Who can heal this broken nation?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

This nation is looking for a new Moses who can lead the oppressed people of Israel out of the inhumanities and exploitations by the Egyptian pharaohs. The people need a new King David to liberate Israel from the tyranny of Saul. The Filipinos need our version of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to transition from the harsh and confrontational style of Donald Trump to a more humane, decent, and friendly system of governance.

We need a leader like the Vietnamese prime minister who dares to stand up to the bullying tactics of China. The nation is suffering from what Rizal calls the social cancer. We need a healer and liberator. We need a leader who can accept foreign aid without giving up an inch of our territories. We need a leader who can be courageous as a lion against foreign predators like China while being soft like a lamb, and compassionate in the treatment of ordinary and defenseless violators of laws. We need a leader who can be friendly to China without insulting a long-time foreign ally like the USA. Yes, a leader who is proud of establishing strong bonds with new friends without abandoning old foreign partners. We need a leader who does not make jokes or promises that he or she cannot fulfill.

We need a leader who upholds the value of human life and never gives controversial instructions, even jokingly, to any person, agency or instrumentality of government even under the pretext of defending general welfare or public interest. We need a leader who respects women and girls in the same manner that he or she respects his or her mother, sister, or daughter. We need a leader who is careful with his words and decorum especially when speaking publicly, especially when there are small children and foreign viewers among the audience. We need a president who can defend the rights of consumers without threatening big companies and their owners, one who always respect the rights of both employees and employers. We need a president who promises to abolish contractualization, but who also realizes that the employers' management prerogatives cannot be taken away without due process of law.

We need a leader who does not recycle too many retired generals and make them ease out insiders and long-standing career public officials and thus disrespect the civil service professional and managerial career system. We need a leader who does not assign military generals to be in charge of vaccine acquisition, and who does not hesitate to fire erring officials instead of merely transferring them to other agencies. We need a leader who respects the autonomy of local government units and does not interfere with decisions of provincial boards and local city and municipal councils, especially if the said decisions are based on scientific data representing the realities on the ground.

We need a leader who joins a political party but does not grab the leadership of that party, while rejecting original adherents of such a long-established political organization. We need a leader who refuses to be surrounded by sycophants and blind followers or “yes” men and “yes” women but nurtures professional assistants who always remain faithful to what is right and doing the right things in the right way at the right time for the right reason. We long to have a leader who unites the Filipinos and heals the factionalism and divisions across economic gaps, generational divides, geographical boundaries, and political factions.

The nation is broken by the health crisis, economic devastation, social and political conflicts. We need a leader who can heal the nation and bring us altogether in a just and humane community of equals who accept each other's differences, under a regime of truth, justice, compassion, and respect.


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