I posted this on social media recently, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride, hope, and anxiety as I unabashedly took a public stand. To those who are not familiar with Philippine politics, the May 2022 Presidential Elections is crucial because the son of a dictator, plunderer, and kleptocrat is gunning for the presidency, with overwhelming support. The Marcos family has amassed billions (estimated at USD10B) and has spent years quietly revising history through social media with their army of paid trolls and proud supporters.
It is alarming, dismaying, and frightening how many people believe them or are willing to look past their lies. So many of our countrymen believe that Marcos Jr. will bring back the “golden years,” not realizing that his parents were responsible for pillaging our country of its wealth. They see the buildings and structures that stand as “proof” of the Marcoses’ greatness, but they look past the atrocities committed during martial law and the massive debt incurred to finance these projects and their own pockets. They perceive facts as “lies” and refuse to believe mainstream media, relying on personal anecdotes and stories shared on social media.
We value democracy because of what it stands for – a government for the people and by the people. But when those with power have worked so hard and spent so much money to keep the majority of our people in the dark by denying access to proper education and propagating misinformation, or when the system has been so cracked and riddled with corruption that most have become jaded against the possibility of good governance, can our democracy save us or will it end up betraying us?
If Marcos wins, the world will not end. But what value is left in a democracy that embraces plunderers with open arms? Where is the respect for truth and justice, which should be the cornerstones of any government? We are angry because none of this should be possible. And yet here we are, fighting an uphill battle for the good that’s left in our country.
They say we are causing division. That we are mixing politics with morality, as if these are concepts alien to each other. That we should let go of the past and move forward towards a united Philippines. But brilliant minds have said this over and over again in different ways- Unity should not be sought at the expense of truth and justice. Unity, without the essential roots of truth and justice, is false at best and disastrous at worst.
We cannot help but speak up and take a stand. We only wish that those who hear us will listen with an open mind, and make decisions based on what they know is right. There is no gray area. We may see the world through rose-colored glasses, but isn’t that better than settling for less? We have a real shot at this- a chance for a truly better tomorrow. Not better for any one individual, but better for the country that we say we love. When you love someone, you don’t settle for less unless you have exhausted all other options. Look at the sea of pink to see how many of us are fighting. We can win this, but we need you to stand with us.
“All of us want what’s best for our children- so we need to vote for what’s best for their future. No compromises. No half truths or blatant disregard for the truth. We fight for what’s right, not what’s convenient or practical. Because if we lower our standards, then we set the bar lower for what our children can become. They can shine far brighter than we know, if we teach them that the world can be a much better place than it is right now. If we settle for less, we rob them of the future they could have.
The coming Philippine Presidential Elections will set the tone for their future. It can ignite our hope for a country that has been pillaged over and over from the inside out. Or it can break our spirits and show how our democracy has failed us. Each of us must take a stand- please let it be the right one.”