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"Consent to be governed"
17 Oct 2005

[Commented on the PCIJ Blog article "Addressing the terrorism threat - 2"]

"Realize that the reason we do not see People Power is because it is already so BIG and all around us, we don’t even notice it. We do not see the people’s rage in the streets, because already in their hearts they have withdrawn their consent to be governed. That is the real people power . . . here at PCIJ and the blogosphere, we are connected to an even greater People Power, the power of a global human republic, a global civil society to overthrow the ancien regimes of tyranny and stupidity.”

Dean Jorge Bocobo

I beg to to differ a bit with the statement that Filipinos have RECENTLY (i.e. in light of the GMA scandal) withdrawn their consent to be governed. This statement implies that it is only in light of recent circumstances that this consent had been withdrawn.

I make a more expansive assertion that Pinoys have NEVER given consent to be governed to ANY government in the first place. This has been plain as day since time immemorial. You see this in our hat's off compliance to American rules whenever we gallivant in Subic -- it goes beyond compliance, Pinoys are at AWE with Anmerican rules and have always relished being subject to it. Compare that to how foolish the average Pinoy feels when he finds himself being the odd-man-out when attempting to pay the right taxes, keep to his own lanes in traffic, and be a bit more serious in considering who to vote for ("doon na lang tayo, may pa-lamon!").

It further explains why we are a chaotic lot in our own country but an orderly and superbly-assimilated community overseas.

What we perceive today as a recent "withdrawal of consent to be governed" is just a STEPPING UP of what has always been the norm; the ambient PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE approach to being a citizen of the Philippines. Someone once said recently that "we do not need heroes, only people doing their jobs". In the Philippines, nobody does their jobs PROPERLY. Pinoys always look to heroes to get the job done, precisely because we are a society where ORDINARY jobs are not done properly.

And now we presume to "withdraw our consent to be governed"?

That is a laugh to say the least.

We have no consent to withdraw because we never gave it in the first place. We are just a collection of pre-colonial tribes shoehorned into a nation called "the Philippines". There is no *kusang loob* to be a law-abiding citizen. With banal impunity, taxes are evaded, traffic rules are ignored, and idiots are elected to office (demonstrating our collective flippant attitude towards the long-term welfare of the state).

In fact, I go further to say that Philippien society has a culture of crime (which I articulate in detail in the following article):

[Filipino Culture of Crime]

If there is rage in the streets, it is too much too late, and MISDIRECTED. Our rage is always released in explosions rather than in controlled environments where the energy could be used productively (kind of like the difference between a nuclear bomb and a nuclear power plant). The rage is always there and the lack of consent to be governed HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE. We are just too blinkered to notice it in ourselves. Now we have managed to pervert even Corysian People Power so we resort to using poetry to turn it into something else.

Now THAT is pathetic. :D

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