In the face of all that is happening in the home country at this time, one group of people is clearly at the receiving end.
As a group, they have gone kaput. Destroyed. Incapacitated. Impotent.
We must name them—in order to journey with them in these most difficult and trying times.
In journeying with them, we offer our understanding of what has befallen us as a people betrayed by those who ought to have brought us to greater heights.
No one among them is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
No one among them is Cory Aquino.
No one among them is a member of the opposition representing the left, the left of center, the center, the right, and the ultra right.
No one among them is a beneficiary of the excesses of the previous regimes starting with Marcos and ending with Arroyo.
No one among them is a member of the Hyatt 10 that deserted the presidency at the time that the country needed guidance from its leaders.
In the face of all the noise, the commotion, and the opportunism—in the face of all that render us helpless, useless, and hopeless—our people are at the receiving end.
They are our suffering masses—their suffering not exactly self-authored but imposed by the unjust social structures that make it possible for the ruling elite class to continually rule over us.
No, they do not need mercy.
No, they do not need the kindness of strangers—the ruling elite class included.
Our people need a genuine democracy—one that is able to translate into action what social justice is.
The translation is so simple we cannot miss it: land and all the resources that assure them of a good and decent life; the liberty to enjoy the fruits of citizenship; jobs that guarantee them their right to dream on; the freedom to pursue their grand dreams; and the food to sustain their dreaming of their grand dreams.
During the past weeks, we witnessed the confusion and chaos from all the sides of the political spectrum, with Cory Aquino now lending a hand in the call for Arroyo to resign. Already, she had shared a stage in that armlock—or kapit-bisig—method to show to the public of her indignation at the way Arroyo is holding on to power.
With Aquino, though, in this struggle to force Arroyo to resign are other characters whose interests did not have much commonality with the interest of big landowners, hacienderos, the old political gentry, the economic elites, and the leaders belonging to the nationalist ideological movements.
While the bickering goes on, the lowly suffering masses continue to wallow in poverty.
The suffering masses will suffer some more unless we do not provide a let-up to all that is happening that had, in the last weeks, succeeded in dividing the nation.
When the ruling class is divided, they push the suffering masses to the ground; when they are united, they push the suffering masses to the ground as well. There is a grand conspiracy here that we must unmask.
We the suffering masses take to the streets to fight our basic democratic freedoms but we install a member of the callous elite class to lead us, our social problem remains the same.
Published, Weekly Inquirer, V1N12, Sept 15-21, 2005