Home » Opinion » Who am I?

Who am I?


cardie roque that's the spirit

IN last week’s campaign sortie of the senatorial candidates supported by his Administration in Marikina City, President Rodrigo Duterte said what exactly should be the philosophy of every citizen in a democratic society – “you are who you elect.”

Said philosophy should be taken in its dual contexts – “you” in the context of the collective people or the public like the Filipino people and “you” in the context of an individual or a citizen.

As a people, we Filipinos are who we elect to public office. We have always been told that representative democracy is all about voting for individuals who will serve by advancing the public interests.

While this is true, the philosophy proffered by President Duterte zeroes in the responsibility of advancing the public interests to who should really be responsible – the public or the collective citizens.

The responsibility of the public is not just about an action that its members should do. The public’s responsibility is also about the real essence of such action – the identity of the people.

What kind of “Filipino people” do we want to be and be known for?

If we want to be a people of integrity, we need to elect government officials with integrity. If we want to be a people known for honesty, we need to elect honest leaders.

If we vote for crooked leaders, we are a crooked people.

This is true because the government officials and leaders – as our trustees or representatives – make decisions that not define how we operate as a nation or people but also shape our culture and the future of our country and children.

The Filipino people being who they elect is essentially a “process” that starts from each Filipino. In this sense, it is a process of each Filipino answering the question – who am I?

We each need to live such philosophy because its positive effects can only be realized when own the same as our individual responsibility. Our negative identity as a people is the effect of not believing and not living such philosophy.

It is when we, at the individual level, do not believe that we are defined by who we vote for that we, as a people, become who we do not want to be because we ended up electing officials who rob us of our desired identity in favor of their personal interests.

On May 13, let us all answer the question – who am I? – through our choice of candidates who will occupy positions of leadership in our country.