by Mark Anthony D. Malcampo,
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.)