What kind of Opposition do Filipinos need? Should it be a party or “coalition” that claims to be “pro-democracy” and — wait for it — “pro-people”? Perhaps. But, see, Filipinos have heard all that before. The inevitable question then follows: So what else is new?
What else is new?
Isn’t there anything else an Opposition can shriek about beyond being “anti-tyranny” and “for the people”. Isn’t there anything that “activists” can “fight” for other than the “oppression” they keep leading Filipinos to believe they are “victims” of?
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Filipinos deserve better than this. They want to be shown a path forward and not be constantly nagged about what they should not be. The way forward should be toward an aspired for or envisioned state. Unfortunately all the Opposition can offer Filipinos today is a path away from a feared past. The tired old overused rhetoric of the Liberal Party for example is all about reminding us of “the Martial Law Years” and how anyone or anything they supposedly “dissent” against are part of an axis of “sinister forces” that conspire to drag Filipinos back to those “dark” years.
It’s all so old hat and comes across like an annoying broken record. The Opposition led by the Yellowtards (the bloc — primarily members of the Liberal Party — rabidly loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan) make as if the Philippines is not a democracy and that they alone could restore it. In asserting this, they do no more than insult the intelligence of Filipinos.
Try as the usual cast of characters might to rebrand their camp as a “genuine” or “unified” opposition, they will fail to win back the confidence of the Filipino people unless they can show some semblance of a vision. What is their vision of the Philippines in 2028 if given the chance to take the reigns of power from 2022? “Pro-democracy” or “pro-people” are not vision statements. They are mere platitudes — dishonest ones, in fact, coming from the crooked mouths of traditional politicians.
A modern and intelligent Opposition will possess the courage to table a bold vision for the nation, the foresight to chart a hard path to get there, and the charisma to take Filipinos on that journey down that path. While there are lots of lessons to learn from the past, Filipinos should quit defining themselves by a history written to suit one party’s dishonest political agenda. Progress can only be sustained when eyes are focused on the future — even an uncertain one. The government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys the trust of the Filipino people and if the Opposition want to win that trust back, they need to propose real alternatives, not merely raise old and irrelevant fears as had become their habit.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.