With permission I asked Ms. Dinky Soliman to repost her notes from facebook, I am sharing it here:
by Corazon Juliano-Soliman
January 20, 2009 Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the USA…it signaled hope and change in America…..January 20, 2001 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in as President of the Philippines riding the on the hopes of a people for a leadership that will practice good governance.
Today, January 20, 2009, we Filipinos are seeking an Obama of the Philippines. We are sick and tired of the corruption that confronts us everyday and the cover ups that this administration is doing. We complaint about the abuse of power that GMA and her cohorts exercise as they slowly slaughter the institutions of democracy in the country. We are frustrated with the opposition because most of them have not demonstrated that they are different from the current administration. – in their practice of politics.
We are looking for an Obama who will be opposite to the current leadership in Malacanang. Thus a person who stands up for truth and does not buckle down to bribery becomes a candidate for the highest authority of the land. A leader who performs well in his mandated function and conducts himself with integrity gets drafted by a host of people to run for presidency. There were even suggestions that a sports champion can be a legislator or a local chief executive because he unites the country every time he wins in his game.
In our desperation, we are missing the essence of the message of Obama.
It is not one leader; as Obama says …” it is not about me, it is about us…” …” it is the victory of the American people”…..it is pulling out from the depths of our collective consciousness the values that had withstood the test of times- crisis, calm and celebration. In his inaugural speech he invoked …” hope and virtue”… which the founding father of the USA had called on all citizens to hold on to and move forward.
Obama read the people’s wishes and aspirations. He saw the willingness and desire of the people to effect change; he touched on that social energy and the people acted, got involved and made the change. Thus the repeated message of Obama is - the people made the change and the people will remake America.
So we the people of the Philippines have to demonstrate that we are ready and willing to make the change happen; that we know what is right and wrong; we know truth from lies and we know freedom and democracy. We have to tell each other, show each other that we are willing to invest to make the change; take risks to correct the wrong and stand up against corrupt politicians. We have to take back politics from the hands of people who betray the trust of the people and make politics sacred again- a sacred covenant between leaders and constituencies. We the people, cede part of our power to people we elect, thus if they do not act in behalf of the common good we should take back the power we ceded to them.
When we act in our numbers and insist… persist …for truth and justice, transparent and honest governance at the local and national level….the Obamas of the Philippines will emerge. There will be leaders who will demonstrate servant leadership; there will be leaders who will facilitate processes that will forge unity; there will be leaders who will be bold and daring to innovate with the people in crafting solutions to systemic problems; there will be leaders who will account to the people their governance practice.
This is what Obama was referring to as “the promise of citizenship…” We the people have to talk with each other collectively act and organize a force that will change our politics and set our democracy right again.