So I’ll start a revolution from my bed
‘Coz you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, the summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out…
– Oasis, “Don’t Look Back In Anger”
I never thought how fighting for something you believe in – in this case, that GMA should be held accountable and responsible for her reckless actions as the President – can be a very personal experience.
Before our intervention got junked at Congress, I got the phone calls from the folks back home saying that I should seriously consider toning down my (admittedly) harsh words for The Government. For the better part of the week, I’ve been seething, knowing that in the end, that intervention is going to get the royal screwjob. Which it did; let’s not make any illusions framed or disguised in legalese.
I’ve had some time to reflect on our intervention getting junked. To be honest, it still makes my blood boil to know about things like partisanship, politics, and the power of the almighty peso and pork barrel funds. For the indignities that our nation is suffering – not the least of which was to face the threat of division, civil war, and the collapse of its very nationhood in the BJE MOA-AD fiasco – resistance is still necessary.
Yet no resistance can ever be successful without a hope for a better tomorrow. More than that, no hope for a better tomorrow will ever shine so bright without the conviction that it will happen. The most important thing is that conviction will not translate to anything without action.
As I write this riposte (or maybe eulogy) for the assassination of the intervention and the impeachment complaint, I realize that it doesn’t have to end here. I don’t have to join that bandwagon that has given up hope for justice, fairness, and freedom. I don’t have to join people who sit on their couches complaining about This Government and end up doing nothing about it. I don’t have to have a facepalm moment and say, “Hmmm, maybe what I did was wrong.” Or, “Hmmm, maybe I didn’t go about things the right way.”
I don’t have a lot of things to be proud of, but in that tally-board of Things That Marocharim Did Right, I think I can chalk this one up. It doesn’t compensate for the many marks already present in Things That Marocharim Did Wrong, but doing something concrete for what you believe in is more than some other people do. Like congressmen who make concrete waiting sheds, for example.
I respect the Moro right to self-determination, as I do respect the position of the honorable members of Congress who cannot, for understandable reasons, endorse our intervention against Mrs. Arroyo. Just as they do respect the fact that I signed that document in good faith, with my convictions, self-respect, and integrity intact. I cannot respect those who refused to read it, or obscured and buried the belief and convictions of citizens in legalese and procedural technicalities. What my respect means to them, I do not know.
I thank Manolo Quezon, Ria Jose, Arbet Bernardo, Jeremy Gatdula, Richard Rivera, and Edwin Lacierda, for giving me the opportunity to stand with them in a fight we all can believe in and we can all be proud of. Just as I hope that they have welcomed my signature in that document with open arms and an open mind, that even people like me have a say – and have a steadfast belief – in the power of the way things ought to be, not the way things already are. That hope – in the words of Angela Stuart-Santiago – does spring eternal. No matter how audacious it is.
People will probably forget about the “monumental stand” we took just this week, only to have it buried. But before all this is forgotten, I suppose we can all be rest assured that even the ordinary can do something so extraordinary. People will long forget who we are, but what we did – at least I’m speaking for myself here – is something that we can all be proud of. History may have amnesia, but pride and self-respect does not.
I can’t look back in anger now. At least, not today… when I did sign and stand by Sally.