What the head thinks, feels and wants, all the limbs follow suit. The limbs are the agents of the head. Head plus limbs are one in action and reaction. The integrity of the head is what brings integrity to the limbs. The corruption of the head infallibly corrupts the limbs.
That is why removing the head but letting the limbs stay is but allowing the limbs to simply grow another head among themselves. The same is true with the tree. Cut but the tree and the roots simply grow another tree again. And the tree that grows is again healthy or sick, straight or crooked as the previous one was.
Perhaps this was the fundamental mistake of EDSA 1 and EDSA 2. Both of them did away with the heads. But both of them as well left their respective limbs alive and well. That is why both of them are ultimately deemed as failures because the country is back to square one if not worse than before. And this is why EDSA 3 seems a remote possibility. Twice it was done and twice it did not really change the quality of Philippine governance.
This is what could be wrong with the present socio-political situation when there are again agitations to remove the head of the national government. And these moves by many sectors of Philippine society might only once again prove to be a big disappointment in the long run. Once the focal target is the head, its limbs could again be left in place, untouched, unremoved.
It might be good for those agitating for reforms, for a change of the form of government, inclusive of the change of its head, to consider the truth that removing merely the leader without getting rid of its avid followers would not amount too much. It could be once again a vicious circle from one bad government to another—if not worse.
Something is altogether clean or it remains dirty still. House cleaning means the whole house—not only a part thereof, not even only its roofing.
EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 are historical events that provide a historical lesson as well. A leadership has its in-and-out of house constituency that thinks and acts alike as the former. This group of people constitutes its alter-ego. For a real cleansing of governance through a change in leadership, not only the “ego” has to go but the “alter” as well. Then can a brand new government have a chance to come about.
17 November 2005