Get a grip on yourselves!

AS A MATTER OF FACT - Sara Soliven De Guzman () - July 20, 2009 - 12:00am

There is an advantage to GMA’s “numbness”. Unlike our two former Presidents who are still strutting on stage, GMA seems to be taking all the criticisms in stride. FVR and Erap belong to the tropa ng mga pikon because their speeches all throughout these past months have been nothing but cynical statements against La Gloria. They also have shown sensitivity to issues raised about them. Shouldn’t they just quietly leave center stage and get a blissful and peaceful retirement? What else are they fighting for – their time is over.

There have been debates and interviews on television lately and these ex-Presidents have just been sour-graping. They have become very sensitive to criticisms. Even if the attacks or issues raised are puerile nitpicking, they must still get a grip of themselves. They should stop howling. In fact, they sound more desperate with their hollering. The public wants to see strong and honorable leaders – not pesky mice. So if you plan to run for another government position during the coming elections take some caution and care on your public as well as private appearances. If you are not running, then, you should stay home and take a back seat. Think of other ways that you can best help the country tread the path to progress. Give a chance now to the new generation to bring in new blood, vitality and zest to lead the nation.

I always wonder why ex-Presidents in the Philippines continue to involve themselves in matters of the State. I think it is very condescending for them to talk ill of the current President even if they mean well and have a point. And even if she is flawed by the many hooplas her administration has caused us, some utter of respect from ex-Presidents would be a wiser move. Look at Clinton and Bush – they distance themselves from matters of the State after their predecessor stepped into Office. They put their energies and talents on helping build America not destroy it. Look at former British Prime Minister Blair. Even when the people were quivering to get his comments on the current Prime Minister and the pressing issues in government, he kept mum and that made us respect the man all the more.

I don’t understand why our former Presidents want to make us forget their past. You think we have such a bad case of amnesia? C’mon! You sound as if you are “flawless”. Tsk! Tsk! I think you should review all the headlines of the daily newspapers during your term in office.

This just reminds me of Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror”. The refrain goes: I’m starting with the man in the mirror. _I’m asking him to change his ways. _And no message could have been any clearer. _If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change.

What many people seem to wish nowadays is for the president to be ousted. I know that all the criticisms about GMA serve as a wake up call to her too. As a matter of fact, she needs it. We criticize because we hope that La Gloria will hark and respond to our call. But so far, we haven’t heard nor seen her. We’ve heard enough from her spokesmen. It’s about time we hear from the President herself. I guess we will finally see and hear her during the SONA. Good luck, Madame President, good luck!

* * *

As I was driving along EDSA a few days ago, I saw three rugby boys gathered in a circle under the noses of MMDA and street sweepers although no one paid attention to them. They were around 7-10 years old. They looked spaced out, spiritless and dirty. On another occasion, I saw a mother looking like a taong grasa sitting under one of the overpasses of EDSA. She was staring blankly on passersby almost lifeless.

In both instances, I felt very sad. I cannot imagine and accept the reality that this nation is run by fools who strut in public office. I feel humiliated and very peeved as a Filipino to see our fellowmen suffer and not rescued from such harshness of life. Talk about human rights. I know we see these scenarios everywhere BUT are we just going to accept it and pretend we don’t see them?

This is a country where a crisis a minute seems to be occurring and the people are simply sick and tired of it all. We have become a nation once so forward-looking that has stagnated with the rest of our neighbors passing us by.

When will we ever evolve toward protecting the rights of our people? When will our government and public servants ever wake up. They keep on saying that we have “no funds”. This statement remains our greatest drawback to progress.

Why do we spend so much money on wasteful projects and not resolve the problems of the poor – starvation, poverty, education and unemployment? To claim that we have no “money” or no “budget” – is nonsense. We must find the funds to raise the living standards of our people.

We must never relent in our fight against drugs, violent crime, murder, kidnapping and other ills. We always use the Abu Sayyaf, MNLF, NPA and other Leftist Groups as scapegoats blaming them for all the political turmoil and terrorism going on in this country. Really, if you take a closer look at these people, it is not a fight toward terrorism but theirs is a fight for life. What they really need is hope. They need the opportunities to live a good life – but no one in government has ever been able to strike the right formula for alleviating poverty. I bet your bottom dollar that once we have given a better life to these people – we will be able to win the war against terrorism as well as crime.

A better life is being able to have your basic needs – food, shelter and clothing. You don’t fight poverty. You overcome it. And the only weapon by which the poor can overcome it is through education – not government dole-outs, grants, gifts, giving excuses, holding parades or delivering sermons. Education is deteriorating disastrously in our country – and with the brain drain accelerating – we may end up as a nation of jobless istambays at the corner store or jeepney drivers or parasitic politicians. What needs to be addressed is not poverty but the ignorance of the Filipino people.

Education comes from the Latin word educare meaning draw out – an exercise in which a person’s inner talents and gifts are drawn forth and developed. We must teach the poor how to learn, how to earn, and how to better themselves. We must help the poor, help themselves toward a sustainable future.

This is a right of every citizen which has not been achieved by any of our Presidents.

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