A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups
By Apolinario Villalobos
Even during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, there were already problems with China as regards the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, separatist movements and kidnapping in Mindanao, as well as, with Malaysia as regards Sabah, and most especially, corruption in the government. The same problems were inherited by subsequent administrations. But the “nationalistic” groups were more concerned in shouting invectives against America in front of the US Embassy and in burning effigies of American and Filipino presidents. They did not lift a finger in helping the government in its effort to recover Sabah, and not a single rally was held in front of the Chinese Embassy to express their revulsion over the issue on West Philippine Sea. Not even a question was raised as regards the effectiveness of the military against the separatist movement and kidnappings in Mindanao because of its inadequate facilities due to misused funds intended for its modernization. These groups cannot even lay claim on the success in deposing Marcos, because the religious groups and ordinary citizens were the ones responsible for such success.
Despite the open reclamations of China in the West Philippine Sea, these groups were silent, although, belatedly, they somehow held a lightning rally or two, after such, nothing was heard from them again. Despite the ongoing activities of the Abu Sayyaf and separatist groups in Mindanao, they remained silent. The overly grisly Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres did not entice them a bit to make a move to show their support to the victims. Despite the moving of justice system at a snail’s pace and unabated proliferation of foreign “investors” who are exploiting the natural resources around the country, nothing is heard from them, too. And despite the blatant control of domestic medium-scale trading in the country by these foreign “investors”, still nothing is heard from these groups.
After the announcement of the Supreme Court’ decision favoring the legality of the US military presence in the country, these groups suddenly came to life. They maintain their claim that such decision shall lead to the construction of the permanent US bases in the country when in fact, nothing of that sort is mentioned in the agreement.
They claim that the continued presence of the American soldiers in the country will lead to the revival of sex- related industry which is not true. Even without the presence of US bases, there is uncontrolled proliferation of the sex trade via the internet, bars and massage parlors, even in the decent districts of Metro Manila. But still, if they want, they can knock at the doors of Congress and Senate for laws that shall control this kind of industry, and which should be appropriate for the time. On the other hand, they are supposed to know that even the local government can control such industry. And, just what have they done on the issue of poverty that contributed to the fast growth of such industry in the country? They should caution the sex workers if they are really bent on helping their countrymen involved in sex trade which needs to be treated as a separate issue, instead of using this alibi in pursuing their “nationalistic” objective. They seem to be blind to the fact that various sex deals are flourishing even without the issue on the US military presence in the Philippines due to weak national laws and LGU regulations that reek with corrupt motives.
What dedication to advocacy are they talking about when some of them are even holding passports stamped with US visa? If these groups are really serious in their advocacy, why don’t they hold rallies against the ongoing corruption in the country and the vote-buying, a political tradition that got deeply-entrenched in the Filipino culture? Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of department secretaries who are being questioned on the issues of smuggling, ghost NGOs, drug trafficking, illegal recruitment, and deplorable state of mass transit facilities such as LRT and MRT, etc. Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of the president, if they find him to be ineffective just like what was done during the time of Marcos? Why don’t they hold rallies against the unfulfilled promise of the government to modernize the military facilities after prime public properties were sold to foreign investors? Why don’t they picket outside the detention facilities where the Ampatuans are, to show their disgust over the hideous crime that they purportedly committed? These are what the Filipinos want to see and expect from them, as they claim to be “nationalistic” and pro-Filipino.
Obviously, the Philippines has been under a long-tested democracy which unfortunately proved ineffective due to its loop-holed system that led to the propagation of various forms of corruption. And, this is what the left-wing groups want to be changed to a more “nationalistic” system. But what do they mean by “nationalistic”?…a communism-inspired system?
By the way, I just want to make myself clear that not all nationalistic Filipinos have a communistic mentality.
Walang masamang ideyolohiya tulad ng Komunismo o Demokrasya kung maganda at maayos ang pagpapatupad ng mga namumuno. Walang masamang relihiyon o pananampalataya kung ang ituturo ng mga namumuno ay pawang pagmamahal sa Diyos, o “diyos”, at kapwa tao. Walang masamang adbokasiya kung hindi ito gagamitin sa masama lalo na sa panlalamang ng kapwa. Tao ang dahilan kung bakit may mga kaguluhan sa mundo, dahil sa pagpapairal niya ng kasakiman at kayabangan.
Napakaganda sana ang layunin ng Demokrasya, kung ang nakaupong Presidente, halimbawa, ng isang bansang may ganitong ideyolohiya ay hindi bobo, sakim o kawatan. Ganoon din ang Komunismo, kung ang Chairman ng bansang may ganitong uri ng pamahalaan ay hindi malupit at gahaman sa kapangyarihan, at hindi sagad -buto ang ugaling mapangkamkam.
Sa Demokrasya, lahat ng mga prinsipyo at alituntunin na may kinalaman dito ay pawang kabutihan ang pakay. Halimbawa na lamang ay ang mga batas ng Pilipinas na mismong mga taga-Kongreso at Senado ang may gawa. Dahil ampaw ang pagkagawa nila ng mga batas, nagawa din nilang paikutan ang mga ito upang makapagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Ang kapangyarihan ng isang Presidente ng demokratikong bansa ay para sana sa kapakanan ng taong bayan at ng bansa mismo, sa kabuuhan nito. Subalit, dahil sa panunulsul ng mga tiwaling umaalalay sa kanya, nagawa niyang lokohin ang mga mamamayan. Ang masisisi sa pagkakaroon ng maraming kapalpakan sa isang bansa ay ang Presidente at ang kanyang mga kaalyado, at hindi ang kanilang mga “puwesto” na ginamit nila sa paggawa ng masama.
Ang relihiyon naman ay naimbento ng tao dahil sa kanyang pananampalataya sa kinikilalang Diyos o “diyos”. Bago pa man nagkaroon ng mga relihiyon na nagsanga mula sa pananampalataya ni Moses at Abraham sa disyerto ng Gitnang Silangan, mayroon nang mga pananampalataya sa “lakas” ng iba’t ibang “diyos” na pinaniwalaan ng mga pagano. Pinagkaisa ng mga pananampalatayang ito ang mga tao, yon nga lang ay kanya-kanyang kumpulan ang nangyari at nagtagisan sila ng lakas, na naging sanhi ng kaguluhan. Pinairal kasi nila ang kayabangan at pagkagahaman sa kapangyarihan.
Isa ang Kristiyanismo sa mga naging sanga ng pananampalataya na sinimulan ni Moses sa disyerto ng Gitnang Silangan. Habang napanatili ng mga Hudyo ang pagsunod sa mga sinimulan ni Moses, ang iba naman ay nagpasimula ng sarili nilang relihiyon batay sa mga itinuro ni Hesukristo kaya nagkaroon ng Kristiyanismo. Subali’t kalaunan, nang gamitin ng mga Romanong Emperador ang Kristiyanismo upang mapalawak ang kanilang nasasakupan at mapalakas ang kanilang kapangyarihan, ang naging katawagan dito ay naging “Romano Katoliko”, na hinaluan nila ng mga ritwal na pagano, dahil ang mga ito ang tinutumbok ng kanilang layuning mahikayat. Nahati rin ang simbahang Katoliko sa dalawa kaya nagkaroon ng “Orthodox” na humiwalay sa “Romano”. Pinatili ng “Orthodox” ang mga orihinal na gawi, samantalang maraming binago ang “Romano”.
Noong panahong mismong mga emperador ng Roma ang naging “papa” o “pope”, nagkabentahan pa ng indulhensiya o indulgence upang “mawala” daw ang kasalanan ng mga mananampalatayang bibili nito! Ang mga nagsulputang grupo ng “Bagong Kristiyano” naman ay malabnaw ang pagkilala kay Maria na “ina” ni Hesus. Dahil sa mga nagsuluputang sekta at kulto sa kasalukuyang panahon, lalong nagkaroon ng kalituhan sa pananampalataya dahil bawa’t grupo ay nagpipilit na sila ang “tama”.
Samantala, ang adbokasiyang pagtulong sa kapwa ay nagbunga ng mga Non-governmental Organizations o NGO. Sa simula, ang pondo ay galing sa mismong bulsa ng mga pilantropong nagtatag ng mga NGO. Kalaunan, sila ay tinulungan ng ibang mas malaking NGO. At, kalaunan pa, tumulong din ang mga NGO sa gobyerno upang mabilis na maipaabot ang tulong sa mga taong mahihirap, kaya “pinadaan” sa kanila ang pondo ng mga proyekto. Ang paraang “pagpapadaan” ng pondo sa mga NGO na may layuning malinis ay “nasilip” ng mga gahaman upang magamit sa pagnakaw ng pera mula sa kaban ng bayan. Nagkaroon ng kutsabahan sa pagitan ng mga taga-gobyerno at may-ari ng NGO, kaya ngayon ay may mga kasong tulad ng kinakaharap ni Napoles na may kinalaman sa pagnakaw nila ng bilyon-bilyong pera mula sa kaban ng bayan!
Sa bandang huli…ang katanungang maibabato na lang natin sa hangin, kasabay ng isang malalim na buntong hininga ay, “…tao…tao…bakit ka pa ginawa upang mabuhay sa mundo?”
Truth Cannot be Forced on Others
By Apolinario Villalobos
Yes, truth cannot be forced on others. What is true for one guy is not necessarily true for the other who does not think the same way as the former. And, this is how trouble develops among the peoples of the world who precisely do not think in the same way. When one firmly holds on to his principles and beliefs, differences are developed, and they create gaps in the relationship with others who think otherwise.
One sensitive area that easily breeds differences is religion. In this arena of differing beliefs, some groups even go to the extent of killing to assert their religion. One particular group, the Islamic, even makes use of a traditional belief, such as jihad, to purportedly save souls. In the past, those who constitute the leadership of the Catholic Church even resort to torture to force the truth into the minds of the supposedly unbelievers.
Another area is ideology in which the major players are communists and adherents of democracy. Pages of history in many countries that became victim to this struggle show gruesome results of the efforts exerted by both parties. This struggle continues until today, although got mellowed by co-operation for the sake of progress hinged on interdependent economies of the world.
Truth can only become what it should be if the targeted recipient will open his mind as a gesture of acceptance. Unfortunately, it does not always happen. While others can go to the extent of killing to force the truth he believes in, the latter on the other hand, would rather die than have his own truth be overruled by the one being forced into him.
The world practically floats on all kinds of “truths” as each earthling believes he is right. HOWEVER, this general belief does not give the “true and righteous” result, as shown by pockets of war that pockmark the earth. At the end, I can then say, that TRUTH IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT!…that’s as far as I am concerned.