The Philippine system of elections, as has been widely acknowledged, is a flawed process that produces only dishonest government leaders. Since the time it was first implemented it has shown no acceptable measure of honesty and fairness.
Like a bad tree planted on our grounds it has continually borne bad fruits that have poisoned our society, our culture and all the other facets of our life as a nation.
Our election process is flawed not only in the sense that the counting of votes is easy to manipulate. Our present system essentially requires every candidate to spend an unreasonably huge amount of money for his campaign. A presidential candidate, for example, necessarily has to set up a huge campaign network that requires enormous amount of money to run effectively. So does every senator, congressman and governor.
First in the mind of every newly elected politician is how he shall recover his election expenses. After he has recovered his investments through illicit and immoral use of his newly acquired power, he then works to similarly generate funds for the next election. By this time, he would have lost all his scruples. Once he has saved enough to ensure his re-election, stealing would have become a habit. He then goes on to endlessly acquire more and more, to continuously satisfy a luxurious lifestyle.
Since almost all of our political leaders go through this route of political spending, cheating and stealing, we continuously suffer from corrupt leadership. After all, what can we expect of a nation led mostly by thieves and cheats?
As most of our politicians are irreversibly corrupt they are rich only in rhetoric and promises but utterly poor in delivery. From being number one in Southeast Asia in economic performance the Philippines under their leadership is now at the bottom of the list. At over 50% poverty rate, we have the highest percentage of families living in destitution. Furthermore, over 17% of our people continually go hungry as they often miss a meal or two in some days for lack of money. With not much to show where our borrowed money have gone, our total debt has now reached an amount we can never hope to pay unless our leaders mend their corrupt ways. The nation's annual amortization for this debt is now computed at over 90% of our country's gross revenue.
Surely, if we allow our present political leaders to continue with their merry but corrupt ways they will bring us to the gutter. That is if we are not yet there.
Actually, we have not only failed in economic performance but we have also done extremely badly in practically all other aspects of governance. We have performed terribly in the field of education and sports, with Pacquiao as our only saving grace. Peace and order has not been improving. Worst, there is no longer a government institution we can trust. Even the Judiciary, including the Supreme Court, for good reasons, is now widely perceived to have been corrupted by power and money.
Clearly, our present system has miserably failed our people. Our nation does not lack competent and honest men but because we have a corrupt election system, we find it impossible to elect even a few honest men.
We need to bring into our government leadership untainted breed of individuals but we can do it only if we change the manner we choose our leaders. Our present crop of politicians, however, who thrive only in a flawed electoral system where guns, goons and gold determine victory, will not allow meaningful change.
We need a window of opportunity where we can institute meaningful and lasting reforms without the intervention of the enemies of change.
We know such an opportunity can never exist within the bounds of the present Constitution as the mechanism by which it can be obtained are in the hands of the same corrupt political leaders from whose abuse and manipulation we wish to be freed.
It is, therefore, only through a direct exercise of our sovereign right as a people by instituting an interim government that we can break the chain that tie us to a flawed and destructive political system. Such a democratic initiative is legitimate and it is our only remaining road to freedom. As the Supreme Court ruled in 1987 when it decided on the legitimacy of the Cory government, "it is an inherent right of the people to cast out their rulers, change their policy or effect radical reforms in their system of government or institution by force or a general uprising when the legal and constitutional methods of making change have proved inadequate or are so obstructed as to be available."To do nothing about our country's continuing journey to destruction is treason.
Col. Guillermo Cunanan, PMA '66