Fear is the perpetrator of evil rulers
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-02-26
A female Swiss exchange student once asked me: “How come the Filipinos don’t rise up and fight? Most of them have nothing to lose except their lives.”

She asked me this in 1980 after traveling all over the Philippines during the one year that she spent here. She saw first hand the social injustice under martial law and was appalled by the human rights abuses wrought by the military, especially in the countryside.

This 24-year-old girl came from an upper class Swiss family. Her father was a successful businessman while her mother was a doctor. Where she comes from, everybody is presumed to have the wherewithal to live decently. The unemployed among them happened to be those who chose not to work.

It surprised me that this Swiss exchange student could so easily suggest the option of giving up one’s life for the sake of straightening the crooked in order to cure the nation’s ills. It surprised me because it is almost unthinkable for anyone here to risk comfort, much less one’s life, to assert the people’s sovereign will over tyrants.

But then I realized that democracies in Western Europe were won by their homegrown national martyrs and sustained by people who would not think twice about losing their own lives to defend their way of life. This was 1980. The world was in the midst of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain still shrouded Eastern Europe.

In Western Europe, up to today, the smallest infraction and scandal of a government official, especially those at the top, will result in an immediate public outcry. A mega scandal like the ZTE deal will fill their streets with protestors and the government will change hands overnight. Public opinion is so powerful that public officials are compelled to preempt the outrage by resigning and vanishing from the scene.

Because Western Europe’s leaders know that their citizens can and will take the ultimate risks to keep their national birthright, they act with transparency and full accountability.

Jun Lozada’s favorite hero, Jose Rizal, wrote: “There are no tyrants where there are no slaves.” Filipinos today make it appear that Rizal died in vain.

Over here bitches and evil rulers manage to hang on to power because people are afraid to take a stand. Let’s face it — Romy Neri, the Blue Chicken, epitomizes most Filipinos. Jun Lozada captured the hearts of many because he dared where others failed.

Heck, we cannot even take it upon ourselves to join a prayer rally. Many Filipino mothers would be the first to prevent their sons and daughters from joining any public assembly to express outrage over the transgressions of our rulers.

Led by then PM Tony Blair, the Brits were among the first to jump into the bandwagon of George W. Bush’s War on Terror and Iraq Invasion. But when it became obvious that WMD was pure US rubbish and concoction, the Brits immediately took to the streets to express their outrage. British mothers even brought their babies and their cribs with them to rally and demonstrate.

Later on, Tony Blair got the ultimate punishment from the British voters and was forced to abdicate to the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in order to save the Labor Party from suffering a big election loss.

Ours is a case of gross mismanagement from evil rule. It has all the manifestations of wicked autocracy — the arrogance, impunity and utter contempt for public opinion and the law. Yet we waffle over whether or not it is worth joining prayer rallies.

We take the coward’s route by rationalizing that “there is no viable alternative anyway.” Our population has ballooned to nearly 90 million and we have no alternative to this?! God help our race if that is the case.

What about Richard Gordon, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Sonny Belmonte — are they not better than this present ruler? How can a right thinking Filipino say that there is no alternative to this evil?

How about Tony Meloto and Manny Pangilinan if you’ve had it with politicians? Don’t you think they will manage this country better? Good people like them are never elected because voters of a damaged culture prefer to elect the “lesser evil” instead of the nation’s finest men.

I was for Raul Roco in 2004. But to those lame brains who voted then according to their perceived lesser evil, let me ask: could your perceived “greater evil” (Fernando Poe Jr.) have done worse than what we now have? If in 2004 you voted for the “lesser evil” – don’t moan now that you’ve realized that evil rules the land.

I enjoyed reading the recent essay of Blue Eagle Harvey Keh that a friend forwarded to me. But are Harvey and his Team RP willing to undertake what are beyond the acceptable, safe and comfortable? Are Ateneans still taught to emulate Jose Rizal and Gregorio del Pilar?

A pack of sheep never liberated an oppressed people. Tyranny and evil rule where people are only willing to pray in order to remove them.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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