Before anything else, I would like to thank Mr. Manuel Quezon III for quoting my blog entry, “Resistance, Now,” in his column in today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I am both honored and humbled that my little call for resistance has been picked up by one of the eminent critics, historians, and bloggers of our time. Thank you, MLQ3.
More of MLQ3’s thoughts in his latest entry.
All this talk of “resistance” and “justice” has also been picked up back home, and suffice to say, I have been getting mixed reactions. My family, friends, and loved ones are expressing concern that I may have gotten myself in a little bit of trouble. I console myself in thinking that I am not worth the plastic twist-ties The Government will handcuff me with if ever they think I’m worthy of time in jail. After all, I’m not exactly a Jonas Burgos, a Sherilyn Cadapan, or a Karen Empeño.
Prudence and tact are not my strongest suits. I know that any other blogger out there could put whatever I think of The Government in a nicer, more diplomatic way. In three years, I have had nothing nice to say about This Government, and come 2010, I probably will still be at a loss for words. I’m sure that if The President is reading today’s paper, or as luck would have it she may be reading what I have to write right now, she probably would feel the same way. I don’t know The President, The President does not know me, and let’s leave it at that; it’s not like we’ll meet each other one day and drink some Quickly shakes at a bench in SM Megamall talking about life.
The term “hinanakit” – grudge – lends itself well. Over the years, many people have asked me: “What exactly do you have against The Government that you’re trying to bring It down?” I could rant about it again: questions of legitimacy, a moral and political ascendancy to govern, the prevalence of hunger, systemic corruption, widespread poverty, and so on. These are legitimate reasons why I have every hinanakit against This Government. The expected retort: “Let the rule of law take its course.”
And you’re telling me that I’m liable to get shot for what I’m doing?
Rule of law, huh? To be honest, there are some things about the rule of law that I myself cannot understand, but there are definitely things about the rule of law that I cannot stand for. Take Sec. Romulo Neri: the rule of law has upheld executive privilege, so all investigations on the NBN-ZTE deal has stopped. The rule of law, in this case, has taken its course. The rule of law has forgiven Erap, and the rule of law has forgotten the “Hello Garci” scandal. The rule of law is also responsible for allowing public funds to be used for the completely lawful practice of Congressman So-and-So to rename a school building Don Such-and-Such Memorial High School, all the while forgetting that there’s a village out there whose only road needs a paving.
The rule of law, to echo a thought by Mr. Quezon, does not automatically make things right. We are surrounded by every kind of wrong that there is courtesy of The Government’s inactions and inadequacies. All of these things – including the rule of law – should contribute to the growing hinanakit that we (I hope) have against The Government. Hinanakit is sufficient reason to engage in resistance. The biggest hinanakit of them all is right on our dinner tables, or to be more accurate, what is not on our dinner tables. We’ve all been denied the rule of law before, and now we have been denied the rule of rice?
The other day, I overheard a couple talk about how bad times are that they’d rather be shot than queue up on the NFA delivery trucks for nothing for another day. Now that’s a hinanakit: yet another perfectly good reason for resistance.