A nation still in search for heroes
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Today, National Heroes Day, the whole nation pauses in deep reflection on the importance of heroes to the long and hard struggles of the Filipino people for liberation from injustice, oppression, and exploitation, so we can build together a truly just and humane society.

There are no more Rizals or Bonifacios. Nobody can fill the shoes of Mabini, or walk in the shadows of the Lunas and Del Pilars. None among us could approximate the sacrifices of the heroes of Bataan and Corregidor, the ill-clad and ill-equipped heroes of Tirad Pass, the defenders of Tres de Abril, and defenders who fought hand-to-hand in Babag Hills in Cebu in World War II, including my late father, who was wounded. I shed a tear or two, remembering the pains and sufferings of those Filipinos who offered their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. But where are the heroes of this generation?

Today, with very few exceptions, we have impostors masquerading as public servants, traditional politicians who are perpetrators of family dynasties operating under the fixation that their clans are God's gift to the people, with a monopoly on the divine rights of kings. The bureaucracies, with isolated exceptions, are laden with scoundrels, scalawags, and rascals pretending to be public servants. And people mindlessly and recklessly keep on electing crooks and don’t care if the incompetent inept, uncaring, and corrupt run the government.

That is precisely why we need a Rizal today because we need a courageous crusader who will expose all the corruptions, shenanigans, and shamelessness of modern versions of Capitan Tiago, Padre Damaso, Doña Victorina, and Padre Salve. We need a new Crisostomo Ibarra and an Elias who shall save the Crispins, the Basilios, and the Sisas. And we need the daring and the boldness of Andres Bonifacio who rose against poverty, oppression, and social injustice, not afraid to kill, to burn a palace, or to ignite a bloody revolt against the modern tyrants and self-righteous scribes and Pharisees. Of course, I am not advocating for a revolt. This is just a figure of speech.

We need people like Isko Moreno, Vico Sotto, Fidel Nograles, or Samsam Gullas; young, daring, and pure. Young guys who have no skeletons in the closet or hidden agendas, and have good faith and noble intentions to move our nation to a higher level. We need a breath of fresh air because politics in the Philippines is like a catacomb of stench and decay. Politics is rotten. The economy is the exclusive monopoly of the controlling elite. Industries and institutions and all the factors of production, land, money, and all are in the hands of the few oligarchs, who bleed the nation of profits while starving the working class with starvation wages.

In this country votes, positions, honor, and character are for sale. Even salvation through novenas and religious rituals are for sale. We need heroes to unmask the treacheries of the people we so trusted and held in high esteem. Some politicians are worse than prostitutes and pimps. We need heroes to slay the dragons of hypocrisy and treachery. Today, we should cry for our country and for our children's future. And we should pray for heroes to save our country and people.

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