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Republic imperiled

OVER a decade ago, I distinctly recall sounding the alarm on what I perceived was my modest diagnosis of the Philippine state. It was, to be brief, the logic behind the daily headlines and the compendium of events which even our leaders were unaware of? Or did not wish to expose before a deserving citizenry. To reiterate, “What we are witnessing today is the phenomenon of a Republic that is deconstructing, a national identity which is unraveling, and a national territory threatened by balkanization from enemies domestic and foreign”.

This is the narrative of our political, social, cultural fabric as a nation and as a sovereign state. This remains the greatest challenge and the context by which every president, in fact every leader of his people (regardless of the loftiness of his office) but serious about his calling, must be able to perceive and address.

To this day, I can only remain hopeful and pray for this country, appointed to each of us by Divine design. It is a guarded optimism, a meager offering perhaps, but one I can patriotically afford, for whatever ebbing dreams, chartered from the day the Republic first stumbled in an overstay of Sept 21, 1972, the next “colorful” Administration doing worse.

Our republic has never regained back its footing nor its true compass. By degrees it has continued to trespass into un-chartered waters of experimentation, popularity, politicking, continuous debate and unsettling consensus. For a centenarian republic, we are still asking ourselves “Who we are?”. Why do we continue to grapple with national identity?

Such valuable energies wasted always in frenetic discomfort of our vestments, accursed of confidence in who we are? When we should instead be conquering “the world”. And so this millennia is further distanced from what is now the fading and once audible voices of first history, our original institutions, and enduring values. We look to personalities not institutions.

Pluralities not majorities. Ideologies not law and order. Charter-Change rather amendments. Tribal politics over national unity. Just the next election, never a vision. It is an ailing and imperiled republic. (Erik Espina)