The Political Thoughts of Philippine Government
Aspiration to uphold and protect liberty, well-being, rights, welfare of every constituent, sovereignty, and the eradication of uncertainties like cruelties, abuses, hostilities, corruption and alienation against the people are the Philippine political thoughts that had been implied, manifested, projected and uphold throughout our history that can still be seen up to this time in different form. The former are the things that country had been deprived of while the latter are the uncertainties that the Filipinos had experienced while being deprived of the former.
My claim is that, aspiration to uphold and protect the rights, liberty, well-being, welfare of every constituent and sovereignty are the things that the Filipinos will always protect, long and aspire for because these are the same things the country had been deprived and alienated throughout the history especially in the times of colonization eras and the during the dictatorial or authoritarian regimes. The latter which are the cruelties, abuses, hostilities, corruption and alienation are the things that the country have experienced and the reason why we had been deprived and alienated of our liberty, rights, and sovereignty.
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Filipinos aspiration for their right to political participation, proper representation, press freedom gratification, greater liberty and rights enjoyment had been implied and can be seen in the specific work of Rizal entitled ‘Philippines: A century Hence’ There will always be Filipinos that will always resist and fight if there is a sign or attempt to suppress press freedom. During the times of the Spaniard this right to press freedom and political participation had been demanded in order for the Philippines to remain a colony of Spain.
This scenario manifest and implies that the Filipinos will always value the importance of press freedom. During the regime, era and administration of the former president Ferdinand Marcos and the current president Rodrigo Duterte, press freedom is being supressed, threatened and attacked (Gavlan, 2018). Due to the Philippine political thought of protecting and upholding press freedom, this circumstance or happening will accumulate negative perception, reaction and therefore attitude and actions of resistance of some of the constituents. On the other hand, the continuous practice of influence and role of different pressure groups in our country is a manifestation of the one Philippine political thought from the past, the aspiration for political participation of the oppressed and marginalized. One of the main claims and aspiration that had been discussed by Rizal in his work entitled ‘Philippines: A century hence’ that is being manifested even until today is the right for appropriate representation. Appropriate representation in the political process is one of the aspirations of the Filipinos before that can be seen even until today through the pressure groups. This is where another Philippine political thought can be seen, through the continuous existence of pressure groups. There are pressure groups from different groups or sectors who has the capability to participate in the political process specifically by influencing the policy making, and it cannot be disregarded, because its main purpose and essence is to attain appropriate representation especially and specifically in the political process.
Inclined to this is freedom for assemblies, and there are also right for political participation that I have mentioned in the previous paragraph, so that the grievances and aspirations of the constituents can be express to the government. This specific practice is still being uphold and manifested due to the continuous assemblies in the streets specially by different activist groups and through the role of the pressure groups in the political process specifically in the policy making, so that the appropriate and balance representation can somehow be attained.
Another Philippine political thought that had been unfolded from the past is the endeavours of the Filipinos for the gratification and protection of rights of the labourers. As had been discussed by Jose Rizal in his work entitled ‘the indolences of the Filipinos’, Rizal implied that one of the main reason for the indolence of the natives is the abuses in the workplace by the Spaniards to the natives and the absence or lack of labor rights that is being enjoyed by the natives. This is reason why the natives during the time of the Spanish colonization became indolent in the workplace, they do not have the motivation and inspiration to keep going to work and provide labor. The natives situation of hopelessness due to the abuses and cruelties, specifically the force labor solution of the Spaniards, the absence of labor rights and reforms became the main factor and contributor to the indolent of the natives. Now the relevance of this in the contemporary times in the Philippine setting is that, there are already labor codes and rights that will ensure and safeguard the well-being and welfare of the Filipino labourers from different institutions. Some people also uphold and protect this labor rights through the street assemblies or the so called ‘rallies’ for the betterment or improvement of this labor rights or if not, just to ensure that these rights is being protected, implemented and monitored, to expose any threats to these rights and of course to eradicate and hinder it as much as possible. The abuses that the country had experienced in the absence of these labor rights throughout the Philippine history, brought a Philippine political thought that rights like this should always be protected, demanded, protected and should not be alienated. The continuous implementation of these rights that will ensure and safeguard the well-being of the constituents is a manifestation that the Philippine political thought that had been originated from our heroes and ancestors is being sustained and preserved.
Another Philippine political thought that I observed and saw is regarding the political thought to eradicate any influence or control of other foreign country in the country’s political status quo. In the work of Apolinario Mabini entitled ‘La Revolucion Filipina’, Apolinario Mabini aspired to be not under the jurisdiction of America but practice the actual and exact style of governance of America which is democratic. Unfortunately, during his time, the Philippines does not totally become free but became under of another mother government.
The Philippine political thought that arises and manifested in this work of Mabini that became relevant and visible is the ‘resistance of the Filipinos to became under the jurisdiction of any country’, this implies that one of the political thought of Mabini is to attain and utilize the country’s full capacity and potential for its sovereignty. This is the reason why a lot of activist group has the same grievances, and that is to end and eradicate imperialism in any form to uphold and protect the sovereignty of the Philippines.
No matter who the president and whatever country they are trying to tie or affiliate their governance, there will always be some constituents that will always contest, challenge and will demand the eradication of these affiliations and ties that had been built in order to protect and uphold the sovereignty and not let any form and sign of imperialism to take place.
When the former president Benigno Aquino III projected a close-ties with the U.S, activist groups had negative impressions and perception about the Philippines and American alliance (Salamat, 2012). On the other hand, when the current president, Rodrigo Duterte projected or shows his aspiration and interest to have a ties and alliance with Russia and more especially with China, activist groups and some Filipinos demands the eradication of it or if not, has a negative perception towards it (Guarco, 2019). Not just activist groups has negative perception and impression towards the political actions of Duterte that expresses his loyalty and alliance with China, in fact, based on personal experienced, a lot of my classmates and even professor is labelling Duterte as ‘lapdog’ or ‘tuta’ of the China’s president Xi Jinping. These circumstances implied that the Filipinos somehow learned some important lessons from the past and in this case or scenario, the political thought of not being under of any country’s political influence, jurisdiction for the sake of protection/utilisation of the country’s own sovereignty.
Another Philippine political thought that originated from our past that is still relevant until today is the political thought of the Filipinos to eradicate the abuses, cruelties and corruption of those who are in power. The exposition and aspiration for the eradication of cruelties, abuses and hostilities from the governing entity that is being implied in the work of Juan Luna and of the clergies as being implied by Graciano Lopez Jaena are part of the Philippine Political Thought, that I will discuss in the next part of this paper.
Filipinos had been deprived of and longing for the reinforcement and protection of human rights of each and every individual. The violation of human rights throughout the country had proliferated during the colonization era of different countries in the Philippines, during the time of the former president Ferdinand Marcos in his conquest to eradicate and eliminate the leftist and now during the time of Rodrigo Duterte in his war against illegal drugs.
During the time of Marcos, there is no doubt that the influences and the believers of the communist ideology had proliferated in some time under and during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos (Hedman & Sidel, 2000). However, as also implied by Hedman and Sidel, it seems that these circumstances had only been utilized during that time by Marcos as a ground to declare martial law and attain the expansion of his power through Martial Law that will sooner become the terrain for the proliferation of human rights violations.
On the other hand, the war on drugs of the Duterte administration appears to be a threat to human rights due to the to due process of any alleged drug addicts or pushers is being disregarded and bypass (Manhit, 2017). Since this is a threat to the status quo of human rights in our country, it is a well-known fact that this war on drugs by the Duterte administration have accumulated a lot of criticism and negative reactions.
During the Spanish colonization era, this human rights violation had been manifested especially and specifically through the forms of hostilities, cruelties, and abuses, these things had been utilized by the colonizers to instil fear coercion in order to maintain the obedience of the natives to the Spanish governing entities in the country during those times. Another circumstance why the governing entity abused most of the Filipinos and does not taken into consideration their human is because of the fear for rebellion of the remote government of the Spaniards. The remote government became paranoid to the tendency of uprising that can occur, due to this the remote government utilizes hostilities and cruelties to insist fear and eradicate the attitude of resistance and the tendency of the uprising.
These are the reasons and circumstances why being overprotective in upholding and protecting the human rights in the country and resisting to any abuses, cruelties and corruption of power of any governing entities became part of our Philippine political thought. There a lot of times in the Philippine history that the country had been deprived, alienated of human rights and experienced hostilities, abuses and cruelties from the governing entity, and this is the main reason why the implementation and protection of this human rights will always be protected and uphold by the constituents whenever they see any signs of threats to the human rights of each and every constituents.
All the happenings and circumstances that I have tackled and included in this paper is the reason why the Filipinos have awareness and vigilant attitude to any form, abuses and corruption of power of the governing entity or leaders.
The abuses of power, corruption of it and cruelties are the common things on the different mother government during different times of colonization, the Marcos regime and now, the Duterte administration. Therefore, an attitude of resistance to any blindly obedient attitude now in our contemporary setting is a good manifestation that we somehow learn things from our past that we could utilize to avoid and hinder the abuses and corruption of power that we had and have always been a victim of. The people in the government or the government itself had been viewed by most or if not some Filipinos as the reason and medium of oppression and corruption. This specific attitude or perspective towards the government has something to do with the happenings in our status quo and our history. The reason why every presidency or administration has a lot of negative perceptions or have accumulated a lot of negative impressions in the eyes of the constituent is because of our history, where the government manifest and shows cruelties, hostilities and corruption most of the time in a lot of circumstances (Hedman & Sidel, 2000).
My claim is that, this awareness and vigilant attitude to any abuses, cruelties and corruption of power of the government or leaders became a political thought of our country, because throughout the Philippine history the government had been used and utilizes as the instrument of oppression, anomalies, corruption, abuses and lastly an instrument to uphold personal endeavours of those who are in power.
Eradication of all and any signs of abuses, cruelties, corruption, hostilities, and alienation of rights that had been gratified by the principles of democracy are Filipinos political aspirations and endeavours, these are their aspirations because, these are the things that they had been deprived during the different colonization era most especially during the Spanish colonization, American colonization, Marcos regime and now the abuses of the Duterte administration. If there are threats that will endanger the harmony of the status quo and the principles of the Philippine political thought, there will always be constituents that will resist or have a negative reaction to those who commit threats, as can be seen in different circumstance or setting, whether it is through online platform or street assemblies.
One important part of our history where this specific Philippine political thought had been unfolded and strengthen was during the 1986 EDSA people power revolution. Hostilities, cruelties, abuses and corruption power, alienation of human rights proliferated, manifested and became rampant during the Marcos regime, same with what happened during the days or the times of colonization, and previous administrations. These circumstances are the reasons why Filipinos resist during this specific time and somehow became vigilant and aware that any form or manifestation of abuses of power should not take place.
These political philosophy or thoughts are still being protected, uphold and manifested and relevant even until today in the contemporary times. My overall conclusion is that, the most evident and manifested Philippine political thought is ‘resistance’. The similar and common thing on all of the things that I have mentioned is ‘resistance’ on any form of abuses, hostilities, cruelties and corruption of power, and this our main political thought that took different forms depending on the circumstances.
The expression of the grievances on different institution, challenging and aspiring for change on the current uncertainties in all settings of the status quo is one of the greatest Philippine political thought that the Filipinos have inherited. The Filipinos are paranoid in any sign or manifestation of uncertainties especially and specifically human rights violation, abuses in any form, hostilities, cruelties and corruption of power in any form because of our history of hardships and struggle to be liberated in these uncertainties.