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[Ponderings] PUSH BACK when you’ve had ENOUGH!

By Philip Suzara

Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.

One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments… to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds: straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there… around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.

“This lack of organized leadership is the root of many of our problems. This has to end,” Robredo says. Corruption, incompetence, the prevailing lack of concern needs to be replaced with good and capable leadership.”

Our Vice-President, Leni Gerona Robredo, the country’s most powerful opposition figure, has been one passionate and effective Servant Leader in the country; she had been conducting service to the public consistently, as she had always done even before she came into politics and now, government.

Her OVP had been given very meager resources by concerned authorities; yet, despite working on their limited budget, her office, with the support of the private sector, has always moved swiftly and effectively, often rendering other government services seem inefficient and inadequate. And the president is not pleased with her – at all. He also makes no bones about it!

This is where the problem lies. The people in the palace by the river forget that their administration is populated with inept, unqualified friends, and hungry rent-seekers.

They have also forged unholy alliances with highly questionable politicians and government functionaries from past administrations. They have forgotten that an intimate relationship exists between forgiveness and justice. While forgiveness might be an individual decision, justice is a social responsibility.

The theology of forgiveness that Christians embrace is of course admirable. This, after all, is what infuses the Christian life with hope for the future.

BBM, for one, claims that his father “brought the Philippines into the modern world.”

His father and his father’s cronies plundered the nation, a fact that is well documented by no less than the Supreme Court, and the Sandiganbayan had already ordered the return of the stolen money.

We should not forget that the EDSA People Power Revolution ended the dark ages of Martial Law and drove the Marcoses out of Malacanang. Time and again, the son of the dictator has resisted calls for him to apologize. He never did, and never will. And no, he cannot claim that he was too young to be involved in corruption.

In 1985, when he was 27, BBM became the chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation, a conduit of his family’s ill-gotten wealth. And according to the Sandiganbayan, private foundations registered in Switzerland, for which Imelda Marcos has been convicted, specifically named Bongbong, Imee, and Irene as beneficiaries of stolen money.

To make it worse, BBM himself is behind the historical distortions we now see on social media. Years ago he approached Cambridge Analytica with a simple task in mind: to change public attitudes towards the Marcoses. That now accounts for much of the online praises accorded Ferdinand Marcos and his Martial Law.

So whenever BBM asserts that he is for national unity and moving on, one is thus left wondering how he has the audacity to claim that his will be a “unifying leadership”. He is a Convicted Tax Evader in the Philippines, Persona non grata in Switzerland, and Convicted of Contempt of Court in the USA

May all the commemorations of Martial Law be a grim reminder for us to always push back whenever you find yourself being pushed against the wall, PUSH BACK!

While the despot’s Martial Law had its evils such as its attendant atrocities and unprecedented corruption, this government is probably the worst administration that we’ve ever had -- makes Martial Law seem like a walk in the park.

Before the last elections, preparations went way ahead of the usual schedule; deriding the then administration, undermining efforts and policies thereof, establishing massive troll farms, creative fund raisings, utilizing fake news and disinformation/misinformation, and outrightly making preposterous campaign promises to the people; and then, finally exonerating themselves saying “it was just a campaign promise and you believed us – it was a joke – mahirap pala, eh – kaya ba natin manggera? – mahirap kalaban ang droga, but may gahd, I heyt drugs”, etc., etc., ad infinitum!

Suffice to say that we’ve had been, because, since he was elected, even if by principle of plurality, those who did not vote for him thought of giving him that chance to prove his worth. I now say that he failed to prove that he was the leader that he presented himself to be, a total dismal failure.

This administration assaults our civil liberties, the weakening and compromising of our democratic institutions, upsetting our collective moral compass, weakening of our sovereign territories and foreign incursions, EJKs and threats to our very lives, onerous foreign loans, as well as the criminal and unconscionable raiding of scarce government monies while in the midst of our difficult struggle with the Covid Pandemic.

Even as we have been in a constant struggle to keep body and soul together because of the ravages and other economic effects of the pandemic’s lockdown; we now come to the senate’s investigation led by Sen. Richard Gordon and his team in the Blue Ribbon Committee on alleged anomalies and corruption attended on the government’s purchase of face shields, face masks, and PPEs as part of their emergency Covid response – this may even extend to the procurement of vaccines.

Aghast, surely, becomes an understatement to how the rest of us who are a distance away from the scary cabal by the river with their minions, are feeling about the apathy, callousness, and impunity of how “business” is conducted by these ‘blessed’ bands.

Watching the senate investigations on this particular issue evokes all kinds of feelings besides nausea from a moral repugnance by the way the responses of those being investigated repel the senators in the inquiry.

Curious is also how one gets to be when a sitting president comes to the aid of those in the hot seat in the inquiry - who all seem to be wallowing in money, throwing invectives, ad hominem attacks, and not so veiled threats thrown to the gatekeepers’ way in the Blue Ribbon Committee.

Confused is definitely how one will get upon witnessing a fellow senator exalt his president; vintage to his being an apologist, in a manner of a privilege speech on how they and their friends conduct their “business”. This, he did with the time allotted to him during the inquiry.

In fact, I find it such a waste that he is always found with the president as his special assistant. There is a fundamental conflict of interest when one is both a member of an august chamber and also an indispensable member of the executive family, co-equals yet independent of each other – and I dare ask, “Whom does one ultimately serve?”

The election fever is here and the admin gang are all at it again, like hooligans and hydras setting out and plotting another chaos, another mayhem; these new hybrid of politicos are once again playing their dark games, pulling off gambits and schemes that will work to their cabal’s advantage.

And while we’re at it; we now have a sitting president who says he is tired of staying in office longer than his term -- who many find wanting in the performance of his duties anyway, publicly saying that he wants to run as vice president to ensure a continuity of his programs and projects, then shifting to be a senate aspirant, then finally withdrawing altogether.

I am no legal and constitutional expert but I find this situation going against the spirit of the constitutional terms of tenure for a president – he is only allowed one term. This now brings us to the interpretation of the constitution and we ask, who is the gatekeeper in this particular situation; Senate, Congress, Comelec, Supreme Court?

Let us not forget the people, they will be the ultimate arbiter whether they will allow it to happen, or finally speak out with their vote!

And, what about the other Presidential and Vice-Presidential contenders who proclaim themselves to be oppositionists to the current administration, Huh? Maybe, Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

If you had a good sense of honour in your head and embraced good values, these clowns and goons would not be the kind of people you would be inviting to your home, sit down and break bread with you and your family.

Make this your yardstick for making your choices -- would your candidate be worthy enough to be invited to your home?

We are all intertwined by our passion and love of country and a burning desire to bring about Transformational Change in the hearts and minds of our countrymen towards nation building.

We know that, from VP Leni’s many pronouncements, Alab ng Puso; para sa kapwa, para sa bayan, has always been the driving passion that has marked the tenure of her office, that of a true Servant Leader. We need to support her and her whole senatorial slate, Team LENI, for a more efficient public service.

Let us own this campaign and attempt to be able to bridge some gaps whenever and wherever possible. We will be inviting other friends and kindred groups to join hands with us so we can move and fight with a louder voice and a sharper sword to slay the dragon.

We are fighting for our people, for our country, and for our children’s future. The many years of suffering we have undergone in the dark ages of this administration bring us to say “enough”.

We believe that we should all step up -- the task of nation building should not be borne by our leaders alone, we should all be Servant Leaders for our beloved Pilipinas – the battle is ours. True leaders do not turn people into followers; they should be inspired and empowered to be leaders.

We will work on infusing HOPE back in the hearts and minds of our countrymen; we wish to bring back the fire in the bellies of our Juans and Juanas, to fan the dying embers and set it burning once again!

Enough is enough is enough is ENOUGH!

Pondering, as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.

Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.

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