Posted by: Chuck | June 8, 2013

An open letter to the Philippine president

The president in the Philippines is probably swamped with suggestions and advice, and since I have lived here since 2002 I have a few things I’d like to say.

Since the Filipino people have spoken in the last national election, we all should now support you and pray that you prevail. But first, I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore; you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time the experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one generation 25 years for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But you can begin that happy process of healing. Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the many contradictions in it that we have not resolved whose resolutions would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too. Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes you may consult them.

Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia. You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it.  And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.

And, finally, your mother; the Filipino loved her, she united the country in ousting a dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but did not do it. And most grievous of all she transformed the EDSA I revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy. She became president only because her husband was murdered and you became president elect only because your mother died.

I am 77 and how I despair over how three generations of the Philippine leaders failed. Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father aborted promise.



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