Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Open Letter To Our Leaders by SC Austero

I love this post by Mr. Austero and I would love to share to my fellow Filipinos about the real sentiments of the "silent majority." Sir Austero, you nailed it...
Open Letter To Our Leaders
by Schubert Caesar Austero

Dear Tita Cory, Senators, Congressmen, Businessmen, Media people, Leftists, and all Bleeding Hearts Out There:

I am angry. And I know that there are many out there who are angrier than I am for the same reason. And that reason is simple. I am sick and tired of all you guys claiming to speak for me and many Filipinos. I feel like screaming every time you mouth words about fighting for my freedom and my rights, when you obviously are just thinking about yours. You tell me that the essence of democracy is providing every citizen the right to speak his or her mind and make his or her own informed judgments, but you yourselves do not respect my silence and the choices I and many others have made. In other words, your concept of democracy is limited to having your rights and your freedoms respected, at the expense of ours.

I am utterly flabbergasted that you still do not get it: we already responded to your calls, and our response has been very clear - we chose not to heed your calls to go to EDSA or to Fort Bonifacio not because we do not love our country or our freedoms or our rights, but precisely because we love our country even more. Because quite frankly, we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward. You may think that is not correct, you can tell me all the dire warnings about the evils of authoritarian rule, but quite frankly all we see is your pathetic efforts to prop up your cause. You tell me that you are simply protecting my freedoms and my rights, but who told you to do that? I assure you that when I feel that my rights and my freedoms are at a peril, I will stand up and fight for them myself.You tell us that GMA is not the right person to lead this country because she has done immoral acts. As someone who sees immorality being committed wantonly in many ways every day and by everyone (yes, including the ones you do), I may have become jaded. But you have not been able to offer me any viable alternative, while GMA has bent over backwards many times to accommodate you while continuing to work hard despite all the obstacles and the brickbats you have thrown her way. From where I sit, she is the one who has been working really hard to move this country forward while all of you have been so busy with one and only one thing: to make sure she does not succeed. So forgive me if I do not want to join you in your moral pissing contest. Forgive me if I have chosen to see things from another perspective. You say she is the problem. I say, we are the problem, more to the point, I think you are a bigger problem than she is. Taking her out may solve part of the problem, but that leaves us with a bigger problem: you. That is right, YOU!

While I felt outraged that she called a Comelec official during the elections and that she may have rigged the elections, I have since then taken the higher moral ground and forgiven her. Yes my dear bishops, I have done what you have told me to do since I was a child, which you say is the Christian and moral thing to do: forgive. Especially since she has asked for forgiveness and has tried to make amends for it. Erap certainly has not apologized and continues to be defiant, continuing to insult us everyday with his protestations. Cory has not apologized for her incompetence but we have forgiven her just the same because like GMA, she has worked hard after all.

I know you do not think that GMA's apology was not enough, or that she was insincere, or that that apology should not be the end of it, but please spare me the hypocrisy of telling me that you do so for the sake of protecting the moral fibre of society. The real reason is because you smell blood and wants to go for the kill.

Well, I have news for you. I do not like her too. I did not even vote for her. I voted for Raul Roco. But as much as I do not like her, I do not like you even more. I may not trust her, but guess what, I do not trust you even more.

You know why? Because all you do is whine and sabotage this country. You belittle every little progress we make, conveniently forgetting that it is not just GMA who has been working so hard to achieve them. Every single day, we keep the faith burning in our hearts that this country will finally pull itself out of the mess and we work so hard to do that. Every little progress is the result of our collective effort, we who toil hard everyday in our jobs. Yet, you persist in one and only thing: making GMA look bad in the eyes of the world and making sure that this country continues to suffer to prove your sorry point. In the process, you continue to destroy what we painstakinly try to built. So please do not be surprised that I do not share your cause. Do not be surprised that we have become contemptuous of your antics. You have moved heaven and earth to destroy her credibility, you have convened all kinds of fora and hearings and all you have done is test our patience to the core. For all your effort, you have only succeeded in dragging us further down. I say enough.

Don't ge me wrong. I am not asking that we take immorality lying down, or that we let the President get away with anything illegal. But you have tried to do that all these time and you have not succeeded, so it is time to let things be. Besides, you are doing something immoral as well if not utterly unforgivable. The Magdalo soldiers are consorting with the communists - the same people who have been trying to kill democracy for years. Cory has been consorting with Erap and the Marcoses.

So please wake up and take a reality check. In the absence of true and genuine moral leadership, many of us have decided to cast our lot with the President, even if we do not like her. A flawed leader is better than scheming power hungry fools who can not even stand up for their convictions in the face of an impending arrest.

Your coup attempts and the denials that you have consequently made only underscore what we think is true: you are spineless and unreliable people whose only defense is to cry suppression when your ruse do not work. You are like bullies who taunt and provoke, but cry oppression when taken to task for your cruelty.

I would have respected you if you took the consequences of your actions like real heroes: calmly and responsibly instead of kicking and screaming and making lame excuses. You say you are willing to die for us, that you do all these things for the country and the Filipino, but you are not even willing to go to jail for us.

Come on, you really think we believe that you did not want to bring down the government when that is the one and only thing you have been trying to do in the last many months?

We love this country and we want peace and progress. Many among us do not give a f*&k who sits at Malacanang because we will work hard and do our share to make things work. If you only do your jobs, the ones that we elected you to do, things would be a lot simpler and easier for every one.

The events during the weekend only proved one thing. You are more dangerous and a serious threat to this country than GMA is. We have seen what you are capable of doing - you are ready to burn this country and reduce everything to ashes just to prove your point. If there is something that we need protection from, it is protection from you.


Blogger BongA said...

Thank you for posting my letter. I appreciate it and it means a lot to me! But please call me Bong. I have enough students who call me Sir.

Bong Austero

11:45 PM  
Blogger jef said...

Im so darn proud that Bong Austero linked my blog to his...by the way, I was one of the lucky few who first read his "open letter".

11:20 AM  
Blogger floyd said...

Dearest Mr. Bong Austero,

I saw you last night on ANC you read your letter on cable television as is very much famous on the internet and blogging circles.
You were saying that we should give GMA a break and move the country forward.
You were saying that you have forgiven her.
And while people protests on the streets you say that it is not helping the economy.
You say that they are at connivance with these people that you ask to have protection from.
You say that they have not been able to offer any viable alternative.
You say that it is better to have a "Flawed leader than scheming power hungry fools who cannot even stand up for their convictions in the face of an impending arrest".
You say that many replied to your letter and congratulated you for it and even pasted it on their blogs and forwarded them their friends.
You have mentioned the threat of a Coup de’ tat within the ranks of the military and the Left.
All in all as in the way I understand, you mean “ENOUGH” and just live on with our lives as we watch the “FLAWED” President run the country. While saying that Cory et. Al are the bigger problem.

Your letter and its contents are what I’ve always heard with almost all the people I talked to about GMA.
They say that it’s better to keep the status quo than anarchy and let the country suffer an economic downfall.
They say that there’s no viable or a better alternative than GMA. And if there’s one they certainly won’t bet for another Erap or the likes of Noli de Castro. (or even FPJ for that matter on the last election)
Some say to wait for another election of congressmen and vote for the moral ones that would stand up against GMA.
Others would say that they will never trust a communist government or a state run by the military or a junta.
But the worse of them all is that they blame the Filipinos for voting corrupt officials thus having them deserve their plight.
Some reactions would state that even how many People Power that happens in the country there will never be a government that would listen to the people or be morally upright.
Each and everyone becomes as corrupt and hungry for power as everybody are as soon as they sit in office.
They become afraid that the current lifestyle that they are living now would be changed and more and more people will be affected because of the rampant destabilization plots as it would affect the economy.
Some would even compare different Philippine presidents and pinpoint each merits between them.
Yet all the more they are resigned to their conviction that there will never be a good Philippines much more an upright President.
So they decide to get out the country or live their lives and look for greener pastures.
That’s the part where I say “ENOUGH”.

I’ve never lived with my family.
My parents went out of the country with the same reasons.
They said that they want to have a better life for me and for their families.
They even planned on taking me with them.
In their time they saw that the only solution for a better life is outside.
They were poor to begin with.
They were squatters who came from their provinces and worked their way up the employment ladder through hard work and dedication.
As an end result they were able to have a better life.
They earned the merits of their actions and eventually became able to leave the country.
When they had me they thought that I deserve a better life than they had, thus they left me with my aunt and started another life oversees.
All their lives they worked and worked as many odd jobs as possible that they were able to send me to an exclusive school.
They told me to study and when I graduate to work hard as they are so I’d be able to do buy anything I want and when Id have my own family I’d be able to stay with them.
But for all the troubles that they went through they only have one request to make of me.

“Son if you choose to leave the country it is fine by us. But we ask of you not to do so and help our countrymen, we cannot afford to loose another generation of Filipinos at the expense of our country.”

So I did my best.
Though not that good in my academics I was able to graduate from my tertiary education. (In six years though)
In those years I tried searching for reasons and went all over the country to see the real Philippines.
I’ve mingled with criminals, the poorest of the poor the drug addicts the richest of the rich and the academics and mere street philosophers.
In all of them I saw the same bleak realization of a country that doesn’t deserve them or on the contrary made them who they were.
But in times of deep despair, in times of drunkenness and sober meanderings they’ve always hoped for a better life for the country and for their people.
That their children might never experience what they had.
They look at me with wondering eyes and asks me if there’s still hope.
I always tell them “When people stop making their lives better that is when there can never really be any hope.”

So now in these troubled times I read the news and I can’t stop myself from not doing anything.
A President apologized but never showed accountability.
GMA called who?
GMA did what?
I ask myself why we can’t put her to justice.
The point is she did something wrong and a simple sorry wont suffice it.
A simple sorry wont change a corrupted ballot.
A simple sorry wont change a cheated majority.
A simple sorry wont heal a wounded land.
And the more that she puts her back on accountability the more robust the criminals become.
The bolder the corrupt politicians become.
Because they see a society that bows down to a “Flawed leader by virtue of keeping the status-quo.”

Eventually her philandering continued.
By virtue of poverty and paranoia and sheer lack of viable alternatives she stepped on our civil liberties.
She issued E.O. 464
She decreed P.D. 1017
She puts to jail anyone who’s against her and asked them to be arrested without a warrant.
She puts media to a watch list and continues to harass its employees and supporters.
She silences the dissenters and brands them as communists and destabilizers.
And now she wants to change our system of government.

I say “ENOUGH”
Clearly there is no reason for me to stay silent and not do anything.
I don’t want another generation that is conditioned to learned helplessness.
I don’t want another wave of poverty that would throw the best and the brightest out of the country.
I don’t want us to not do anything.
I don’t want the next generation to blame me for another mistake that the older generation did—to remain complacent and just live their lives.
I also want to have a better life for all Filipinos but not like what you say Mr. Austero.

I see a justice system that is not friendly with the masses because of language gap.
I see an educational system that is flawed and backward because of lack of funds.
I see all the basic services like healthcare and access to food and water being eaten whole by graft and corruption.
And I see the taxes I pay going nowhere but to a “Flawed Presidents’ Government”

So let me remind you Mr. Austero that the President is not the Government, the people is the Government.
The President is not the economy, the people is the economy.
And I will never tire reminding you of that.

You have every right to protect your vote.
To not just let anyone take it from you.
You have every right to voice out your opinion and not agree with the governments’ policies and never be put to jail.
You have every right to question a leader’s credibility because you placed him/her in that position of power.
It is even a privilege that they are there.
Because they didn’t earn it, they asked us to give it to them.

So I find it justified to answer your letter.
And share my two cents of the matter.
That while you have presented your alternative of complacency I present my alternative of social responsibility.
That while your answer is “we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward”
My answer is “I am always prepared to defend our freedoms and our rights that we so hardly fought for hundreds of years and move this country forward”
And if it needs be id fight nail and tooth for it.

Unfortunately Mr. Austero it is from the likes of you that we need protection from.

I am not loath to see a series of People Power just so we could bring about real and tangible change.
I am not loath to see hundreds of presidents impeached if they so rightly deserved so.
I am not loath to see this country go down just so to rise up and rebuild itself rightfully.

I’m sorry Mr. Austero but I am not the silent kind that would just watch the events on television.
I also want to earn a living and live a good life with my family and friends but not in this status quo.
Surely not in this status quo of corruption and un-accountability and clear malicious disregard for the law.

And like you I am sick and tired of self scheming agitators that only have regards to what is good for themselves and their economy.
Perhaps that’s the only part where we could agree.

But take note Mr. Austero that I am never afraid to stand up for my convictions furthermore for truth and justice even in the face of any impending arrest.

So I end this letter with a prayer that by doing so I’d give justice to peoples like my family and millions of Filipinos hoping for a better country.

That as faulty as human beings we may find forgiveness in the eyes of God and men, but pledge accountability for our sins.

That we may stand up high and proud that our generation will never fail the future generations…

2:02 PM  
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