Wrong solution to the wrong problem
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-01-23
Here we go again. Some people want to dance the Cha cha again. Cha cha is of course the adopted moniker for Charter change, a revision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

It is largely suspected that Cha cha is being promoted with the use of “economic” boosters as its front but in reality — it’s the Trojan Horse of people with sinister personal and selfish motives. The more popular “economic” boosters being floated are:

1. Opening the ownership of Philippine land to foreigners.

2. Removing the 40 percent ownership limit of foreigners in Philippine corporations.

If we’re a big country like the US then it could be alright to allow foreigners to own Philippine land. Seeing that we’re a small country which is hardly the land area of the US State of California, this proposal is idiotic. It also did not occur to the legislators pushing for this that China and Vietnam — two Asian countries that are attracting the bulk of foreign investors — do not allow land ownership by foreigners.

Not only that — a reliable source revealed that a big thief has been pushing for this Cha cha provision in order to be able to use his foreign front companies to buy land here using his big hoard. This big thief feels most comfortable in the land development business. One of his front companies is very visible in land development projects at the Makati Business and Commercial District.

It is also reckless to allow foreigners to own more than the 40 percent limit in Philippine corporations. We are in our worst economic situation at this time and removing this provision is tantamount to giving foreigners the full run of our economy. We need more Danding Cojuangcos, Manny Pangilinans, Jaime Zobel de Ayalas, John Gokongweis et al and not the Donald Trumps et al.

The biggest argument against Cha cha at this time is this — it is the wrong solution to the wrong problem. We can revise our Constitution again and again in the next 10 years but that won’t get us anywhere if we do not repair our damaged culture and improve the Filipino mindset. The real problem is not what the Philippine Constitution allows or disallows but what is in the minds and hearts of Filipinos — how we think, feel, act and react as a people.

When your Chair Wrecker stressed this point about our damaged culture and defective mindset in a Cha cha discussion on our Ateneo High School e-group, it was met with positive responses. We were all reacting to an article written by Orion Perez Dumdun (“Why Charter change is correct”) which enumerated well expressed pro-Cha cha views of the writer.

Your Chair Wrecker reacted to Dumdun’s article with this statement: “Cha cha will not reform the people and political players who suffer from a damaged culture. A good, strong president has better chances of reforming a nation’s damaged culture. The problem is not the Constitution but the culture of our people.”

The following responses to my comments by two other batch mates were registered:

Gabby Lopez, a former National Historical Commissioner, said: “I concur that we need a CULTURAL REFORMATION/REVOLUTION/TRANSFORMATION. Culture is the spirit/soul of a nation. Sadly, our cultural institutions that are intended to inspire patriotism and responsible citizenship seem to be greatly politicized, e.g. NCCA, National Historical Commission, National Museum, and Cultural Center of the Philippines. Plus, culture has not been given adequate political and financial support in our Government.”

Ricky Ablaza, now living overseas, stated: “Finding our true culture is a good start to reformation/revolution/transformation. Here is an excerpt from a Philippine history book,  

“In the 300 years of occupancy by a foreign power, the Philippines’ inhabitants lost their original identity and became Peons (slaves). This identity was imposed on them by their Spanish conquerors. Spanish friars burned all written documents of the Filipino’s true identity in the effort of advancing the identity of Peon.”

Let us come together to bring back the true identity of our country. Historical documents in the temples of Bali will show evidence of a regal and moral society of Maharlika possessing a well developed culture, religion and government. Knowing our true culture prior to the Spanish occupation will bring back our original identity and elevate us from the lowly peon. The government and academic sector with the help of well meaning individuals can fund and undertake this study if a political will exists.  

It is also time to change the name of the Philippines to complete the transformation. Name gives identity. The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Parents give their children names that have the qualities they wish their children to emulate. No one names his child Lucifer or Satan.  

The Philippines was named after King Philip of Spain. King Philip of Spain instigated the Spanish Inquisition responsible for the death of thousands of Christians, waged war on Rome to attain the papacy but lost, married his own sister, died of syphilis. Why do we, as a country, want to be named after such an infamous person?

The name Philippines is also a constant reminder of our subjugation to Spain. Burkina Faso, an African nation, changed its name.
Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984, by President Thomas Sankara to mean “the land of upright people.” Figuratively, “Burkina” may be translated, “men of integrity,” from the Mòoré language, and “Faso” means “father’s house” in Dioula. The people of Burkina Faso did not want a name which reminded them of the negative impact of Occupancy by a Conqueror. Are the people of Burkina Faso smarter than us?

Let’s get the transformation started.”

These are the enlightened views that will get our country on the right track to fulfilling the full potential of our great race. Cha cha will merely take us on another joy ride to nowhere. Let’s determine first what is really our biggest problem and from there we can evolve the right solutions.
* * *

  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

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo