Filipinos can’t solve problems that they don’t know
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-08-28

We Filipinos cannot complain these days about the leadership of our country simply because there is none.

There is no real leadership ‑ only people pretending to lead us to the Promised Land while they feast on the spoils of political power. The true leaders of a nation enlighten their citizenry about the real big problems of the country and provide the important strategies for solving these.

Real leaders would have enlightened Filipinos on how the ruling elite, the oligarchy, is their biggest single problem — how less than 10% of this country controls over 80% of its wealth. Real leaders would have provided a clear path for overhauling that oligarchy by democratic means.

Instead, our so-called leaders are the first to muddle the issues so that they can take advantage of the Information Gap that allows majority of Filipinos to be manipulated and exploited. The main focus of political power in our country is not public service but self service.

Focolare founder, the late Chiara Lubich, initiated a Movement for Unity in Politics after recognizing that politics — if used purely for public service — is one of the noblest professions available to man. That is so when political power is used to uplift the social conditions and deliver social justice to all.

In our country, politics has been monopolized by the vultures that have succeeded in making a very rich country (in terms of manpower and natural resources) the basket case of a booming region. What makes it more tragic is that there are a few who managed to enter the system with pure intentions but ended up plundering, lying or covering up for it.

The saddest of these are those who made a good account of themselves for a good many years of their public service careers — only to succumb to the seduction of the harlot during their twilight years. Usually, we sin during our youth but reconcile with our Maker during the few remaining years of our lives. They have done the opposite.

Ironically, the one leader we had who displayed a full grasp of the real problem of the country was former President and Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. His concept of a revolution from the center was the right approach towards removing the oligarchy via the creation and expansion of a middle class. He envisioned Philippine industrialization, an independent Philippine foreign policy (even opened relations with Socialist countries) and pursued nuclear energy as the future means for providing cheaper, cleaner power.

Marcos even foresaw the interest of the superpowers in Palawan and its strategic location as control point of the South China Sea. Marcos removed Palawan from the old Minsupala (Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan) configuration and placed it under Region 4.

But instead of making the Philippines great again, as he vowed to do during his 1965 election campaign, he ended up removing the oligarchy and replacing it with his own cronies. Marcos had a beautiful dream for the country that ended up to be our national nightmare.

All nations have problems. The great nations are those who managed to produce the right leaders at the right time that solved their big national problems. Many times, it requires a succession of good leaders to deliver a people to their Promised Land. No one man can claim delivering the US or China to its lofty perch these days as economic superpowers.

The present problem of the BJE (Bangsamoro Juridical Entity) is threatening to push our country into a state of civil war or provide the premises for the imposition of martial law. There are all the signs that this BJE problem happened with the active behind the scene intervention of a US seeking to promote its geopolitical interests.

The sinister moves of a superpower in an otherwise domestic issue constitute a very serious problem that would worry even the more stable countries. Yet for the most part, the Opposition was stuck on their great fear that Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is using the BJE as a Trojan Horse in order to change the Constitution and remain in power beyond 2010.

Why do our Opposition leaders fear an unpopular woman who is distrusted by majority of her people? Yet they are oblivious to the grand design of a superpower that could dismember our republic and result in the loss of easily 40% of our natural resources. Thank God that — finally — Frank Drilon, Alan Cayetano and Nene Pimentel have started focusing on the foreign hand behind the BJE.

That this very serious issue of US meddling is also not finding discussion in the front pages of newspapers or the top stories of the TV news can be considered a failure of media to provide the proper focus on the most important issues affecting the nation.

Whatever happened to investigative reporting? Do our media merely rely on political players to verbalize serious issues for these to deserve front page coverage? There would have been no Watergate Scandal if such was the attitude of US media.

All this sums up to a country that fails to recognize the real core problems besetting it.

  Previous Columns:

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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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