“The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” (Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Art. II, Principles, Sect. 1)
How right and righteous! How inspired and inspiring! How courageous and encouraging! And why not? In the last analysis, the over-all socio-political reality is that in a truly democratic and a really republican State, the government is by the people, of the people, and for the people. Thus, in fact impressively speaks and accordingly affirms the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. It is not merely inspiring but also ennobling to read and savor such a key constitutional provision as above cited. But sad to not a painful to take, the flagrant ground reality is rather far from the letter and the spirit of the thus cited key provision in the Fundamental Law of the land as the following simple observations readily show:
a. The Philippines is a democratic State:
While periodic elections are held in the country supposedly for the common people to have their free and deliberate choice of those who will govern them for a number of years, it is also a well-known fact and commonly accepted reality that the “elected” public officials are usually known even before the elections are held – specially so when they are done through the use of infamous imported and even expensive machines.
b. The Philippines is a republican State:
While there is a semblance of a republican government in the Philippines, the living truth however in the country is the reign of the rich and powerful dynasties from the local to the regional up to the national levels of government. There is some truth to the often heard lamentation that the ordinary people in the Philippines are but the serfs of government officials.
c. Sovereignty resides in the people:
Really? The Sovereign resides in the Palace well surrounded by security guards. A big number the commoners reside in tightly built shanties. Others are endearingly called “Informal Settlers.” Translation: Squatters in lands supposedly owned by others. Squatters under the bridges. Squatters by the riverside and the canals. Squatters who already lost their human dignity.
No! The Philippines is not a hopeless country. The Filipinos are not helpless people. There are just ominous signs that clearly and loudly say that they better wake up, stand up, and act right. The Constitution is in their favor. No! They are neither deaf nor dumb. They are noble and brave. Philippine history is the living witness to these Filipino attributes.