Aired on April 05, 2010
Narration by Mike Lacanilao.
PEOPLE AND POWER
We have just celebrated the 24th anniversary of the first People Power revolution. When it happened in 1986, there was a great deal of hope for the future. There were expectations of real and lasting change for our country. However, after 24 years, we are back to where we started. We see the same old faces, and our politics remains unchanged.
Some thinkers argue that part of the problem is that we have not institutionalized people power. On the contrary, we have already institutionalized it in many ways. We have a free press, a vibrant civil society, and other essential things for a democracy to work. But the most important of these means is the vote. Unfortunately, the vote is not working properly for two reasons. First, out of desperation the the poor among us choose to sell their votes. Next, some of us have become so cynical that we choose not to vote at all.
Part of the legacy of EDSA I—indeed our responsibility—is to ensure that People Power is exercised through institutional means. Voting is the most important of the institutions since we are responsible to choose those who will lead us. More importantly, as we are all created equal in God’s eyes, we are equal at the ballot box. We all have the power to bring about lasting change with our single vote. Whether we live in Forbes Park or Tondo, we can be instruments of hope for our nation.
On May 10, we will be called to exercise our duty to choose our leaders. Instead of being cynical, let us take hold of the ballot box. Instead of going by what the poll surveys show, let us vote our conscience and assert our power to effect change. Instead of going to the streets, let us go to the polls. If we make the vote work, we make people power work.
How can we make the vote work? One way is through poll watching, where we can ensure the integrity of the process. Another is to be wary of the bandwagon effect, where surveys and hype can overturn our capacity to make informed choices. Also, we can help our fellowmen make informed choices by being involved in voter education. Best of all, we can pray and ask God to grant us the spirit of discernment, and protect the ballot box. Only with the help of God and under his protection can our power as a people be truly realized. Only with God’s power can we have genuine People Power.