We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.
– The 1987 Philippine Constitution
THE CONSTITUTION DECLARES that I am an individual particle of sovereignty, and that I, with the rest of the Filipino people, exercise supreme and permanent authority in this country.
I am not equipped to rule, and so I beseech God for wisdom, as King Solomon did, to choose well those who would represent me.
The men and women I select are agents I authorize to manage the affairs of state. Their mission is to help me fulfill the aspirations expressed in the Constitution I promulgated. Their task is to serve the public good, to protect the public interest, and to promote the public weal.
I do not elect them to do anything but that.
I pay their salaries with my taxes. I should get my money’s worth.
I do not need singers and dancers and actors and athletes and those who merely look good. Those folk belong to other spheres, and I can get that entertainment for free.
I do not want bench warmers, and they needn’t apply. I seek people who will come to work daily and on time, as I am required to do, and perform their job to the best of their ability, as I am expected to.
In this economy, I do not earn much. I do not know what PNoy was thinking, but many, many, many of his poor boss Juans are like me. We are not among the special few mentioned in the last SONA who went from rags to riches by treading the tuwid na daan. Therefore, from now on I refuse to spend my hard-won wages on my agents and their spouses and their children and in-laws, all of whom have somehow fineigled a spot on the plantilla by tweaking the anti-nepotism laws. I make barely enough for my own family, let alone support theirs.
Because life needs to get better, I am looking for applicants who sincerely intend to do something about that. Let me clarify – it is my life that needs improving, not theirs.
There are several candidates for the available posts, and many of them are clamoring for my attention. It is my job as sovereign to use my authority wisely. I must educate myself on my options.
But this is strange: the positions have not yet been vacated and I am already being hounded by my potential employees. They parade their credentials before me, perhaps thinking me blind and so stupid that I will be taken in by such a show. One flaunts his experience, his dusky complexion, and ability to eat kamayan-style as proof of his fitness for the post. For all his volubility, he refuses to talk about the elephant in the room: what about those charges against him? The other one can’t eat kamayan-style – he still has his hands in the air from when his BFF endorsed him. I’m not really sure he can bring them down to earth in time.
I was served the SONA, and then the TSONA, and I am wondering now what else is on the menu. My emotions are up for grabs. They pull me this way and that, telling me only their version of reality is true and the other’s a nest of dire lies and imagined scenarios. All of them – the applicants, their spokesmen, their sycophants and cheering squads – walk my walk and talk my talk to give me that warm and fuzzy, homey feel. They hype and spin and manipulate and I think they really believe that I believe them.
That garbage doesn’t impress me. It has hardened my heart and jaded my spirit. The constant disappointment my agents cause me have made me apathetic and cynical. Yes, at times, even desolate. Friends of mine, sovereign like me, have said e di wow and sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. What’s the point? they say. It saddens me. Things must change.
What I want for the top post in my plantilla is someone who can effect that change. I want someone committed to helping me build a just and humane society, who will establish a government that embodies my and my fellow Pinoys’ ideals and aspirations, who will promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace. That is a mouthful and quite a tall order, but that’s genuinely what I want.
I think, despite their show of indifference, my co-sovereigns want it too.
Is there anyone among the applicants who can deliver that? It is too soon to tell. Perhaps some who are undecided will decide soon and give us more of a real choice. However the field takes shapes, I urge my kababayans to hold the candidates to these standards and not to settle for less than these. I reiterate my appeal for us all to implore the aid of God Almighty for the elections in 2016. There is yet hope.
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” – Mark 10:27