Sunday, September 04, 2005

For the love of justice, truth and peace

Our family was in Boston last weekend to spend time with our daughter. I was therefore pressed for time composing my thoughts for my next blog or regular column.

During our trip, there were in fact 1001 concerns scurrying to and fro in my wits, each begging for attention: write more about the constitutional meaning of “initiate”; re-examine the classical theory of the “majority rule”; analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the “middle force,” (along the lines that being unorganized and yet formless, the middle force is hard to be decapitated by the powers that be); or warn against the trap of invoking judicial intervention in the impeachment process (as lawyer Ernesto Francisco, Jr. has just done) to “allocate” the boundaries of power - to name just a few.

We got off the wrong subway station in downtown Boston and so by happenstance, we passed by the statute of Samuel Adams, the original middle force, the activist and a “signer” of the (American) Declaration of Independence, the same revolutionist who said, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home . . . . ”

And back home, I was ready to bang on the keyboard and develop a piece around the idea of “signer,” as in possibly The 79 signers of the Declaration of Truth. But now, I have this e-mailed Sept. 5 deadline from FAB (Filipino-Asian Bulletin) Editor-in-Chief, “suggesting a Penafrancia-related topic for your column in the next issue” instead of the “current topic” (i.e., Gloriagate and the like). There was also this appeal posted as a comment in one of my blogs from mlq3 (Manuel L. Quezon III) for a Monday (Sept. 5) unity for truth, GMA ouster and peaceful and democratic ways to resolve the crisis.

I wasn’t prepared to get distracted (at least by my editor’s polite urging for FAB’s Our Lady of Peñafrancia special issue because mlq3’s call seemed within my intention) from what my heart has been set on until Bertrand Russell’s definition of patriotism suddenly cut across my mind, certainly about the element of it that borders on “worship,” or “the willingness to sacrifice” (ala Ninoy or Rizal, maybe, or others of lesser stature like Edgar Jopson and countless nameless others). This religious element, upon checking Russell, is “essential to the strength of the State, since it enlists the best that is in most men on the side of national sacrifice.”

Yet, I asked: Am I just actually being canny (trying to blog, join Bukluran sa Katotohanan and write a column at the same time and be still on the Peñafrancia topic)?

In Bukluran, Cory Aquino apparently set the tone. She said, “… habang kaya ko pa ay iaalay ko ang lahat nang aking makakaya para sa inyo.”

“Tonight, prayer is the main expression,” Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo, seconded.

Opening my old e-mail address, I found a short notice dated Sept. 1 from UST Publishing requesting me to send a representative to deliver a brief message for the Sept. 8 official launching of my book BUILD or PERISH! (full title: BUILD or PERISH! People Power Democracy Liberating America’s First Empire).(The message I have sent is actually addressed to the “middle force” to stand for TRUTH.)

It was as if everything has simply fallen into place. Indeed, little miracles do happen.

Reflecting on the debacle of the so-called EDSA Tres, I once had written:
There are a number of reasons why, I believe, GMA has easily thwarted the uprising. Firstly, the insurrection has been real and has not been stage-managed by her or her close allies in order to perpetuate themselves in power. Secondly, the Philippine military and the PNP have just been through a recent examination of conscience during People Power II (or EDSA Dos, as others prefer to call it) that had put to an acid test the true attributes of their professionalism. Finally (and this is something transcendental and therefore, extra-constitutional), Mother Mary, whose shrine had been desecrated by the rebels, sided with GMA.
I had pursued further a Marian-Marxian discourse thus:
Indeed, market-capitalist economy, whether in mature or young democracies, has done wonders to a few. It has also brought untold harms to many people - billions of people in fact. The real challenge, therefore, is how to temper the harshness of economic self-interest with higher-than-symbolic social justice, with altruism and stewardship. This requires not just good but great leadership.

GMA, if she is to succeed in fulfilling the implied promise [her express promise being to restore moral authority in governance after Erap], must now begin to pose the challenge to the business sector, specially the local business class, to be accountable for the working class, whose expectations are increasingly rising, as well as the lumpen proletariats who, as EDSA Tres appears to indicate, is also capable of rising above the caste of “a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.”

“They have a world to win.” And the next rampage could be laid at other than the gates of the Palace.

I do not believe however that the Marxian prediction of historical inevitability will happen in the Philippines. For one thing, Mother Mary, the protector of the Filipinos, has better proofs of her miracles than the triumph of Marxism.
And then juxtaposing the American Revolution, the French Revolution and Filipino People Power, I had recounted in another blog:
In the years immediately following the American Revolution, Hamiltonian Federalists, while still associating citizenship with property ownership, batted for the ascendance of the bureaucrats and the educated elites over what was then termed as the “mob rule” of the pro-French Jeffersonian paradigm of popular sovereignty. (Sounds familiar? Well, it was more derisive than that because the “uneducated multitude” was also called “democrats, mobocrats and all other kinds of rats.”) The Federalists also defined democracy as “government by the passion of the multitude.” Anyway, while the French revolution model was regarded as “an open hell,” the Filipinos’ People Power erected an EDSA Shrine.

Every September, Filipinos are proud to be Bikolanos. This September, the Nation is likely to embark anew on a secular pilgrimage, in the tradition of the Peñafrancia devotees, strengthening and affirming its faith in People Power Democracy.

To many of our province mates, Filipinos’ deep-seated belief that Mother Mary is their protector is matched only by the unwavering faith of Bikolanos everywhere in Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. This is one belief that our nation represents a tradition that is important to humanity - love of justice, truth and peace.


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