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.

democracy_philippines_30

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.

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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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Go RICO
Guest
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 »
DFS
Guest
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 »
Cezar
Guest
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 choice..you 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..so it’s your fault and… Read more »
marius
Guest

Cezar, people might take you more seriously if you could actually construct a sentence and maintain a coherent thread of thought.

I cannot discern any actual logical point in what you just wrote. It’s a bunch of random words and phrases.

Cezar
Guest

Ahhhh Marius, thank you for bringing it up to my attention .Our constructive conversation here just got me so hyped up and excited . I was saying things as it comes to my mind not realizing that I am writing it. That there’s no end or beginning in my sentences … My apology , friend . This is an example why looking on what you saying is not the same as if your writing it. I thank you again for bringing it to my attention.

Vincent
Member
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 »
Vincent
Member

I’m sorry I didn’t mean to bold the texts of my comment.

Cezar
Guest

Thennnnn let’s vote that representative out of office next time..let them know if they don’t perform to uoour expectation we put him there we can take him out….unityyyyyyyyy my friend ..uniteeeeeeeee…

Go RICO
Guest
Vincent, In my opinion, these representatives have either failed or never intended to represent their constituents. Our votes only supported their Divine Right to Rule OVER US, not WORK FOR US. HOWEVER, Divine Right has a limited shelf life. Thirty years have passed and the Divine Ones still haven’t dealt with Political Dynasty or FOI. Senator Santiago filed 2 Bills dealing with Dynasties at the National and Local Levels, and both are pending in the Senate committee on electoral reforms and peoples’ participation since 2013. As the House and Senate are, by and large members of Political Dynasties, their inaction… Read more »
Vincent
Member
You know GO RICO, your suggestion is really great and I wish there is a way to make the Anti-Dynasty law (and other proposed bills if not all) be submitted for referendum. I can imagine the faces of these politicians if the law is finally passed. It is one way of empowering the people, hence consistent with the principle of “for the people and by the people.” But I am almost certain you can be shot before you could even make that happen. So the solution is educate the people that these representatives are accountable to them. And if the… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Thanks for the positive comments, Vincent. Actually, now that these points have been written, and are in the Public Domain,the process cannot be stopped, so killing me will be irrelevant. The idea will survive and thrive. Senator Santiago’s bills (1580 and 55) are like miniature Declarations of Independence, and comprise the basis of the Petitions for Initiative and Referendum. To be fair, IR is the only logical course. House and Senate members cannot sign these bills, as it would be seen as disloyalty to their families and their class, and no one should be forced to sign a suicide pact.… Read more »
Vincent
Member
@GO RICO: You raised an excellent point regarding people’s initiative. We cannot really expect these legislators to approve that bill not only because of disloyalty to their clan but also it would cost them their livelihood. Actually, yes it may be considered a “suicide pact” but I think they are constitutionally bound to make that happen. But then again “what are we in power for” LOL! “What constitution!” Anyway, as I’ve said, it’s an excellent point and I might do some research about that (re: breadth and scope of people’s initiative). I’m picturing that once we broke this, running for… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest

Thanks, Vincent. You’ll be surprised. The initiative is really user friendly.

The Constitution was written by and for Oligarchs, so it’s interesting they included the Dynasty language. I assume Article II Sec 26 was an exit strategy. If the peasants rose up, they just pass it and walk away.

Trust me, these Politicians have no spine. If we add a little pressure, they’ll leave quietly, and we fill the void with Nobel Men and Women. CHEERS

Go RICO
Guest
Hi, Vincent. It’s come to my attention that discussion of using Initiatives and Referendum to activate Anti-Political Dynasty or Change the Constitution has caused some concern and raised questions about my motives. Although the proposal seemed logical to me, it seems that others would prefer the status quo. I apologize if our dialogue has caused you any discomfort. Ciao
Vincent
Member

Go RICO

Whoa! Mind if I ask who raised those concerns and who’s questioning your motives? Are they one of the commentors here? (I’m sorry I’m not reading all of the comments). It seems like you touched someone’s nerve.

The proposal is logical and reasonable to me too that is why I starting Tuesday, I will be doing research on that. And if I take my masters (maybe in public admin) I might use that as my paper.

Well, I don’t think they can question a motive of an ordinary, non-partisan citizen like me.

Go RICO
Guest

Hi, Vincent. The message was indirect, cryptic but clear. As you and I know there are risks involved, including claims of liable.

Jeopardizing the established order of things can be construed as sedition, unless it is successful and transformative, then it’s revolutionary.

As I said, the initiative cannot be stopped, but we should do it outside this forum.

If your serious about a Masters THesis, the Strategic Plan is complete. CHEERS

Cezar
Guest
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 »
DFS
Guest
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
Member

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?

Vincent
Member
It’s not that, Robert. It’s about at least being heard. It’s about making the congressman’s living up to his title – representative. I am not against making RH bill a law what I am so upset about is my opinion was not made part of the approval. Who knows, maybe my opinion would strengthen the law more. Either it be approved or not, our representative should have at least met with us regarding that for consultation so that when he participates in the plenary debate at the House, at least he is speaking the words of his constituents (not just… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Vincent,
I would only be in favour of a death penalty IF:
– the judge is 100% sure that the accussed is also 100% the quilty one (now what if years later is proven somebody else committed the crime?)
You remember the case of those 7 or so boys that got arrested for raping and killing 2 sisters in Cebu? A Swedish TV network made a documentary of that case, called “Give Up Tomorrow”. That (the documentary) was and is my first experience with PH juridicial system. Frightening !!!!
– death penalty is cheaper than a life inprisonement

Vincent
Member

Well, Robert, that is another topic worth writing about would you agree?

I would love to read it from you.

Robert Haighton
Member
Vincent, I forget to mention a 3rd IF. The death penalty (DP) should be scaring possible future criminals. But if the death penalty works contra-productive then I am against (I think). I didnt make up my mind yet about this topic. On the other hand, it looks a bit barbaric and pretty final. Before I would write something about such a sensitive topic, I would would want and need to read more about it. In my country, there is no DP, the best you can get is life imprisonment. Can we connect DP with abortion and then relate it to… Read more »
Vincent
Member

Noted Robert. But out of respect for the article and it’s writer, I don’t want to discuss a topic within a topic. So, subject to the approval of benign0, I invite you to write about this.

Robert Haighton
Member

Wow, you put a lot of pressure on me. But if it needs to be done then I will pick up that glove.

Robert Haighton
Member
Vincent, “So, subject to the approval of Benign0, I invite you to write about this.” I dont think, it works that way here in GRP. You wrote a Blog/article here, so you know how you got appointed/assigned to do that. I think it needs sending an email request to Benign0, asking humbly to write an article bec the requester thinks, he/she has something to add that other writers dont have. And I even thought about doing that for months. And although I take rejections very well, I dont even think that will be the issue. I think that my Blog/article… Read more »
Vincent
Member

“To get my message across, I probably need more than one article (part 1, part 2, part 3)…” – Ok, cool. Looking forward to this, Robert.

Robert Haighton
Member
Hi Vincent, I really would like to write a GRP article about how to solve all PH problems in order to let PH get closer to a functional 1st world country. But I lack or miss some knowledge about the PH. For instance mentioning and talking about the PH educational system as part of the problem, I cant write much (except for mentioning it as part of the problem). Take Biology class. Biology is a very wide and broad subject. What I dont know is how deep it is taught in PH schools at elementary and secondary levels. So for… Read more »
andrew
Guest
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 »
44Hayden007987Toro
Guest
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 »
Presidente Emilio
Guest
Just a little correction. Feudalism in Japan was already abolished during the Meiji period, not after WW2. As for your questions, it still amaze me to this point that the hacienda system is still in existence. A formidable puzzle that all other presidents before Noynoy failed to solve, even the Americans. But the answer is simple, the Americans needed local support for it’s occupation of the Philippines, and the elite upper class, hacienderos and the Church (even though most Americans HATE Catholics) is the easiest to approach. Just imagine if the Yankees declare a radical land reform and the dismantlement… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
@Presidente Emilio, Great observations, Sir. You’re correct, Americans are occupiers, not colonizers. They establish bases to project power but try avoid messy local politics, especially land redistribution. The Oligarchs decided early on that Poverty (cheap labor) would be the product of the Philippines. No need to invest in equipment, infrastructure, research, education and certainly not Land Reform. By the time the 1987 Constitution was written, Asian power players were Singapore, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong and the cheap Labor Markets were now China, Bangladesh etc. Evidently, a deal was struck, wherein the Oligarchs could run the Government and the Industrialists… Read more »
08Hayden0007766Toro
Guest

American occupation emphasized Land Reform in Japan; that is, tenant farmers were encouraged to own the lands they tilled. along with Democratic reforms. Gen.MacArthur, was the “Blue Eyed Emperor”, while Emperor Hirohito remained a figure head, and kept his throne.

Thanks for answering my question, on our Feudalism. The Americans used the hierarchy of classes in our country, as a means to their end…

Cezar
Guest

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..

Apprentice
Guest

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

Cezar
Guest

How did Egypt changed their form of government . not once but twice , they ousted Mubarak and then they ousted the Muslim brotherhood ..their youth did it through social media. They unite and become one. Philippines can do it too through social media like this BRP. But you got to be united as one … It can be done . Democracy does not need a leader that decended from heaven… It’s here and it us…it there is unity ,that will produced good leaders..

Monakh
Guest

thats is the dream dude, the youth of our country uniting and pushing change and the betterment of our country….
sadly they’re kinda busy with their #AlDub thingy…

priorities… tsk…..

d_forsaken
Guest

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.

09Hayden0077555Toro
Guest

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

This is Aquino’s Democracy…

Go RICO
Guest
@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 »
nagtatanong_lang
Guest

anti-dynasty law…written on the 1987 constitution..with the provision that congress will be in-charge in creating the law…how funny is that? it’s like asking somebody to put a gun to their head and pull the trigger…who would want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg or the milk cow…good luck on that one..it’s been almost 30 years and nothing, nada, zilch has come out about the anti-dynasty law..can we impeach all of them in congress for violating the constitution? wish ko lang

Go RICO
Guest

@nagtatanong_lang, you’re exactly right. Prohibition of Political

Go RICO
Guest

@nagtatanong_lang, you’re exactly right. Prohibition of Political Dynasties is already in the Constitution, it just requires a “definition”.

Senator Miriam Santiago’s Legal background makes her qualified her to draft a legal definition. Congress only needs to sign it. Since Congress refuses to do their Constitutional Duty, the People (Congresses “Boss”) can do it for them, then the Law AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIES those who are members of a Dynasty.

No need to waste our time and money impeaching them, just send them home in disgrace.

george
Guest
“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
Guest

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

…..so sad

Paolo
Guest

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.

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