(Signs of Hope in Philippine Politics)
Hereto before, the above-mentioned 1997 CBCP Pastoral Exhortation dwelt on “The Political Scene” then obtaining the country. This was followed by the consequent “Political Culture” precisely brought about by politics in the Philippines. Lastly, it is both consoling and inspiring that the same Exhortation ended with something positive, viz., “The Signs of Hope.”
Signs of Hope
The CBCP, not giving up to the disheartening factors then brought about by Philippine politics, called attention to the following significant socio-political events and development that still bring hope to the Filipinos:
1. 1978: The national elections half precisely during the Martial Law Regime, proved to be a shinning moment for the people of the Philippines.
2. 1984 and 1986: Volunteer citizen groups safeguarded the ballots against a seemingly invincible government “EDSA” became their word of pride.
3. 1992. There was the peaceful transfer of power at the option of a President: The COMELEC performed well its mandated task.
4. 1995: After the “Dagdag-Bawas” elections, ordinary citizens seconded the Bataan Board of Canvassers, Senior COMELEC officials, among others.
5. The electorate became more vigilant in seeing to it that their ballots were no simply counted but also daily accounted for.
6. Healthy voluntarism in the formation of civic organizations and movements was held, with the mission to watch over the elections.
7. More and more non-traditional politicians were elected into office, together with young and idealistic candidates with public service in mind.
Today, some 17 years after the issuance of the CBCP Pastoral Exhortation, the following questions need to be asked: What is Philippine politics now? Nowadays, what is the Political Culture among the Filipinos? Are there still signs of hope for a better functioning government, better performing public officials, a better future for the country and its people? It is so difficult to answer in the affirmative – particularly under the present administration!