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We are for CHANGE

FROM A DISTANCEBy Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 8, 2017 - 12:00am

We voted for Duterte for his platform of change and he won by the millions. He captured the masses
because of their desire for change. We may differ with each other on other issues or how we will do it but we
must agree on change. Let’s concentrate on that. If change is the principle we can agree on, then we must be
single-minded about it. I remember during an advocacy meeting with farmers , one of them came forward to
say “Gawin na ninyo ang dapat gawin. Hindi nagpapalit ang aming buhay kung ito ang ating sistema. Umaasa
kami sa inyong mas marunong.” Simple. It was useless to him about parliamentary federal government in
English and he could not understand how it will be done. I never forgot him because one of the arguments of
those against constitutional change is that people don’t understand it. But this farmer understood it in the way
he thinks and expresses himself. The change we want is how to include the masses or marginal sectors in
government. I don’t want to use the term class struggle but that is what it is. Unless the elite concede some of
their power and wealth for the well-being of the nation, they will be hanging their own necks. This is the classic
result of the abuse of power and wealth by one class.That is why we need a new system of government that
will change the relations between government and the people and elite with the masses. We also need to tap
competent people as it was done in Singapore. As Lee Kuan Yew said, if he could say in one word why
Singapore succeeded, he said “meritocracy.” Competent officials will not thrive in a presidential unitary system
of government which is all about graft, money and an organization fueled by money. Worse as we have now
found out with the De Lima case, money also comes from drugs. Unless stopped it will be the drug lords who
will decide elections with government officials beholden to drug lords. The election of Duterte although near
miraculous, is only the start. We must be reminded it is only the beginning of a long fight ahead. Now we must
all help to achieve what we set out to do in voting Duterte. He has said many times that he needs all our help. I
think he should not have put a time limit to do what he needs to do. Six months? Six years? That is why the
yellowtards, as the Aquino and Co are called in Facebook, are encouraged to destabilize his government.
MISCELLANY: We can draw examples from East Europe when they organize new governments. “Although
Ukrainian democracy has made some progress since the 2004 Orange Revolution, significant problems
remain. This article compares the difficulties facing post-Orange Revolution Ukraine to those encountered in
East Central Europe in the early 1990s and maintains that Ukraine will have a harder time overcoming its
challenges because its starting point and inheritances are different. That is, Ukrainian democracy must
overcome many of the infirmities created during its initial decade of post-communism, and that these make
establishing effective democratic governance in today’s post-post-communist period arduous. Among the
difficulties are designing effective institutions, managing the post-Orange Revolution coalition, removing
entrenched corruption and weak respect for the rule of law, and coping with a less hospitable external
environment. Events since the Orange Revolution bear out the argument that the events of 2004, while getting
rid of a leadership with dubious democratic credentials, are merely the beginning of a process to bring a
successful democratic government to Ukraine.” From Peter Kropotkin on Revolutionary Government. “Of all the
most important systemic and fundamental constitutional reforms that must be implemented in order to improve
the Philippines, Federalism is the reform that has the most solid support among most ordinary Filipinos.
Particularly in the Visayas-Mindanao and even in the Solid North, Bicol, and Muslim Mindanao regions,
Federalism is widely appreciated and understood even by ordinary plebeians and proletarians to be of utmost
urgency in order to fix the Philippines. Sadly, there are members of the Philippine Elite who tend to be stubborn
and uninformed. They are articulate and eloquent so they are able to pretend to be “in-the-know” by
obfuscating the issues with their sophistry and casuistry and are dangerously able to convince other people to
become just as ignorant and as anti-reform as they are. For instance, the Monsods – Christian and Winnie
Monsod – have repeatedly over the years continued to keep mouthing a lie that some people have
unfortunately mistaken to be true. This lie is that “Federalism will empower Warlords and Political Dynasties.” –
from Correct Movement According to former Philippine Speaker Jose de Venecia only 80 of world’s richest
men own 60% of world’s wealth. The former Philippine speaker was an active supporter of the shift to
parliamentary federal government in the Philippines. He believes that we can draw the best elements of
capitalism and socialism. He also suggested a meeting of warring forces of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Mecca. He
gave the speech as the newly elected President of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace
(IAPP). He asked governments and parliaments “to combine forces to tackle the almost incredible but all too
real problem of the richest one percent (1%) or 80 of the world’s richest individuals owning sixty percent (60%)
of the wealth of the world, or the same amount shared by 3.5 billion who occupy the bottom half of the world’s
income scale.” “In the Philippines, the income and social gap is so great that like Disraeli’s Britain in the 1840s,
the rich and the poor among us have become virtually ‘two nations’.” In 2011, the richest Philippine families
accounted for 76% of our country’s gross national income. The two richest families alone together held 6% of
our entire economy” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, February, 2016) “The two nations situation, the incredibly huge
gap between the rich and the poor, still exists in many countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa and a number of
cities in Europe and North America.” He pointed out that in IAPP, “we observe that inequality is an unavoidable
result of market operations. Inequality is the price of capitalist dynamism. Left to itself, rapid economic growth
accelerates income inequality.” But inequality, though unavoidable, de Venecia pointed out “can be mitigated –
made less painful – by government activity and by parliamentary action. And it is right that the state and
parliaments should do so – because economic insecurity, if left to itself, will steadily erode social order and
eventually generate a backlash against the economic system as a whole.