Visualizing what’s at stake

by Nina Sanchez

Here is a visualization of the Common Credo, thanks to a nifty online tool called Wordle. The Common Credo is the spirit behind Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas’ platform. (By the way, has anyone seen the other candidates’ published platforms?)

These words instantly jump out at me: People. Restored. Principles. Public. Unity. Integrity. Genuine. Freedoms. Democracy. Share. Lead. Commit. Filipino. MUST BELIEVE.

In so many words, this is what Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas represent. The transformation of a country that so desperately needs it.

The government of our country is among the most corrupt in the world. It is so corrupt we’ve recently been denied development aid on that basis. Yet government continues to enrich themselves, completely out of touch with reality. On the ground, our literacy rate is plummeting, there is not enough food to feed our ever-expanding population. There are not enough educational, health and basic services to cover our citizens. Yet the world goes on, our neighbors stabilizing and surpassing our achievements.

Why have we been left behind?

This is where we find ourselves today. We are reeling from a massacre, the fear of Martial Law, impunity, ignominy. To put it plainly but crudely, Ginahasa na tayo ng ating gobyerno.

It is against this backdrop that I think we need to put this coming election in perspective. This is what’s at stake: deliverance from our perpetual state of calamity, our children, our future, our pride as a nation, our dignity as a people.

So the question this election will be: Who will lead us in the direction we want to go? Shall we sink into the status quo – kasi ganoon talaga ang buhay at walang magagawa – or shall we fight this fatalism and believe na may magagawa, at kayang gumawa? Shall we succumb to inaction, or shall we move forward?

So you see, dear cynics, this election is about running against the incumbent and all she represents, in all her myriad forms — be it a congresswoman or the force behind a would-be interim president, whoever that may be.

Amidst all of this, there is one certainty: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is afraid not of Heaven, Hell or eternal damnation. But she is afraid of Noynoy Aquino.

She is afraid of him for his unshakeable foundations and firm conviction that this country belongs to the people, that government is a service to the public, and no amount of wealth or power will stop him from forcing her to face the people and account for her sins. She will be held liable for the rape of a nation.

This election is not about the presidency. This election is about FIGHTING BACK. It is about putting our foot down. It’s about reenergizing our participation in this democracy. It is about reclaiming what is ours: our democracy, our country.

It is about righting what’s wrong: Tanggalin and tiwali. Itama ang mali.

Halalan 2010 may simply a battle in this fight, but it will be crucial that the People win this.

And how. The public must unite under a genuine and shared commitment to restore principles, democracy, freedoms, integrity. And he who leads must believe in the Filipino. And the Filipino, above all, must believe.

It starts with us.

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