Canlas: May 14: Another national liberation?

AT LAST, there will be no third postponement of the long-delayed barangay elections. It is now certain that it will be held this coming May 14. But unlike the previous ones, this coming grass-root exercise of suffrage is being staged under an administration with political will to utilize the vast power of the Presidency to transform the Philippines into a progressive, peaceful, self-reliant and equitable society worthy of the respect of the community of nations. Indeed, the entire resources of the nation are being put at stake towards this end.

True enough, the ongoing nationwide construction of infrastructures, the establishment of new industries and the expansion of existing ones funded by local and foreign investors, the increasing tourist arrivals, the successful fight against terrorism and criminalities, the campaign against illiteracy through free access in stated-owned colleges and universities and the program to help meet the basic needs of the poor thru financial subsidy attest to this unrelenting political will. This is a continuing enterprise.

Yet, the fruits of these developments’ efforts will only be enjoyed by the countryside folks and urban poor communities if those at the helm of the barangay government are imbued with the requisite qualifications to discharge the role of the barangay as basic partner of government in nation building.

This collaborative partnership is particularly compelling in the attainment of sustainable peace, food production, environmental enhancement, livelihood generation as well socio-civic awareness within the community, among others.

Admittedly, such barangay-assigned tasks can only be sustainably achieved through the dynamics of a competent, dedicated and upright kind of leadership. This is the missing link in harnessing the potentials of barangays to enable them to fulfill their assigned role.

Of course, the political ascendancy of these indispensable qualities is not easy. For the vices of traditional politics still spoil the true spirit and sacred end of the right of suffrage, most especially the evil of vote-buying.

In fact, this is the main reason why qualified and concerned constituents are dissuaded from seeking elective positions in their barangay. This is saddening but not hopelessly incapable of being overcome in due time when our very survival as a people and as a nation is at stake. The Filipinos have that history of overtaking their weakness.

Our resiliency and innate patriotism as a race has been put into test many a time in the past. It must be recalled, that our forebears, with inferior arms, fought better-armed foreign invaders and colonizers. As a consequence, many Filipinos fell in the battlefield.

But ultimately, they emerged victorious to keep this Pearl of the Orient Seas intact and free for the coming generation of Filipinos to enjoy as rightful owners. These heroic deeds selflessly spearheaded by our Katipunerosis the hallmark of the Filipinos’ struggle for national liberation.

Today, the Filipino people are faced with another kind of challenge, which, if patriotically confronted will surely transform into a national liberation. That challenge is to resist the seemingly blinding but short-lived personal convenience offered by blood money.

And the effective way to vanquish this malignant disease of our electoral system is to keep in our heart the enduring well-being of family and community over the fleeting satisfaction of selfish interest offered by blood money. This is your money anyway given back as rebate in exchange for continuing loot by the vultures.

If this is done, coupled with the empowerment election of competent and dedicated candidates, May 14, might as well be reckoned with as a National Liberation—a political oasis that will propel the long over-due growth and progress in our barangays.