Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

16 June 2010
Dare More. Be More...Because the Country Needs No Less

The key of the past not repeating itself is us. We know this in our hearts and it is great that there are a lot of us who have taken the challenge of being the difference to make a difference. If we factor in ourselves and be one of the variables that will change the tide, then perhaps, change has a chance. In doing so, we need to dare ourselves to be more. This is the clear lesson from history. We need to do our part and yes, there are good signs that we will.

7 June 2010
That Critical Link and Delicate Balance that Make Change in the Philippines Possible

The news that the FOI Bill failed was frustrating, but it should serve as a wake up call. Not only that we must make power accountable, we must reconstitute power; for as it is now, the power configuration in our society only allows limited reforms and hardly any radical changes. Important legislations that deepen democracy by giving more power to the people and making the exercise of power more accountable like the FOI Bill will hardly have a chance and our toil to make a difference will be more of the same without making any difference in the existing power structure. This is why it is most critical that while we continue our governance work now, we do not lose sight of the important task of developing our political party system, continuing the political engagement with the new administration and creating a reform-oriented context for the next elections through electoral reform and political education.

11 March 2010
Bayanihan at Pamayanan

The spirit of Bayanihan is what this project tries to revive, the spirit of being part of a community, of cooperation, of caring for others. This is what we try to reclaim—the meaning of Bayanihan that has evolved from a simple act of neighbors carrying a whole house of a relocating family to a process of nation-building through people’s empowerment and good governance.

This is a message that says everything is not lost after all. There are shimmers of light, patches of green, light at the end of the tunnel or however you call it that means there is hope. EDSA 1 and 2 were acts of Bayanihan. The fights against social injustice are acts of Bayanihan. And though sporadic, they continue even up to present. 

4 January 2010
Network and Vanguard: Reflections on the Philippine Left

However, while acts of resistance do occur simultaneously at various points of the social system, these actions (to be truly effective) require various instruments of resistance—such as local associations, civic organizations, social movements and even political parties. But a party is just one among a variety instruments that would have to be used in the struggle for democracy and socialism. This is so since the party must not be allowed to permeate all aspects of a person’s life, nor can it be seen as the most appropriate vehicle in addressing issues concerning “life politics.” 

Such a situation would therefore have a profound impact on our understanding of a political party, for it would no longer have to be viewed as the vanguard of the masses and pivot of revolution, but as mere participant in a still on-going global discourse.

2 December 2009
Justice in Maguindanao

Election violence is a paradox. Elections are designed to be peaceful means to resolve contestation for power and to uphold the democratic rights of citizens to participate directly in governance. Yet, in the Philippines, elections have increasingly become a reason for the use of violence and have often sowed fear and divisiveness and/or violation of human rights.

27 November 2009
Justice in Maguindanao, Justice for All

Paradoxically, the Maguindanao Massacre gives the country a unique opportunity to address a long-time problem that was not a monopoly of one region or ethnic community. With this massacre, we crossed the line and the country is now on the brink of being a failed state. With this massacre, we are seeing a scale of brutality and evil that we have not seen before. We have seen political and media assassinations and we have experienced massacres of farmers and workers – but not with these targets (women, lawyers, journalists, bystanders and passersby) and not in these numbers. Lines were crossed in Maguindanao and we must all work together, and work very hard, to pull the country back from those lines. Otherwise, the consequences are unimaginable with political clans all over the country possibly believing that they too can act with impunity.

22 September 2009
Agenda For Hope

The way forward is to change the country from the base, place by place, island by island. The integration and unity must be achieved with respect to the diversity and plurality of struggles; but a conscious effort is needed by the leaders of these initiatives to connect their struggles and execute a coordinated strategy of taking power at the national level.

Once this political machinery of reform movements in the Philippines wins power, it has both the broad social base and moral ascendancy to bring a developmental and democratic state, which can effectively lead the process of nation-building. This is a formidable challenge, but it has to be done. By building on the basics, we will change the Philippines.

15 March 2008
An Empowered Argument for a People Power

On an “Alternative” to People Power Proposal

There is an alternative to people power which is being proposed: “have Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the president for the remainder of her term,” for her staying there “presents our nation with a golden opportunity to change in a deeper, more meaningful and more lasting manner.”