Tell Us What You Think

The big question

The Philippine Transition process

The Philippines is in the throes of an historic transition. Economically, politically and societally, the Republic is undergoing the biggest reformation of its life. But while much of the country welcomes these changes – and the government initiatives that have been implemented to usher them in – there are sections of the community kicking and screaming to resist.

Generally, those who oppose change are those with vested interests in the old status quo – the ones who prospered and enjoyed life under the old system and who’ll become increasingly challenged under the new.

These, therefore, are unsettling times with everyone rushing into the vacuum to grab their piece of power or prevent others from doing so. Right now, everything is raw as the hopes of those wanting change compete for altitude with the anxieties of those who don’t.

And, while the resistance to change believes that it is possible to make an omelette without cracking an egg, the drivers of change – led by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte – believe it’s not. Furthermore, the size of the omelette Duterte wishes to serve, calls for many eggs. This isn’t the usual tweaking of a few bits of legislation which previous administrations have been involved in. This is a full-blown, high-octane-powered, unapologetic, in-yer-face, programme of nation building.

Meanwhile, the usual rash of corruption and other scandals that have run throughout the history of the Republic like letters in a stick of seaside rock, continue to vie for headlines.

This weekend’s Your Forum, then, is really a multiple-choice question and it’s this – what’s the biggest and most pressing problem facing the Philippines right now? Of everything that’s going on, what are the real priorities for the administration?

It’s a big question – and there’s much to choose from. Everyone will have their own take on this and they’ll all be relevant, because although this seems like a very simple question, it’s anything but. What it also highlights though, is the scale of what’s involved in pulling off the Philippine Reformation.

Here, then, are a few ideas to consider.

Is it the cock-up over the roll-out of a yet-to-be-approved anti-viral treatment programme for dengue fever – a potential time bomb that could affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Filipino children?

This – the latest scandal to hit the headlines – is likely to end up in litigation of mind-boggling technical proportions. And, given the Philippines’ legendary judicial sluggishness – and the fact that Big Pharma is involved – ever satisfactorily resolving what went wrong, who’s to blame, is about as likely as the ocean bursting into flames.

As more is revealed about this travesty of medical policy – the decision to spend PHP3.5 billion on a single drug and the possible political purpose behind it – you can bet that everyone remotely close to the firing line will be scurrying for cover like ducks in a hail storm.

Is it the plethora of political scandals that’s trussing leading members of the previous Liberal Party administration like turkeys ready for the Christmas oven? Just for starters, the impeachment complaints pending against that party’s one-time icon, former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino; the justice secretary he appointed, Maria Lourdes Sereno; the likely one against his Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio Morales; the one sidestepped by his Commission on Elections chief, Andres Bautista, who decided discretion was the better part of valour when he quit his office to avert a trial in the Senate.

Is it the widening schism within the country’s estimated 85-million-strong Roman Catholic congregation, as robed priests and mitred bishops sneer at the Constitution which states “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable”?

Their headlong drive to restore the ‘glory days’ of the religio-political partnership they enjoyed under Aquino’s mother, former president Corazon Aquino, has unsettled much of the faithful. Yet there are those in the hierarchy of the Church’s governing body, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, who still believe in ecclesiastical involvement in secular matters – that the Church, effectively, should be the fourth branch of government after the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

Is it the precarious situation in Mindanao in the country’s south where the dry tinder of Islamic extremist is just a spark away from bursting into a conflagration that could envelop much of that entire region? President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial-law measures – effective in putting down the siege of a city in Mindanao’s Lanao del Sur province by Islamic State-affiliated terrorists – is under constant attack by the political opposition, the human-rights industry and elements of the media.

They objected to it in the first place, despite the army – whose men put their lives on the line to restore peace and order there – welcoming it. They objected to it being extended until the end of the year, ignoring both the military and pro-government Muslim groups who argued – based on their intelligence – that it was prudent to do so.

Is it the equally precarious situation regarding the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist New People’s Army whom Duterte has vowed to destroy – removing, once and for all this outlaw group which prays on poor farmers as it levies taxes across the countryside to build its war chest for a bloody ‘Proletarian Revolution’ and fulfill its dream of flying a communist flag over Malacañang?

Make no mistake; this organisation has its supporters and its apologists in Congress and across the mishmash of local government. It may be opposed to democracy in all its forms, but it’s certainly not above letting its friends – those elected by the people – from exploiting it for its own purposes.

And that brings us to this. Is it the need for a revolutionary government that will give the president the powers to address that last problem particularly – but many others as well?

This move has been on the cards for some time and is the biggest single fear of the opposition camp. For, if Duterte does instate a revolutionary government, the doors to the legislature will be bolted, the shutters will be pulled down at the judiciary. There will be one branch of government where he will hold the reins of power.

Emotions surrounding such a move range from untrammelled anger – that Duterte is nothing short of a dictator and a tyrant – to palpable relief at the thought that finally, unhindered by political obstruction, he can get down to delivering a crime-less, drug-free, corruption-punished, society liberated from Islamists, communists, crime bosses and oligarchs.

Like we said, it’s a big question. We look forward to reading what you have to say.

124 Comments

  • This is to be expected…suddenly the Philippines is center stage in the Pacific…it’s open for business and has almost unlimited potential; because it’s been left so far behind by years of corrupt governance and is now ready to start a new chapter the destructive forces are frustrated because their money machine has slipped from their hands…Their plan is to destroy any success and regain control at any cost for their own self interest nothing more nothing less. Stay the course nothing can stop us now!

  • The Philippines, my country has been brutally raped for decades by these people who are now destructively and forcefully blocking changes being implemented by my country’s Defender and President-Rodrigo Roa Duterte. You are right Kalima Amal, stay the course!

  • revgov is the door to opportunities for ABUSE. even duterte has men who are proven to be corrupt. An atmosphere with no opposition is just like martial law. And there is still the glaring evidence of how much abuse people can do while in power.

    Swiss bank accounts and properties for the revgov people?

    • Bull. There is no country that established a revgov where honesty triumphed. From the french revolution to the russian revolution, the revgov members always abused their power

    • Most of us lived our life in abusive administration that we don’t know anymore the real meaning of democracy. Now that we have the chance to change the course of our life , we no longer believe that it is possible, as we don’t trust even ourselves that this will happen. Sayang na Pilipino, I for one will resist to be just a citizen na walang pakinabang. I support the change, not for me but for my children and for the future of this country. Go for the Revgov, that’s the right thing to do.

    • The revgov BOPOLs cant even name a country that didnt abuse the absolute power given to the revgov leaders. And they think the pinoys with 2 failed revgov govts can do better…..LOLOL

      The revgovs are just WOLVES waiting for their BOPOL prey….and there is plenty in the philippines

    • Why need to compare ours to other countries,..if they failed,they did it wrong,its their mistakes..
      Why not just look at d positive side,we have a leader that can lead,.all we have to do is to support and cooperate..dont fear about abuses bcoz our leaders are differnt from those who u said abused their powers

    • Marcos was good but many of his minions are bad. No need to cumpare with other countries, the history of this country has 2 failed revgov – both have women “leaders” whose minions have enriched themselves

  • I would also be kicking and screaming if i would lose my privileges by the process. But don’t u worry bc they are fighting a futile battle in this new chapter of Philippine history. Bias mainstream lost its credibility when they attempted to obstruct the will of the people.

  • I think it is impossible to identify one issue. The key behind the Duterte Model, and I have said this since he was elected, is that it is holistic. It is attempting to solve all the problems simultaneously because solving any one on its own will fail because of the other problems. It is incredibly ambitious but only because of the vested interests. He won’t solve it all in his time but he can set the path. The oligarchy, the Bishops, the criminals, the Communists can’t be allowed to reverse the changes.

  • The sections of society who are screaming and kicking as what you said are those that DO NOT WANT THE FILIPINO PEOPLE TO PROSPER so they can dictate what they want, taga sunod s lahat ng naisin nila. Politicians that dont really care for the poor but for themselves only!

  • I feel there is a need for revolutionary government but the time is not perfect.i believe ms.sass when she reiterated na tiyak mahmamadali ang mga kalaban, not here in ph..but abroad para tuluyang pagsamatalahan ang revgov para maging kakampi ang taga labas..it is risky so perfect timing ,ung d na sira ang ating mahal na presidente sa international community..i trust him to have enough faith that he will declare it when the time is right.

  • Considering the myriad of problems that is haunting this nation,the President’s term is not enough to address them.Aside from the unpalatable fact that even significant programs are obstructed.This nation is embedded in misery,brought about by a rotten system and is empowered by a flawed constitution.There is no other way but to take advantage of the President’s altruism and competence.Revgov is imperative!

    • Because the critics are only isolating the declaration on PRRD,but never did they touch the sovereign people’s will.Because they know it is not only moral,but constitutional as well.It’s even recognized in both 1973 and 1987 constitution and defined in our Revised Penal Code.Sec 2 of RA 6735 states;The power of the people under a system of inniative,to directly propose,enact,approve and reject,in whole,or part of the constitution,laws,ordinances,and resolutions by any legislative body is thereby recognized and guaranteed.

  • Marami mawawdlan ng delihensya.mapuputol na mga luho ng magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan.kaya sobra galit nila kay Pres. Duterte..Majority of the Filipino citizens support the PRES. We will have that CHANGE EVEN IF IT TAKES A LITTLE LON GER

  • The entrenched powers owned by the oligarchs are against any changes that will remove their ability to dictate how the country is run. Not to mention complicity in siphoning away public funds to private pockets.

  • I believe a single eye to an issue is the key to solve problems. Every new rule is harsh but we’ve immuned to that. Drugs is a man. War a long term commitment to fight but it gives favorable upper hand to the president for others who never dare to settle it. A long table to manage but it pulls more issues. So I believe that this is a bait to test political enemies and divisions plus new allies putting again to the next level. No wonder people expect short decisive but abrupt changes. People learned the past now they are forcing to breach the law of others. The last to breach is the Court and contain the church. If these will fall politics in the Philippines will soon to emerge as a protection of the people. Democracy is no longer in it’s positions it already an overdose to all entities shakein their feet on the ground. I believe a new wave of contrvertials putting again to the next level of power struggle. But the people always see the old as a harsh one. To cast a stone to other is no longer a tradition everyone has the barrel in their hands they are just taking their advantage. So this administration is a gamble of all. Power restoration or Revolution of New System

  • The President is right in exhausting the legally acceptable means available to him before he heeds the public clamor to declare a revolutionary government. He was successful in staying within the bounds of what was acceptable legally in addressing the problems of Davao City, he should as well do as President. I see the priority on his table as ensuring that the Republic remains as one, unbroken the opposite of which will with certainty happen should the muslim sector continue to be left out of any development plans and the historical injustice they suffered not be addressed vis-vis giving them autonomy to run their territories while continuing to have allegiance to the Republic. All other issues may be addressed by the President’s functionaries in the meanwhile. The call for a revolutionary government may always be resorted to when, as the President has declared, “all hell breaks loose”.

  • These kicking and screaming few who resist changes are outnumbered by the new breed of Filipinos who have renewed love for our motherland. No matter how difficult and challenging this progressive journey, there is a Divine Power who will see us through.

  • with so many problems to face, the only possible solution will be to declare a revolutionary govt. this way, the president can consolidate power and fastract all programs. I am confident the pres. will do it right, he did fire his own appointed cabinet when they were caught cheating, I trust he will to the right thing. However it should be for a limited time only, becuz we know human nayure as it is, power corrupts specially if it is welded absolutely and for a long period, it can make the person powerfully drunk. So that is my one bit opinion only.

  • I have read and tried to make a small comment on all the excellent posts…it’s impressive to see so many people now involved with and inspired by the enthusiasm of change…a pleasure to meet you on FB

  • For my part, one of the most pressing problems of the Republic is the outdated and MISLEADING 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION. It is supposedly the sovereign will of the Filipino, but i hope people would see how many times that “SOVEREIGN WILL” is conditioned upon further legislation. A constitution that is conditioned upon an act which may not always represent the will of the people e.g. – “as provided/ prescribed by law or congress”… How many times does the present Constitution require legislative action to give life to common aspirations of our people under the 1987 Constitution? The will of the people as enshrined in a constitution should perhaps not need to have congressional fiat. A constitution of the people, by the people, for the people to CONTROL the government of the Republic and not a constitution that authorizes Congress to “control” the will of the people is perhaps very exigent at this time. When the very soul of the State/ Republic is designed to favor those in govt. the people will always be in a kind of revolution, they will perhaps always seek change. Imagine a constitution that EXPRESSLY says: “this or that SHALL NOT BE PROHIBITED by congress” instead of saying “as may be prescribed by law”. Imagine reading in black & white a constitutional prohibition on Political dynasties, as defined by common sense… imagine a constitution that provides and simplifies the mechanism of recall elections including the senate… Imagine the POWER OF THE PEOPLE controlling/ directing their government. Imagine its effects. Imagine John Lenon…

  • MGA yellow TAMA nagpasasa NA KAYO PAG IYAN ang Filipinos ALISIN ang greed embedded in your blood sumusuka ka NA KAYO SA PERA magagarang kotse BAhay travels ubos NA ang PERA ng PILIPINAS SA inyo bondad NA KAYO SA PERA maawa NA KAYO SA mahirap NA Filipino

  • They do not like what Duterte is doing, and helping every Filipina citizens. He as stop the NWO and George Soros ‘s secret funding companies Funding the elitist politicians and bring the country down, I just wish there were more leaders in the world that its leaders are interested in there people. There is only 3 main leaders that are against the Rothschilds and the Bankers. President Duterte, President, Trump and President Putin. They can not be bought by the traitorous Bankers.

  • Let’s do our part as Filipino citizens.
    The success of our country depends on how we can selflessly contribute to its well being. We can never reach our goals if we keep on holding on to what we believe is good for us when there is a better option for the best future. Let us ponder on things that can move mountains even heavens.
    *resistance is for the weak (mind) because they equate that as pain/suffering when it is actually strength.

  • It’s a tall order to solve all the problems compounded the Philippines. It’s already a terminal cancer that needs major operation. But we must lose hope. Not in Duterte’s time. But I believe malaki ang magagawa nya. He is not perfect. But we must keep believing on him. Huwag tayo bibitiw

  • With the substantive comments here coming from the majority who are supporters for change, I could see no reason why the President would fail in his visions and policies.
    Let us all be vigilant against the ill will of crooked politicians and their cohorts who continue to resist the needed reforms.
    VOX POPULI VOX DEI

  • no matter how noble your aim is. there are still those who will do anything to discredit you ang hamper the things that will change the status qou. it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to identify who these people are, they always show their faces, no matter how much they hide it.

  • I myself am getting chills at what might be needed to turn around this country.

    With the amount of entrenched interest of the power brokers to keep the economy as it is, this administration is more likely to fail than succeed. Those who have prospered will never give up their advantage.

    In all honesty, the only thing going for the 99% is Duterte. Demonized and painted as demented as he is by his opposers, I have never seen resolve and a sense of urgency in a President — not Cory, not Fidel, not Erap, not Gloria… and certainly not Noynoy.

    Maybe he is working with a temporal deadline.
    Maybe his presidency is his contrition.
    Maybe we did luckily ended up electing a person who in his truest of truths, loves the Philippines.

    He is up for the biggest of fights though. I am betting however on his intelligence, and cunning, and unrepentant hardheadedness to change the system and give the 99% a chance at prosperity within our lifetimes.

    And yes, it includes even those who hate his guts.

  • The purpose is commendable as it is the quickest way to all out change of the status quo which never been able to uplift the suffering mass of our people BUT; the leader today is too dangerous and cannot be trusted just look at his dynasty in davao which he will replicate in his governance of the entire nation, look at all his lies, look at all the dead whom all comes from the poorest section of our nation and there are many other discouraging acts which too many to enumerate…if maybe it is a different leader who can command the trust of majority if not of the whole nation maybe we will agree…

  • resistance of the excellent deed of Duterte for the nation & people came from the greedy oligarchs, corrupt govt officials past&present, bigtime smugllers, criminal syndicates, bigtime gamblers, kidnappers, prime commodity hoarders, terrorists, illegal drug syndicates and other high crimes that are or were substantially curtailed by Duterte had joined hands to stop the President at a very high cost because he is backed by the masses and the entire apparatus of the govt that are cleansed of its corrupt personnel.

  • Those sections of the community is the same people who made our conditions worst! The only reason why they are so vocal and active nnowadays because of “fear”. Their days of corruption is nearing its end. The possibility of criminal prosecution against them are inevitable.

  • Hayys tell All of them to GO to Hell , pls if they dont want this beautiful n amazing blessed Country to Prosper , LEAVE us alone , Remember this for Always God is just ..
    ok what u Sow all you without heart will Reap , please

  • ” No Choice ” the Philippines Agricultural base should be strong and food should be plentiful, adequate supply and cheap to feed the growing working population. Philippines should be self sufficient in producing food from other countries.

  • Wipe them out, those trumpeting Holier Than You that Sucked the Nation for the rest of 30+years. Nightmare just ended, and Indios just awakened from deep Hibernation…. From being duped into oblivion.

  • This is correct. Curruption issues stopping the momentum forward, kudos to the previous administration. Those involved trying hard to cover their tracks by funding destabilization activities.

  • OUR PRESIDENT IS SINCERE IN HIS VOW TO CHANGE OUR COUNTRY TOWARDS PEACE AND PROSPERITY. BY FIRST INSTALLING DISCIPLINE TO OUR MESSY SOCIETY IT IS INEVITABLE THAT RESISTANCE FROM FORMER REGIME. FOR THE REFORM WILL AFFECT THEIR PERSONAL INTEREST. BUT OUR PRESIDENT IS VERY CAREFUL IN HIS DESCISION NOT TO GO BEYOND THE LAW. UNLIKE THE FORMER ADMINISTRTION THEY JUST DO WHAT THEY WANTED EVEN THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT PDAF IS ILLEGAL. AS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY WE WILL ALWAYS ABIDE BY THE LAW OF THE LAND AND WILL SUPPORT OUR GOVERNMENT REFORM.

  • so if you know, pls tell the pres so that you can contribute something to this gargantuan problem that makes the ph lagging behind economically to our Asean neighbors who dont allow chaotic demos on major thoroughfares that halts goods to move.

  • Their are opposition who are inventing a situation with their hearsay contradiction and even without evidence in a certain topic, just to control the changes.
    Mga ilan pang blind followers ng Aquino’s party.

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