The day was worth celebrating for three signal reasons. There is the obvious and standing significance of the life, writing and death of Dr. Jose Rizal a well known and much revered national hero. Then there was still lingering public euphoria of a genuine 2001 people power the second time around, and finally, people heard these much admirable words from the successor of the previous president: “I expect to see the cleanest and most orderly elections at the end of my term” in 2004.
The applause and admiration of the general public in hearing the formal and expressed pronouncement of the successor strongly forwarded a clear triple message: first, the 2001 people power was meant to unseat the former president, not really intended to install the vice president into the presidential office. Second, they thus welcomed the latter’s intended exit from office by 2004. Third, they eagerly awaited the legacy of a much needed electoral reform the country.
But lo and behold, the Rizal Day 2002 statement proved to be a big lie, a good double talk, a deceiving patriotism. A short time thereafter, the successor made a complete about-face and pursued the office of the president to win the 2004 elections and the results deserve mention in Philippine history.
· The 2004 elections have remained the stigma of Philippine democracy. The Electoral process then was anything but credible and acceptable.
· The Garci tapes brought about an electoral sham and left indelible shame to the supposedly honorable and credible highest office in the land.
· The May 2007 elections were anything but the “cleanest and most orderly” in terms of the Bedol Phenomenon as a worthy legacy of the “hello garci” tapes.
Thus it is that in the May 2007 midterm elections, the big and deep pockets of the politicians funded their trapo interests with much liberality. Vote buying was institutionalized, killing of people and destruction of properties became electoral accompaniments. Not only the police but the military forces as well took part in the electoral process and the electoral debacle in the south with exactly the same 2004 dubious characters, once again became reality.
A country that is godly does not deserve such a distrusted and disrespected government. A citizenry that is by and large loving and neighborly has claim to a national leadership with upright value system. Something has to change—somehow, sometime.
6 July 2007