philippines in the context of a democracy that is one of the biggest problems hindering any furtherance of the relief of the plight of the people. When viewed from the context that the democratic process actually exists, when it most obviously does not, is what leads to this myopic vision of what is going on in the country, how it can be remedied and the process by which it may be accomplished. Seeing what is going on, as it actually exists is could lead to a paradigm that MIGHT effect a way to deal with what… Read more »
Robert Haighton

Calm down Vincent.

You were probably against the RH bill/law from the start. Now, I will tell you a secret about the RH law. Yes, a secret from foreigner. The RH law will not gonna work. So pls come down about that. The PH population will NOT shrink. Happy now? Or are you bothered about something else re the RH bill/law? You are not afraid that people now finally will understand how their bodies work (biologically), do you?

Our government tries to apply the western democracy (USA) but continues to fail. why is it that we are failing? we(GRP) know what democracy is and how to handle it responsibly but most (majority) don’t. let me borrow Efren Padilla’s words about our version of American Democracy and I agree with him 100%: “For me this question is an instructive reflection on how our democratic version was constructed as a copy. As a copy, it is not just a copy but also a poor copy of the original. Our version is at least four-times removed from its source – the… Read more »
The Philippines remains a Feudal Oligarchy, after many centuries of Spanish rule. Our political leaders, are mostly “Hacienderos”…they own lots and lots of lands. The Roman Catholic Church, owns a lot of Friar Lands…Peasants till these lands for them. The Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita is the best example. The owner of this wide tract of lands, with hundreds of tenants, tilling them, is Aquino. Why did the Americans did not implement Land Reform Program? This, I don’t know. The Americans implemented Land Reform Program in Japan, during their occupation. It is because, the Feudal Lords of Japan, were the ones who… Read more »

Now is what’s important Not before or the past .. Do we have a choice of what we do now???? If your answere is yes .. Then we are democratic, does majority wins and accepted ?? Not so sure about that .. Wins yes but accepted my answere is No.. So therefore what form of government we have???? It’s is in our hands how we want it..


So who wants to carry the burden of leading the country?


Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.


Democracy (Democrazy) in our country is “FOOL” the people; “OFF” the people ;and “BUY” the people.

This is Aquino’s Democracy…

@SAMMY and @Cezar. Gentlemen, you both seem to know what you want to accomplish and are both committed, and I admire that, greatly. However, Egypt is a poor comparison to our issues in the Philippines. Mubarak was created by the CIA and he served a useful purpose and helped to keep relative peace. Middle East Cultures respond to authoritarian rule, and implode and fail quickly when the authority is gone. They do best under a Constitutional Monarchy (Jordan).Egypt will figure it out, but organized self rule is beyond them. The killing began when the Brotherhood came to power, as they… Read more »
“Well, one of the reasons the Founding Fathers of the United States espoused democracy is because they wanted to do away with all the troubles of royalty and nobility.” Actually that was the French revolution, The first American civil war was more about representation of an elite , if Britain had made them MP’s then there would have been no civil war. I use that term as brother fought against brother in the so called war of independence. They had no conception of freedom for all at that time. Remember democracy is a strange animal, both Hitler and Marcos were… Read more »
ice cube

Things that definitively establish that Philippines is not a democracy and ruled by oligarchs:

1. As mentioned above, the failure to pass an anti-dynasty law.

2. The repeated failure of providing for a concrete and fair process to make the people’s initiative method of making laws workable. (the oligarchs are very afraid of this-remember the anti-pork barrel initiative)

3. Continuing to disburse pork barrel funds only under another name.

4. monopolies, monopolies, monopolies

… sad


I was wondering how much you think our democratic deficit has to do with our pre-hispanic set-up of datus and oripuns? I cannot help but think we still have these mindsets.