Note: this letter to the editor was published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on 27 October 2005
It’s saddening to see Filipinos hurting their fellow Filipinos during protest marchers, some feeling compelled to do so by a sense of duty of by force of convictions. History tells us Filipinos fought for democracy in the past, many laying down their lives for the cause.
We, Filipinos, the masa and the elite, regardless of social status, were united in the 1980s in the struggle to restore democracy in our country. Today, the struggle seems to have been tainted by selfish interests and the desire for grandstanding and lust for power.
In my view, this is why those in the government could quickly dismiss the sacrifices of the street marchers as part of the power-grab conspiracy and selfish ambitions. And it’s sad that the media seem to have fallen into this mindset. And, maybe, this is also why other Filipinos have opted not to join the street protests though they are sympathetic to the protesters’ cause.
I may be wrong, but i think the rule of law works in our country better than in our neighbors, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
I believe that ours is not yet a hopeless society, contrary to what others would like to depict it, despite its weaknesses. There are still good public servants; we have the watchdog media media, the civil society, religious leaders and others.
Time must come that we must learn to understand each other, admit our imperfections and work for the common good.