Sense of history: An election issue
In the Christian world, Advent begins today at sunset, a nod to Judaism that counts evening as the beginning of the next day.
This new year on the liturgical calendar reminds believers that grace is always available for them to start a new beginning in life and be ready for Christmas and the final judgment.
One way Filipinos can begin anew is by taking stock of the progress of Philippine history as the May 2019 elections draw near.
That stock-taking can happen each time we have a civil holiday like yesterday’s celebration of the birthday of Andres C. Bonifacio, father of the Philippine Revolution.
Bonifacio and the members of the Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan rose against the tyranny of Spanish conquistadores in 1896.
So did Filipinos in 1986, at the time against a homegrown
dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
The long view is a clear view. The ascent of oppressors always comes to an end.
At the same time, their rise is always aided by those who, in a moment of plain desperation or high fantasy decide as if yesterday has no bearing on today.
So we have had a parade of persons like Juan Ponce Enrile, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Ejercito, Imelda Marcos and her and the late dictator’s scions who seem ever assured, via election, of new opportunities to wield power notwithstanding their
disqualifying record in the court of law or in the court of public opinion.
Recently, when a Marcos scion visited Cebu City, she was warmly welcomed by residents of Barangay Tisa.
Such welcome is a classic sign of historical amnesia, ironically in the very barangay where the activist priest, Fr. Rosalio Romano had been abducted under the dictator’s cruel regime many years ago.
It is up to the voters to decide where this country is headed.
More should be done than street marches and social media campaigns to help voters imbibe our collective narrative and its teachings.
Any vote that is divorced from historical reality will help turn the archipelago into a wasteland ruled by its mafias of old.
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