Thursday, May 03, 2007

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Philippine democracy hangs in the balance this coming May 14th Congressional and local elections. God forbid if it fails because of a fraudulent and violent elections tolerated by the current administration, this beautiful tropical country equally endowed with rich natural resources will be open season to political and military adventurers.

Jose Rizal, the Philippines' national hero and martyr, saw in his 19th century essay , “The Philippines A Century Hence,” the interest of foreign powers to acquire the Philippines in the aftermath of a violent revolution. He was proven right when American president McKinley decided to colonize the Philippines a few years after his execution by the Spaniards.

If another Philippine revolution may ensue as a result of a failed democratic process, then a similar scenario of a foreign power – this time the Chinese dragon - entering Manila Bay may be in sight. China' s interest in the Philippines is definitely focused on the abundant natural gas and oil deposits in Palawan and Sulu Seas that would be sufficient enough to boost its robust industrialization program. Asia's “Pearl of the Orient “ is indeed worth invading, Chinese officials may think when opportunity comes.

How would America, the world's crusader for democracy, react to a possible anarchy or civil war in the Philippines if democracy fails? American President Bush has already sacrificed thousands of American lives and billions of American dollars to establish a democracy in Iraq. How much more important to do everything at his command to save Philippine democracy. Contingency plans may already be underway in case of emergency.

The future of the Philippines is now in the hands of the Filipino voters. I believe an average voter, let's say Pedro, knows the candidate that would be good for him, his family, and his country. When he cast his vote, nobody will know how he voted, even the candidate who gave him P100,000 insurance card, P10,000 pledge, a sack of rice, cash, or who threatened him with death. Definitely, he would not vote for a candidate who has stolen money from the Filipino people, who has no clear vision on how to help the country develop economically in order to create jobs, generate revenues, and reduce poverty, and who is not ready to sacrifice personal benefits or conveniences for the welfare of the people.

I urge everybody to pray that God will protect the Filipino people's right of suffrage, a democratic institution, from being violated by evildoers for the sake of democracy.



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