Before there was a President Donald Trump chanting the catchy “Make America Great Again”, our country had a Ferdinand Marcos. In his inaugural speech, he addressed the Filipino people not as groups and tribes, but as a nation under one flag, carrying their hopes for a better future. He told the people “this nation can be great again”, as he laid the foundations of what they in their generation will never enjoy but which those who succeed him can continue to nourish and pass on to their children who will then further enrich and pass on to their children. A nation once admired as the pearl of the orient, the land of the brave warriors, and the “golden neighbor” to Asia – now clinging desperately to the hope that someone can save them from themselves. This was the Philippines in the 60’s, stricken still with the poverty and lawlessness that followed the Second World War, and years of corruption that presidents before him had all sought to end.
“One of the most galling of our inherited problems is that of lawlessness. Syndicated crime has been spawned by smuggling. The democratic rule of law has lost all meaning and majesty, since all men know that public officials combine with unscrupulous businessmen to defraud government and the public – with absolute impunity. The sovereignty of the republic has never before been derided and mocked as when the lawless elements, smuggling syndicates and their protectors, disavow the power of laws and of our government over them. This is the climate for criminality. Popular faith in the government deteriorates.”
The problems that plagued our people then are reflected in the problems that we Filipinos today face. Lawlessness, Syndicated crime and the loss of meaning of democratic rule. We should then ask ourselves, who is the enemy of the people? Is it not as President Duterte puts it, the problem is us. We the people, and the many still tricked by lies told by the older generation about the history written by those who won the senseless politically fueled revolution we called the “EDSA revolution”. Dramatized and revered by people unable to see past the lies of those who colluded with the very people a man once fought against for the sake not of himself but for the betterment of his countrymen. The very crooked aided by a media with its own agenda, politicians who band together and cling to the lies they feed the nation as they themselves commit the very crimes they alleged the “enemy” had done.
“I, therefore, call upon all to join hands with me in maintaining the supremacy of the law. To those flaunt the law, I say: this is my constitutional duty and I am resolved to perform it. But it is not mine alone but yours. For whether Filipino or alien you survive under the mantle of protection granted by our laws. I am pledged to execute the law and preserve the constitution of our republic. This I shall do. And if need be I shall direct the forcible if legal elimination of all lawless elements.”
The democratic power vested unto each and every individual of the land, the right we call suffrage. We the individuals who wielded it had proven in 2016 and in 2019 that we, the people, no longer wish to be pawns in the senseless game that the “liberals” play. Yet our very countrymen who do not agree devolve into thick-headed savages frothing at the mouth claiming our president should not be president and he had been plunging us all into our own ruin. Yet the fact remains: the economy has grown stronger, crime has gone down, companies are starting to move in once again, the Philippine market that had stagnated started to move once again and we can finally re-take our seat as one of the key players in the ASEAN region.
Is it not that our people had embraced too much liberalism and privilege. Had we also been a victim of what Yuri Berznov called demoralization, is this the tool that ruined our people? Truly the cycle will continue if we people cannot become better citizens, we should not allow the continued demoralization of our people by the biased media and the misinformed youth. Can we really allow our own people to once again continue the never ending “talangka” mentality? I urge the people especially those who are still on the fence on supporting our president, use not your emotions and use logic; believe not in your feelings for they are flawed, but believe in the facts for the truth has no biases. No longer be deceived by the media who continues to spread the lies paid for by people whose interest lie solely in having power than empowering our people.
I leave to you a few lines from former President Marcos’ inauguration speech.
“This nation can be great again. This I have said over and over. It is my article of faith, and Divine Providence has willed that you and I can now translate this faith into deeds.
I have repeatedly told you: each generation writes its own history. Our forebears have written theirs. With fortitude and excellence we must write ours.
We must renew the vision of greatness for our country.”
“We must harness the wills and the hearts of all our people. We must find the secret chords which turn ordinary men into heroes, mediocre fighters into champions.
Not one hero alone do I ask from you – but many; nay all, I ask all of you to be the heroes of our nation.
Offering all our efforts to our Creator, we must drive ourselves to be great again.
This is your dream and mine. By your choice you have committed yourselves to it. Come then, let us march together towards the dream of greatness.”
May God guide our nation. And may we, the future of this country, continue to build upon what President Duterte had started for us. Otherwise, face that the cycle of mediocrity and the destruction of morality that plagues the Filipino people.