The excuse for Cha cha is the best reason to reject it
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-10-16

Most Filipinos see Charter change or Cha cha as a political maneuver that was designed by congressional allies to extend the hold on power of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). By shifting to a parliamentary system, GMA can emerge as the Prime Minister of the new system of government.

A Filipino who loves his (or her) country will find it easy to agree with that deduction and will thus likely reject Cha cha. The sooner our country exits from this misrule of GMA, the better the country will be able to get back on track.

The unfolding global financial meltdown, which nobody could assess how bad it will be and how long it will last, all the more mandates that our country should immediately elect a leader we can all believe and support. GMA has long lost our support and you have to be an imbecile to still believe what she says.

The best scenario for the Philippines will be the emergence of a new leadership that is solidly founded on nationalism and will strive to achieve economic self-sufficiency and liberation from the domination and manipulation of superpowers.

We need a leader who is a man for the people and not another lackey representing the interests of the elite. We need a leader who can stand up to superpower pressure and enticements.

We need a leader who will operate with utmost transparency and is truthful and honest. We need a leader who can spell out a vision that Filipinos can accept, internalize and wholeheartedly support. It is only through such a leadership that unites all Filipinos when we will finally attain real sovereignty and economic emancipation.

From her track record, GMA fails to provide all these necessary qualities of leadership that will lift most of our countrymen from deep poverty and free us from foreign domination and manipulation. Sadly, I also have not heard anybody — from the administration and the Opposition — articulate a vision and program that will deliver us into the Promised Land.

What is pathetic with this Cha cha that is being pushed is that it is premised on the very reasons why we ought to reject it. The proponents are trying to bribe the people, as it were, to support Cha cha because of its so-called economic reforms which they claim will bring prosperity.

In reality, the Cha cha proponents only prove that they still continue to worship the Golden Calf, the idol of false redemption. They fail to realize that the Asian countries who made economic headway accomplished their present status because of what they did by themselves and not because of foreign investors.

China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia all got their acts together and clearly defined their path to success while we kept dreaming of luring foreign investors who will save us. If they are now getting large chunks of foreign investments, it is because they first got their act together and not the other way around as our leaders would have us do it.

The Cha cha proponents even want to open land ownership to foreigners. To those who understand the downside of this proposal, it can only be treason!

As it is, Chinese and South Koreans are already buying large chunks of choice real estate under the guise of joint-venture companies filled with willing Filipino dummies (supposedly owning the majority). These land acquisitions by aliens are tolerated by a corrupt regime.

With their money surplus and our current depressed real estate prices, we will wake up one day with all our prime properties already owned by foreigners. Not only that — their buying spree will raise property prices beyond the reach of the average Filipino.

Do we want to have this proposed Constitution? Do we want Philippine land to become no longer affordable for Filipinos? Will these proposed economic reforms emancipate us from foreign domination or bring us more under their yoke?

Sadly, many Filipinos suffer from the Information and Education Gaps and do not realize the potential damage these Cha cha proposals will bring. Many who will reject Cha cha will do so because they do not want GMA around anymore. Propose Cha cha after 2010 and many may even support the so-called economic reforms.

Many Filipinos are no different from the poorest of the poor whose minds can only focus on their immediate problem which is how to source their next meal. Those who suffer from extreme poverty do not focus on the real solutions to their problem — to acquire education and opportunity, the exit mechanism from poverty.

The middle class is supposed to be society’s intellectual upper class. But our middle class fails to provide that light. Just look at what many of our civil society groups are engaged in — the focus on the less important instead of the strategic.

They focus on exposing crooks in government and stopping graft and corruption. Stopping graft and corruption is important but it is not the strategic solution to our nation’s problems. A good justice and police system can ferret out all the crooks past and present in our government.

But the criteria for enlightened leadership that will emancipate us require much more than just eliminating graft and corruption. Even if we manage somehow to finally eliminate graft and corruption, we will hardly move forward if the systemic problem — the oligarchy — is not removed and if we are not rid of foreign domination.

  Previous Columns:

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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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