Following the big hype leading to Sunday’s “prayer rally” instigated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the pathetic turnout observed over the course of this little powow, the usual question comes up: What’s next?
Evidently this is something that, yet again, wasn’t carefully thought through. Then again, not much thinking is really required as input into an event that, by design, really serves no purpose other than to be an emotional crutch for a clueless and directionless Philippine Opposition. Prayer, after all, has never been a reliable indicator of the existence of results somewhere in the horizon.
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To begin with, what little results came out of this little circus did not even match the promises made by the CBCP of “no politics” and “just prayer”. The “prayer rally” did not look like a non-partisan event in any shape or form and, instead of delivering on its objective of fostering a community focused on “healing” the Philippines, instead, even more starkly highlighted its divisions. This was evident in all the flag waving by one or another “activist” group or another. The stain of Yellow remained despite noticeable effort to avoid the colour altogether — sort of like the way liars avoid eye contact when spoken to. Indeed, the fact that this “rally” was organised on EDSA and around the EDSA Shrine (hallowed grounds for Yellowtard die-hards) pretty much undid all efforts to paint a non-Yellow colour on this affair.
The rally, instead, further widened the divide between pro-Duterte and Yellowtard partisans. By organising this spectacle, the CBCP effectively added further damage to the already fractured society that is the Philippines. In short, the fundamental issue underlying the decreasing relevance of street parliamentarianism is the presence of a medieval organisation such as the CBCP. As such, the solution is obvious: the CBCP needs to butt out of Philippine politics.
It may be too much to ask of the Philippines’ evidently intellectually-bankrupt Opposition but what they really need to do to shore up their credibility and rebuild their shattered brand is to ditch their partnership with the CBCP and start to build a more coherent platform on the back of a clear and compelling vision for the Filipino people. Part of the reason that the Opposition and the Yellowtard honchos that lead it keep chasing their tails just to keep their pointed heads on top of the discourse is because of inconsistency.
At the heart of the conflicted and confused thinking that the CBCP contributes to the Opposition agenda is the very nature of this organisation being a total antithesis of modern liberal democracy (a fact explored in detail in a previous article “The Philippines’ real tyrants are the Catholic Bishops, NOT its ELECTED officials”). Thus it would only be fitting for an Opposition that claims to represent the voice of “decent” Filipinos and is led by the so-called Liberal Party (LP) of the Philippines to re-evaluate its relationship with a deeply-medieval organisation such as the CBCP.
It is easy to understand why such a sensibile course of action could prove to be difficult for the LP. For one thing, the CBCP and the Yellowtards go way back to the mid-1980s, back when the word of the Catholic clergy enjoyed undisputed ascendancy thanks to Filipinos at the time not knowing any better. Back then, many believed that the 1986 “revolution” would not have been successful without the firm backing of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin. Times and thinking may have changed, yet, to this day, the CBCP maintains that “divine intervention” accounted for much of the success of the EDSA “revolution”…
For [Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas], the story of the EDSA People Power Revolution cannot be separated from Filipino religiosity.
“You must understand that I’m a priest and because I am a priest, I have a bias. We cannot tell the story of EDSA separated from God. We cannot tell the story of EDSA separate from Filipino religiosity. We cannot tell the story of EDSA separated from Cardinal Sin. The images of Our Lady of Fatima were all over EDSA. The nuns stopped the tanks with their bare hands, and we put the flowers coming from Our Lady of La Naval into the muzzles of the guns and the tanks. This is Filipino religiosity, and you would not be able to understand the story of EDSA if you separate it from Filipino piety, Filipino religiosity, and even from the Catholic faith,” he said.
He added that the youth should learn the lessons of EDSA, especially devotion for both God and country.
In short, if we are to believe the CBCP, the Catholic Church and Catholic Filipinos form the single biggest bloc that accounts for the success of the EDSA “revolution”. That is certainly not in the spirit of “inclusiveness” that modern liberals espouse — specially amongst Western circles to which Filipino liberals blindly defer to for ideological validation. Perhaps in 21st Century Philippines, a bit more Filipinos know better and are better-equipped to explore alternative points of view. This highlights the damage that the toxic marriage of the Yellowtards to the CBCP does to the Opposition cause. They are preaching “democracy” under the guidance and within the embrace of a medieval oligarchy that is primitivist at its core.
This is clearly an irrecocilable difference that the Opposition cannot seem to come to terms with as evident in their continued coziness with this creepy CBCP embrace. Again, the solution is obvious. Time to consider a divorce.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.