To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets : Another Response to Austerio

Got this on the mail today:

To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets
(A response to the email of one S. C. Austero)

Dear S.C. Austero and Others Who Are Not Out in the Streets,

I too, am angry. I am angry that there are people like you who have become so jaded, so cynical that you would rather “lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward,” meaning wherever GMA and her cohorts are taking it.

Let me make it clear. I don’t claim to speak or fight for you or the entire Filipino people. I want GMA out for the sake of MY rights and MY freedoms. I will fight any government that steals MY vote, MY taxes, that lies to ME and tramples on MY human rights and civil liberties. If you don’t want to join me in this fight, then don’t. I’m sure there are many others who believe that government is there to serve the people, not rob them blind.

In accepting GMA for all her failures, at least you’re honest enough to admit that you have lowered your standards about what a leader should be. But please, don’t drag us down with you. And don’t blame Cory or the politicians for your pitiable compromises. How can you tell me that just because Cory and the rest of our leaders screwed us big time, then we should tolerate someone like GMA who wants to screw us even more? And you justify this by saying you’ve “taken the moral high ground” by forgiving her? That’s crazy. It’s like saying that having an extra-marital affair or sniffing shabu is okay because anyway, everybody does it. That’s definitely as low as anyone’s morals can go.

Oh, but you say GMA has bent over backwards so many times. The question is, in what direction? Sure, she has accommodated the demands of Jose de Venecia, her corrupt and abusive generals, her allies in Congress (whose pork barrel funds have been increased), the terrorist-obsessed Americans and big business BUT SHE HAS NEVER, NOT ONCE, ACCEDED TO THE DEMAND FOR US TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ISSUES AFFECTING HER PRESIDENCY. Do you honestly think her pathetic “I am sorry” speech was a genuine apology? On the contrary, she and her officials have stonewalled every investigation on her crimes, throwing all kinds of obstacles including the “great debate” that is Charter change just to divert public attention and obfuscate the issues.

The bottom line, you say, is that the oust GMA movement has no viable alternative. More to the point, that the alternatives are much worse than a GMA presidency. Well, I have good news for you. THERE ARE alternatives. The most progressive one is a transition council composed of untainted, credible leaders from various sectors and parties that will prepare for clean, honest and credible elections and initiate a number of social reforms.

I have even better news for you. YOU ARE THE ALTERNATIVE. Unless people like you and me act and involve ourselves in the process of replacing GMA with leaders having the competence and genuine moral authority to govern, then indeed we will be stuck with political opportunists and/or coup plotters. In the final analysis, we will only be as good as the leaders we catapult to power. I bet you there are a million more Filipinos who can do a better job than GMA.

But you’re really not interested in all these, are you, since you yourself say you “don’t give a f*&k who sits in Malacanang.” All you want is that nothing disrupts your comfortable middle class existence. To hell with the rest of the country. To hell with good governance. To hell with civil liberties and human rights. All you want is to sip your chilled merlot in peace.

Fortunately, I’m not like you. I DO care who sits in Malacanang and every freaking public office. I care what the President does and does not do. I care to the point of getting angry whenever a President subverts the Constitution, betrays the public trust, engages in bribery and corruption, and does everything in her power to hide her crimes against ME and the rest of the Filipino people. More than getting angry, I FEEL I HAVE TO ACT FOR REAL CHANGE TO HAPPEN.

If you don’t agree with me, fine. Forget about GMA’s cheating, about Jose Pidal and other thieves and criminals in government, about how our leaders have robbed us of our dignity. Go ahead, follow GMA’s advice to “move on.” Better yet, stop bitching and get out of my sight. The country will be better off without you. Go abroad and make some money. You can come back when the dust settles. Come back after we have kicked out the thieves, political opportunists, and abusive government officials. Come back when we have transformed your beloved Philippines into a peaceful, progressive and sovereign country.

From Someone Always Out in the Streets

9 Replies to “To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets : Another Response to Austerio”

  1. a very nice reply to a.c. austero’s open letter.. i too felt the need to speak so as not to belong to the group of ‘middle class’ he’s talking about.. this said it it all for me.. austero wants to move on?? where is he going? to a world of political bastards.. i will not betray my country and my children by giving in now.. i will fight..

  2. To my friend who wrote “To Those Who Are Not Out in the Streets”,

    Let me get this clear. As much as I have heard, S.C. Austero have attached his name on the letter, meaning he takes responsibility for whatever he have said in his letter and thus be subject to ridicule by the anti-GMA population. But the one who wrote this reply did not attach his name, evading any attempts to be noted by those who think otherwise.

    Well personally I’m not buying the reply. I’m sorry, but I say it is too one-sided. It never accepts what the other is trying to say, but in fact it ridicules. Let’s face it: Mr. Austero opened us to the truth of politics, how dirty it is and how administration and opposition sling mud bricks and bombs against each other. But, I say, Mr. Austero is one of those who belong to what Nixon connoted as the silent majority, and by my experiences in the rural areas in Bataan and Bulacan the townsfolk (who are not members of activist groups) all say the same thing: they are tired of all these political distress. Are these people you refer to as the “many others who believe that government is there to serve the people,” or are those people already members of activist organizations? Have you ever tried going to Northern Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao to get their opinions, or at least ask those who pay a little visit to Metro Manila? I say we stop and wait for the coming elections in 2010. Go ahead and ridicule me. I’m listening.

    And about the transition council (just like how my comrades at UP’s Alay Sining refer to as the Peoples’ Transition Council… oh, I forgot to say that yes, I’m actually a member of an activist group), I say it is an exceptional idea. But just like in Aesop’s “Belling the Cat” exceptional ideas are normally impossible ones. Can we really be sure that we can get ‘untainted, credible leaders’ from groups like farmers, fishermen and others of the working class. I may sound discriminatory and I may not be agreeing with Karl Marx on this, but I really believe that they don’t have any knowledge of how to run a system as complex as the government. I say they cannot be part of such a council until they can be educated, formal or not, well enough for them to be ready.

    I would also like to say that we are an archipelago, and we have a vast number of cultural identities. We wanted to have a nation known as the Philippines, and that basically means we need to make every have a concept of nation. And what is the most effective means to do this? Running over the cultures and traditions of others. Let’s face it: we imposed Southern Tagalog culture on our ‘brothers’ to be able to more or less achieve this. And yet we wanted to have a transition council? Oh please, then that means we have to demolish the Batasan Complex and build a ten-thousand seater ‘soviet building’ (‘soviet’ is Russian for council) because a Tagalog poor’s tradition is different from a Cebuano poor’s, because a Muslim farmer’s culture is different from an Ifugao farmer’s, and because a Ilocano poor’s culture is different from an Ilocano farmer’s. Point in place, I say a transition council would only cause a flux of “reform ideas” just like a nuclear reactor, and when it explodes it would result in one thing: civil war (but, hey, on the good side almost all nations who had been devastated by wars, especially civil wars, became progressive in the present, like England, France and *sigh* the United States, but do you want that).

    And so I give you a lending hand. If you really want to have that transition council that you wanted so much, then you should have at least a plan on compensating the different cultures and traditions of the inhabitants of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines so that you could at least reduce the number of council members. Or, if you’re having doubts about the transition council, entrust the reins of the government to the youth, who are all aware of these political circuses, after a decade. After all, the law gives us three to six years to think about who we must vote. And finally, instead of using your money for rallies and for showing off to the media and the flabbergasted masses, start up an information dissemination campaign instead, where you can spend more of the precious time talking to the people themselves rather than shouting a few one-sided lines of bravado in rallies. We cannot do everything in a snap, I tell you; after all, patience is a virtue.

    And to end this reply I would like to take note of the words from one of the leaders of a fishing community in Bataan: “We do not need a change of men but a change IN men.” Does this apply to you? It does for me, and you can even call or text me in this cellphone number, (0915)4427992, so that I can share my personal life and experiences to you, and after you hear my story you may be amazed of how much I changed.

    Well, best regards.

    Julius Noah H. Sempio
    SN 2004-14451
    BS Computer Engineering
    University of the Philippines – Diliman

    “We always strive for anything perfect, but who needs it anyway” – anonymous

  3. Mr. Austero opened us to the truth of politics, how dirty it is and how administration and opposition sling mud bricks and bombs against each other.
    — think we are aware of that truth even before mr austero posted his messge. so i think we re not indebted to him for anything..

    Mr. Austero is one of those who belong to what Nixon connoted as the silent majority, and by my experiences in the rural areas in Bataan and Bulacan the townsfolk are tired of all these political distress
    — i am not from manila .. im from a rural town in northern luzon.. and we are tired of the political distress.. the distress caused by a president who doesnt seem to care bout the truth.. president who can look at you squarely in the face and lie at you.. who bribes, jails and subverts any attempts by anyone.. their basic right to be informed to know and to question whats goin on.. all for the sake of what?? progress?? or her prolonging her term in office.. this lady is willing to run our institutions to the ground.. politicizing every orgnization she touches just.. for the benefit of who?? the townsfolk in rural res?? for her own benefit is more like it….
    — now we cant blame the silent majority if they want a cheater president .. but by god we the vocal minority still want justice.. we wont be blinded by threats by spin doctors who conjure up invisible threats just to divert our attention to the real threat at hand..a president who cheated in the elections who stole public funds to bribe her cohorts for helping her cheat during the elections.. who still has to be held accountble for all the anomlies her government is involved in.. granted all the past presidents have their own anomlies to clear up.. i say we’ve strated with erap.. lets continue on to gloria.. then let the next president take the stand.. we gott start somewhere to curb this uncontrollble corruption in government.. let us clean our house people.. dont be just mere spectators while were being robbed blind and our country being run to the ground by these people.. its time to act..

  4. “We always strive for anything perfect, but who needs it anyway” – anonymous

    “strive to be the best and do demand the best in anyone.. at least even if u come close to it id still be better than the worse”.. anonymous din

  5. I never thought someone would take my reply. Does it hurt that much?

    Actually, I was hoping for someone to give me a reply about the transition council because it is more or less the core of my post. But what I got are replies from the second paragraph, which is Mr. Austero’s view on politics (and, yes, you got me there on the “opened us” part because these things are talks of the town and I forgot to address that).

    And, by the way, Mr. Austero’s letter is titled: “Open Letter to Our Leaders: Why We Are Not Out in the Streets.” It is directly addressed to our political leaders, especially the opposition who are making all these clamoring to call another People Power, and not to anyone else. It may be hitting activists indirectly but, as you read the letter and analyze it (especially the last part “IT IS PROTECTION FROM YOU”), it is directly attacking those opposition politicians who may not be (or are not) acting on the peoples’ own interests.

    Oh well, I must be watching Channel 4 programs too much.

    P.S. The words at the end of my reply is an African proverb.

  6. TRANSITION COUNCIL IS A NO BRAINER TRASH-HEAP. YOU’LL JUST PUT TOGETHER A BUNCH OF DORKS ARGUING AD INFINITUM, AD HOMINEM AND EVERY AD YOU CAN THINK OF…. NO SNOWBALLING GROUNDSWELL OF HIGHLY EMPASSIONED ENRAGED SHOUTING PARTISANS ARE GO NA GO YOUR WAY… WHOSE GONA HEAD THAT TRIBE OF DEGENERATES? MACEDA? FOREST PLUNDERER? TATAD?? 1081 PRODIGY? LACSON? MIGS TYRANT OF MARTIAL LAW? ESTRADA? JESUS H. CHRIST WHAT A CHOICE WE HAVE TO MAKE … JUST TO TAKE OUT THIS STUBBORN NINCUMPOOP JUST BECAUSE HER RELATIVES ARE BANDITS JUST LIKE IMELDA’S RELATIVES WERE THIEVES TOO. LETS FIND SOMEBODY GOOD ENUF TO SIT IN THE DAMN THRONE BEFORE WE TAKE THIS ONE OUT!! YOUR COUNCIL IS JUST GONA WAKE UP THE HORRORS OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IN ASIA? DONT WANA GET MY HEAD CHOPPED OF BY YOUR HALF BAKED THEORIES… THERES GOTTA BE A COHERENT VISIONARY TO SIT THIS ONE OR IT CRASHES TO THE GROUND…

  7. To: penpenpen88

    ” now we cant blame the silent majority if they want a cheater president .. but by god we the vocal minority still want justice..
    we wont be blinded by threats by spin doctors who conjure up invisible threats just to divert our attention to the real threat at hand..a president who cheated in the elections who stole public funds to bribe her cohorts for helping her cheat during the elections.. who still has to be held accountble for all the anomlies her government is involved in.. granted all the past presidents have their own anomlies to clear up.. i say we’ve strated with erap.. lets continue on to gloria.. then let the next president take the stand.. we gott start somewhere to curb this uncontrollble corruption in government.. let us clean our house people.. dont be just mere spectators while were being robbed blind and our country being run to the ground by these people.. its time to” act..

    CHEATER, STEALER or THIEF of public funds, BRIBE, ANOMALOUS, CORRUPT, CONJURER of invisible threats, … your accusations could really go on ad nauseum (kulang na lang isama mo “TUTA” “HITLER” “IMPERYALISTA” etc.)

    You holler you want JUSTICE!! I say to you we have laws, we have courts of justice, we have brilliant lawyers what more do you need? Or do you prefer a bludgeon?

    My friend, if justice is really what you want, then go to court! Present evidence argue your case and patiently await judgement. Then abide by the rule of law. That! is the way to do it. Anything other than is hogwash!

    What kind of justice do you think you will achieve going out there in the streets? You want a mob lynching? What you are trying to do is foment anarchy disregard of law and order. The kind of situation that those who wish to bring down not only the president of the philippines but the government itself to promote their selfish designs of a group of disenchanted political has beens, losers and the power hungry.

    And when you do succeed (GOD forbid), you might wake up oneday, the freedom and rights you have been fighting with tooth and nail in the streets may no longer be yours as a new order of things comes around dictating another dogma of social order then you rise up again. It is going to be a viscious cycle and each cycle could last a lifetime not only of yours but of your children. What your are actually pushing is a culture of never ending revolution. And its is going to be bloody messy. Wake up, be sober and use your intellect not let others manipulate you for their own agenda. Do not be like Nero of Rome nor the ranchman who burnt the whole chicken house just because he wanted to get rid of the ” mites” or as you put it “clean our house of people.”

    Ang by the way the percieved people who is running this country to the ground are your own kind.

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