On the current political situation and our own 2010 plans

September 13, 2009

Quite a number of our supporters and friends have been asking me about the current political situation and how it affects our own plans for 2010. I thank you for your genuine interest in our preparations for the campaign and I owe it to you to provide some clarity and direction amidst the confusion brought about by the quick turn of events. After all this is what leadership is about: Providing clarity and direction amidst the dizzying confusion.

It has been 4 years since July 2005 when the ‘Hello Garci’ controversy led to the Liberal Party call for the resignation of President Arroyo. Since then I had been searching for an alternative political path for our nation.

From 2000 to the present, our nation has been plagued with grave political crisis after political crisis brought about by leadership that failed to provide real solutions to the country’s ills. To my mind, the old, inutile and bankrupt political order had to give way to a new, dynamic, people driven political alternative. The urgent task for those who wished to see genuine change happening was to help work towards providing a viable alternative to ‘trapo’ politics. The people together with reformist leaders needed to work towards providing genuine leadership that was inspiring and principled.

I told myself then that our bankrupt, mindless, trapo politics had brought us to the political mess we found ourselves in. What we needed to chart was a new direction for the nation provided by leadership with vision, with courage and with principles. It was this type of leadership that would inspire our people and lead us towards the ‘promised land’.

It was this burning desire for an alternative to ‘trapo’ politics or ‘politics as usual’ that led us to assert that we needed to do things very differently if we wanted real change to take place. That doing the same thing over and over again in our politics and our elections would yield the same ugly results and would not bring us the desired change. We needed to experiment, to be creative, to think out of the box, to take risks in order to lead and inspire our people to act.

It is my belief that only when leadership is inspiring can it mobilize a critical mass of our people towards an agenda for real change. Only when the people themselves take on the burden of reshaping our nation, only when they are mobilized, can we move the nation to greater heights. If we are to reshape our communities, if we are to reshape our nation, the people in the millions must be mobilized to actively pursue change.

It was this desire for an alternative and the firm belief that we needed to do things differently that led me to run as an independent candidate in 2007. It was this same belief for an alternative that likewise led me to pursue an independent Vice Presidential bid. We needed to be willing to stick our necks out and do things radically different.

It is with all these in mind that I made the controversial yet necessary decision to urge Senator Noynoy Aquino to seek the Presidency. The events that developed and unfolded right after the death of former President Aquino has reshaped the political landscape entirely. The death of the former President, a beloved leader, unleashed a torrent of emotions that pined and yearned for the days of heroic leadership and sacrifice as exemplified by the death of Ninoy Aquino and the simple, unassuming and selfless leadership of President Cory Aquino.

In less than a month, the impact of President Cory’s death and burial snowballed into a clamor for Senator Aquino to seek the presidency in 2010. The reluctant Noynoy did not ask for this. He was literally pushed into the limelight by the sudden turn of events. Yet the clamor for his candidacy continues to grow. It is, to my mind, snowballing. In fact, other prospective candidates have began to make way for his candidacy in recognition of this clamor. The urgent need to have a rallying figure in whom the people will be willing to sacrifice and give of themselves for the cause of change has been filled.

After my own prayer and reflection, I came to the conclusion that it is Noynoy, given the unfolding of recent events, who is in the best position to bring out the massive outpouring of support of a people so tired and exasperated with bad governance and failed leadership. He can, as an icon and symbol of the Aquino legacy of sacrifice and honesty in public service, inspire the broadest support from all walks of life in effecting real change for the nation.

Noynoy alone no matter how well intentioned will not be able to single handedly solve the nations ills. He must inspire the people to do their share in sacrificing and contributing to the cause of reforms and genuine change. Amongst all the prospective presidential candidates, I sincerely believe it is Noynoy, whose family has sacrificed so much for the cause of democracy and freedom, who can achieve this.

What we need to do to usher in genuine change and to effect sweeping reforms is to launch a people’s ‘electoral revolt’ come 2010. It is only in a ‘revolutionary atmosphere’ can sweeping reforms be effected by a leader with a fresh mandate. I sincerely believe that Noynoy together with committed reformists leaders can and should lead this people’s ‘electoral revolt’. Only when we win differently by way of an ‘electoral revolt’ of the people can we hope to govern differently. It is not just about winning in the elections but the manner we secure the victory that will determine how we will govern and effect reforms. It must be a people’s victory brought about by a people’s electoral revolt.

In effect, after years of searching, I have found the leader who I believe will inspire a critical mass of our people to rise up and act and rally behind an alternative to ‘trapo’ politics come 2010.It is for this reason that I did not hesitate to immediately support his bid for the Presidency early on.

I have also said categorically that I am willing to give up my own independent VP bid in order to help unite and rally our people behind Noynoy’s candidacy. My independent VP bid was meant to pursue an alternative path to politics but now with the outpouring of support and sympathy for Noynoy and the legacy of his parents, I can see that it is in his candidacy that the alternative path to politics, that the people’s ‘electoral revolt’ can best be pursued. At the proper time when I am called upon to do so, I will give way to the Vice presidential candidate who can help unite all reform forces behind Noynoy.

For all those who continue to support us and our bid for higher office, I can never thank you enough for your trust and confidence in our candidacy. But I will continue to need and seek your support and this time to include supporting the bid of Noynoy for the presidency. We will need all the help and support we can get for the ‘electoral revolt’ to succeed. The battle therefore is not over. It is just about to begin.

Above all else, we are firmly committed to genuine change and are resolutely committed to finding solutions to the problems of genuine public sector leadership for our nation. If someone else will be more effective in resolving the problems and achieving lasting solutions, I will not hesitate to have him or her step up and I step back to be a committed supporter in the background. Our country cries out for solutions and for sacrifice to see these solutions through. We must all act towards achieving this, regardless of the personal costs.

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