The true meaning of People Power

by Mark Anthony D. Malcampo,
Paranaque City

Thanks to the democracy that Ninoy died for and Cory nurtured, we have a chance in 2010 to elect a leader to clean up the mess that our current administration brought us into. Nobody except Noy represents a legacy and platform of hope, optimism and change. I am for Noy because he embodies our nation’s collective aspirations for a clean and honest government.

I was born in 1985, a year before EDSA I. I have only read, watched, or listened to stories of those who faced the tanks with flowers and sandwiches – ordinary people who bravely defied a tyrannical regime. All I knew was that we owe the democracy we were enjoying to those people. I took it for granted and I never knew what the Spirit of EDSA was.

In 2001, it seemed that history gave me an opportunity to know what that spirit was. I was in EDSA II. I went there not because I was curious; I joined the revolution because I believed in it. I believed then as I do now that a government should never lose the trust of those who elected them into power. By the time it was over, I thought I knew what the Spirit of EDSA was. I was wrong.

It took some time but I later realized that the Spirit of EDSA is not an eidolon — an idealization — summoned for a one-week affair, reserved when we are so disenchanted with whichever administration. It is instead our everyday desire to do good to ourselves, our communities, and our country. That spirit pushed me to do better in school and graduate with honors. That same spirit is what keeps our yuppies, OFW’s and all other workers push their limits. That same spirit is what makes people lend a hand and volunteer to pack relief goods when disasters strike or build houses with Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity.

Sadly, this is the same spirit that most of our leaders have forgotten. The person currently occupying the Palace has made a mockery of the institutions we have tried so hard building. This government actively tried to take our freedom away in the guise of a “State of Emergency” in 2006. It also tried to take our right to a transparent government through E.O. 464. (See editor’s note). This is on top of forced disappearances of critics and detaining members of the press. I could go on but I am sure most of you already know and have seen on TV what I am talking about.

She took the reins from a plunderer, yet she has been embroiled in corruption herself. Now worse, there are even candidates who dare run for president in spite of having corruption scandals or unscrupulous patrons themselves. I would not want six more years of the same politicians pretending to care about us but are only there to perpetuate themselves into power.

I now know that freedom and democracy is something to be continuously guarded and fought for. Moreover, this threat to our freedom and democracy makes it more important for us not only to vote for but also actively campaign for clean and honest leaders personified by Noy and Mar. Skeptics may tell me that I’m too idealistic and that I should just give up. I won’t give up. Hindi ako nag-iisa. Hindi tayo nag-iisa. Tuloy ang laban!


*Editor’s note: We looked for E0 464, which limits freedom of assembly, on the government website. The government is obliged to publish these documents publicly. It is unavailable. So is the government’s online record of Proclamation 1017, which enabled the declaration of the 2006 State of Emergency. View the full text of E.0 464 and Proclamation 1017 in the non-profit website LawPhil.)


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    mo said,

    Presidential wannabe Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino must face squarely the valid issues involving his family’s Hacienda Luisita estate, including the recently bared benefits it derived from an overpriced P33-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), including as well the P80 million direct cash right of way (RoW) payment from the government and a P170 million private interchange which appeared to have been built for the Cojuangco property.

    With the gross plunder that the nation has been through under the almost nine years of misgovernment of Gloria, Filipinos are expecting the next president to clean up her mess, which can only be achieved by one most perceived to have the ability to resist the temptations that go with the position.

    Resisting temptations is an important factor in a presidential equation, considering that Aquino and his elite Yellow supporters continue to claim that their candidate is honest and has integrity, which they say are all that matters in a presidential candidate.

    No stain of corruption? But Noynoy hasn’t been in the top post, for him to be stained with graft of the Gloria magnitude, although if, as stated in reports, he personally lobbied for that overpriced SCTEX and the private interchange as well as the overpriced RoW, plus giving the shareholder workers a mere pittance as their share of the RoW payment, what would the Yellows call this? Honesty? Integrity? Delicadeza-filled? No personal or selfish interest involved? Clean transactions? Transparency? Full disclosure?

    In a similar way that another presidential hopeful, Manuel Villar is facing his colleagues in the Senate to clear up the P200-million double-insertion mess in the C-5 road project, Noynoy should be able to face up to demands for public scrutiny, particularly since he is being projected to be the civil socialites’ clean government bet.

    Based on an ongoing probe of the SCTEX project, it was found that the government paid the Cojuangcos P80 million to have the interchange, that could have been the family’s own, since it linked Hacienda Luisita to the expressway, built over their property.

    The question on propriety does not stop there, as a potential leader of the land Noynoy should have been expected to have looked into the whole project that seems all too ready to splurge to have it completed.

    Based on the House probe, the project was overpriced by P12 billion as a result of supposed alterations or more likely accommodations, such as the Hacienda Luisita private interchange.

    Legislators are also looking into the possibility that both the interchange and the RoW payments to Noynoy’s family were both obscenely overpriced.

    Cavite Rep. Crispin Remulla said the Cojuangcos were paid nearly P100 per square meter when the prevailing market price for land in the area cannot be over P10 per square meter, or a 900 percent overprice.

    An opprobrious part of the story is that the Cojuangcos may not have even shared the bounty with their farm hands who supposedly owned 32.5 percent of the Hacienda which was turned into a corporate land to evade appropriation under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law — and after Cory Aquino, then the sole law and government, exempted her Hacienda from the CARL.

    The abuse of tillers in the property is well documented despite Noynoy’s allegations that the accusations are all black propaganda and politics, including the so-called Hacienda Luisita Massacre that happened five years ago.

    Noynoy is being packaged as a Cory Cojuangco and Ninoy Aquino all rolled into one and is the savior in waiting for the country despite his having no defining accomplishment during his years as a congressman and as a senator.

    How he confronts the issues on Hacienda Luisita will give the nation a good measure of Noynoy’s capability to lead and unite.

    Brushing the issues off as part of political mudslinging going into the elections will not wash.

    The nation had had enough of an opaque presidency in which allegations of misrule and abuse are dismissed with a wave of a hand as part of destructive politicking.

    Noynoy is following a similar path on the Hacienda Luisita issue starting with the abuse of farmers working for the Cojuangcos for generations.

    To say that his actions on the Hacienda mirror a Noynoy presidency is belaboring the point.

    • 2

      noypipol said,

      Hello Sir,

      You are allowed to say whatever you want, and leave however many comments you want, but please do not flood our pages with the exact same long message. We do not tolerate black propaganda.

      If you are to make factual claims, please research your facts first. Thanks and may God bless your conscience.

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