Saturday, September 03, 2005

State of things in ....

I was reading the newspaper, The Philippine Star, after breakfast today and flipping through the pages I came upon two full page ads. Both although differently written said the same message: Congratulations to the Justice Committee for ending the impeachment process and espousing the political opposition to return to the normal running of things. And yesterday On the news the La celluloid Brothers, maybe a more accurate term would be the La sallied educators, had hosted multi-faith gathering called Bukluran para sa Katotohanan, a gathering of Anti-Arroyo people. And the day before that the Supreme Court approved the VAT. Normalcy, Truth and Taxes. Normalcy - The call for a return to normalcy to the Anti-Arroyo forces seems to be falling on deaf ears. Why so? Probably because it is normal for them to stir things up. Being the minority in power and opposition it is their bread and butter to throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the system. The purpose for this? To gain power. It may be immediate gain, an abrupt grab for power, or a punctuated stroke by a political painter adding bits and pieces to his masterpiece, the group or his own assumption to power. Such causes are of course sugar coated with appealing terms as justice, sense of fair play or for the common good. Ambition is not evil if it is for the common good. Once and when in power the liberators often became clones or better versions of the people they have replaced. Except now they use the techniques they use to stay in power, similar to what the present Arroyo administration is doing now. Both forces are two sides of the same pot. So it really is not normal for them to not live normally. For them its normal for life to be in a total flux. Who should then go back to live the normal life? Not the politicians and the political groups , whose faith is ascent and descent depends much on the un-normalcy of things. But it is for the normal people, me and you ... us to return to normal life. Politics is a part of life but it is not the whole of life, no life is much more. And the sooner people realise this the better. Plus putting hopes in a group of people or an individual is a futile investment in faith. Changing people in power is like the game musical chairs, you do not change anything only the person sitting on the chair. Truth - Truth, what is truth? Is truth to be found solely on one side of the debate or on both sides. Thus a group of persons hold monopoly on truth, morality and goodness. The greatest danger of idealists and idealism is that it can often be abused by people hungry for power and people who are so idealistic that they cannot see the truth even if it were in front of their face or they would prepare to destroy the house they live in order to satisfy their sense of decency and in the process codemn the other people living in the house to misery. Taxes - It is said there are two things certain in life death and taxes. The rise in oil prices and the imposition of taxes will make life harder for us. Corporate and company drones like me have been carrying the burden of taxes for years. Each year the amount we pay government increases yet see little or no improvement. Tax collection must be improved, VAT is probably one way but increasing collection effort and curbing expenses is another. How much money is spent for the government executives and legislators. How much pesos do we spend for each hearing in the Philippines Congress and Senate that ends with nothing gained? How much is given as pork barrels that will be used for political gain? In conclusion - I must admit I started out as a political supporter of Arroyo. Right now I am not quite sure. One thing I am quite sure of all the allegations her are full of holes - relying on testimony and not citing enough concrete evidences. I am not also convinced that the opposition and their supporter can even replace her. They cannot even mount a proper case against her. The opposition and anti-Arroyo forces have succeeded only in lowering her approval rating but they have been more effective in destroying the image of the country, although in this they had an unlikely ally - the Arroyo administration. nether do I believe in street protests, aided by a militarists, as the sole vehicle in pushing for change. As part of the middle class, I have seen the three EDSA upheavals and several coups. Two political clans were removed from power and none have been convicted. The first EDSA brought back the pre-martial law politicos and soon you could not distinguish between them and the Marcos politicos. IF Edsa I had RAM, then Edsa II had Civil Society, both groups have also become indistinguishable in purpose and guise. I still believe in change, but I believe true change can only come from the individual and this can only be facilitated by discourse.


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