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Leni’s revolution: A second chance?

Quote card for Horizons: Leni’s revolution: A second chance?

Corrupt or sincere? Plunderer or servant? Those that are absent or those that present up? Those that soldier on or those that retreat? Hardworking or lazy? … My nation, you select!” exclaimed celebrated actor John Arcilla in arguably probably the most impassioned speech on this yr’s elections, thus far.

“We don’t worship [Vice President] Leni Robredo … We don’t sanctify Leni Robredo, we love her as a result of she loves our nation,” he continued throughout final weekend’s grand rally in Macapagal Avenue, emphasizing how in the end, we voters, the Filipino folks, can and may resolve the destiny of our democracy.

The famed actor reminded Leni’s supporters, “[O]ur accountability as Filipinos doesn’t finish there. We have to watch over her so our desires and her guarantees will likely be fulfilled. So allow us to not desert her upon being seated.”

In brief, it doesn’t matter what occurs, and particularly if Leni pulls off one other electoral upset in opposition to the scions of the ancien régime, she is going to want the sustained and passionate assist of each single Filipino, who desires a dignified and competent management. Leni’s candidacy isn’t merely a repackaged electoral marketing campaign by the discredited factions of the ruling elite, however as an alternative a brand new and transformational motion aimed toward nothing lower than saving a besieged democracy.

To be sincere, John Arcilla is an actor that I’ve been fastidiously following lately. He’s an impeccably versatile and unquestionably world-class actor, who has had an outsized affect on our up to date political tradition.

Few years in the past, I and a perspicacious colleague, Dr. Lisandro Claudio, realized that we independently arrived at the same conclusion: specifically, that Arcilla’s unforgettable portrayal of Antonio Luna in “Heneral Luna” could have inadvertently contributed to the authoritarian nostalgia, which catapulted Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency.

I vividly bear in mind how, when the film was screened, the viewers would erupt right into a state of inexplicable frenzy each time Heneral Luna stubborn at seemingly inept, indecisive, and arguably unpatriotic characters. Mr. Duterte’s cuss-laden speeches, which captured the nation’s creativeness only a yr later, have been eerily acquainted; I’d even dare to say that it was possible curated upon optimizing the “Heneral Luna” phenomenon: An unmediated, nearly visceral, fascination with strongmen as supposed secular saviors.

Greater than six years later, right here is Arcilla, in his personal pores and skin and voice, reminding the Filipino folks that he’s a part of a completely new, energized motion, which seeks to enact the core aspirations of numerous Filipnos, who took to the streets, all through the previous century, to ascertain a really real democracy.

From the gang that wept upon the execution of Padre Jose Burgos and his patriotic colleagues in 1872 to the 1000’s of those that heeded Bonifacio’s name for a mass revolt in opposition to the Spanish colonizers and all the way in which to the hundreds of thousands who solemnly commemorated Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.’s martyrdom on the Luneta, the dream for a greater Philippines has by no means died.

Due to the honest management of Corazon Aquino, a widow with no background in high-stakes politics, we managed to lurch away from a bankrupt dictatorship. The fact, nonetheless, is that the post-Edsa regime that changed the Marcosian nightmare remained woefully wanting, largely failing to embody the good republican beliefs that animated the folks energy revolution three a long time in the past.

Absent radical reforms and transformational management, the post-Marcosian period noticed greater than 80 p.c of elected legislative workplaces dominated by self-dealing political dynasties. In the meantime, lopsided financial insurance policies enabled the 40 richest households to gobble as much as 76 p.c of the newly created wealth in current historical past. That is an astonishing degree of inequality and wealth focus, which has made a mockery out of our democratic aspirations.

No surprise then {that a} 2020 Pew Analysis Heart survey confirmed that just about half of Filipinos mentioned “most elected officers don’t care” about abnormal residents, whereas an earlier Pew survey confirmed that solely 15 p.c of Filipinos are absolutely dedicated to liberal democratic politics.

Towards this backdrop of widespread disaffection and despondency, the one strategy to save our democracy is to advocate for a real one. Leni’s historic candidacy represents arguably the second probability for the Filipino folks to appreciate the true aspirations of the 1986 Edsa Folks Energy Revolution, itself the upshot of a century-old battle relationship again to the times of Rizal and Heneral Luna.

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