Everything and everything that happened from the beginning of human history directly affects our present and future more than we can realize. And although the landmark 500-year period of Kapuluan’s continuing colonial experience which we traced in the series “1521-2021” ended on 2022 March 21, recent events and the coming reconfiguration of the world by “principalities and powers in the air” do show that much has not changed and that the trajectory we find ourselves in only fulfills what prophecies already foretold long time ago. For as a nation, we have already waded waist-deep into the first 2 years of a global resetting of social, political, ecological, technological, medical and economic systems launched by the powerful, rich nations. New techniques and programs have been put in place; and people are gradually getting used to the revised rules of the game. We, therefore, expect 2022 to usher in a more-engaged imposition of the same pattern of social engineering we have seen since 2020.
As we have shown and proven, Kapuluan stood at the very center of the old global imperialistic machinery operating even long before the 16th century, providing precious resources to fuel the economies of imperialistic nations for five centuries. By no means are those resources exhausted – not the gold anyway — as Heaven had bestowed them upon this archipelago for a prime purpose. For gold never rusts or decays but increases in value. We remain stewards of the precious metal, both mined and unmined, among many other things besides. Not that we pride ourselves of material riches more than the divine and natural blessings that we have traced and fully vetted through Kapuluan’s history. And we continue to make history, whether we, as a people, know it or accept or not.
This article and the ensuing series it will bring, therefore, is not merely a personal view but a historically-and-spirituality-founded assessment of our common experiences as a people and as a nation. We aim not to judge (that is, condemn) any person or group but weigh their words and deeds by the measure of divine revelation duly granted to believers. For Yah’s main purpose for humans is to “convict us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment” through Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). (John 17:5-11) Faithful believers can only attain that righteousness and stand firm on Judgment Day as well by Ruach’s words. And the day comes upon us sooner than we think. Rest assured then that this article aims to remain faithful to His light and wisdom.
This article is by no means a judgment of the moral character of any person, but an evaluation of a person’s fitness for office. For it is the spiritual role of every believer to judge the intents of the heart by Ruach Who qualifies anyone to discern accordingly. As such, the same measures must be used to evaluate other candidates, or any issue for that matter. We are to test every spirit. Voting, as a democratic right and privilege, demands us to do right by Ruach, if He indeed dwells in us.
“Let Leni Lead” — so goes the campaign line of the Pink Party. We present some reasons why she should not. For we see these reasons as being her goals as well, whether declared or hidden. Prior to her filing of her candidacy right before the deadline, she had continually denied she would run. In one of her first interviews, she declared that she was finally throwing her hat into the mix to prevent BBM’s ascendancy to the presidency. Was she misquoted? Not likely, for the press carried it prominently for all to see. Still, no one would believe such a childish reason would make her change her mind so suddenly (and conveniently), in spite of her earlier hesitation. Let us then try to discern from her actuations and subsequent moves the real reasons that led her to run.
The first and primary motivation any person normally follows in making a big decision is of the personal kind, i.e., according to one’s world-views and highest aspirations, for family, for career, or for long-term personal benefits. Looking at her as one who has already reached a high standing in social, economic and political circles, not without her own will being a major part in it, saying she was unwillingly thrown into the political fray after her well-respected husband Jess Robredo died in a tragic manner would be like saying Cory Aquino herself was blindly led into the halls of Malacañang after her husband’s death without her own personal and other motivations coming into the picture and which led to Marcos’ ouster in 1986. A much greater force moved to entice Cory to topple Marcos, the same force and modus operandi that now motivate Leni. For Cory did not act solely or mainly on her own or for her own personal reasons. Hence, Leni’s personal reasons, however noble they may be, are but a small part of the entire agenda she has taken upon herself to pursue in her candidacy.
Her initial and, perhaps, primary declared motive, if taken seriously as it should be, leads her to reveal a lot about her personal history. Any graduate of UP can appreciate her stand with respect to BBM. Whether one had been immersed in the Diliman radicalism in the 70’s or later on, the same typical narrative and attitude come out and remain for years as a sacred conviction, unless one experiences an epiphany or some other world-turning encounter. For many in the late 70’s, it involved a spiritual awakening and, for others, a psycho-philosophical relearning, which ideological hardliners might dismiss as “historical revisionism”. As if no person has a right to restudy history and come up with an alternative and more logical and credible view founded on formerly hidden or suppressed information now readily available with just a smartphone.
Sure, there is danger of imbibing “fake news” along in one’s investigation; but with enough diligence and vetting, anyone can derive a compelling conclusion based on primary evidences. The huge army that now shares this awakening could not be simply set aside as a brainwashed set swayed by an orchestrated worldly plan but one divinely decreed for a whole nation. Unless one is de-radicalized and ushered into that heavenly vision, all one sees are elections, politics, and other worldly intramurals.
“Historical revisionism”, as applied by many, is not always entirely wrong or unnecessary. If it leads to the truth, let us have more! And we know we are starved for truth, more than ever before. (Here are several articles for reference that prove “historical revisionism” does allow us to see things in the eyes of those who were part of the real events, not of those who gain from twisting the narrative.) We should call it “historical vision-refreshing” instead. For it is those who maintain the twisted narrative who gain from keeping people deceived and enslaved.
It seems funny now that many of those who came out of the Marcos-presidency era only see the EDSA “revolutionary” experience from one perspective, that promoted by mainstream media. So, it is quite understandable that Leni believes as she does, as do many others who share her view. And it would certainly be unlikely for Leni to reject any of her UP friends’ and other comrades’ push for her to take on the challenge of becoming their champion against a common, hated enemy. If indeed she found her needed confidence and strength duly propped by such comrades to face the challenge based on her avowed motivation. And who does not seek friendly support for a serious undertaking? If they say otherwise that she has a more solemn and proactive motive for running, that certainty was not enough to make her run early on, considering she was the most-likely choice as standard-bearer for the opposition.
Leaving the personal for the career-based motivation, Leni would then have sought another vital prop for her candidacy based on a projection of how her career as a politician and public administrator would fare for the next 6 years and beyond. It goes without saying that her initial hesitation to run could have had to do with to the obvious fact that she had attained what few other politicians could ever hope to gain, short of the presidency. Her initial hesitation, as with most sincere politicians, must have been a latent fear of failing in a hotly-contested position or an acceptance of her unpreparedness or even unworthiness to fill up the needed high requirements for the toughest job in the land. Any normal person would harbor such thoughts until some other more noble reasons erase those feelings of inadequacy or doubt, it would seem.
This brings us to that greater power that moves many of us to see ourselves bigger than we are: the power of faith. As a Roman Catholic, and as a Bicolana, she is an ardent devotee of the Lady of Peñafrancia, the patron saint of Naga and much of Bicol Region. So, it comes as no surprise then that the Catholic leadership would give full support for a presidential candidate who is a Marian devotee, as Cory had been. Whether it has anything to do at all with running Kapuluan or not, we let history, Magellan or Spain, to decide if that doctrine and those who promote it have truly brought genuine good or not. And so, no stones are apparently left unturned to assure her victory, which would certainly be a vindication against the unfriendly, heretical, anti-Catholic who now sits in the Palace.
Leni even plays her part so well that whenever she goes to pray publicly, the media lights follow her and the story makes the front pages. Sun Tzu talked about winning a war, by either making appearances or even feigning weakness to lure a weaker enemy, while Machiavelli wrote about effective politics through sly machinations. Both writers still give politicians and ecclesiastics guiding light on their varied paths. Religion is an effective shaper of public sentiments used by politicians, and is definitely a great tool for establishing strong and valuable partnerships within political circles.
But whether divine power supposedly held by religious leaders is enough to win an election or not remains a big question. And since elections are basically a game of numbers, the predominant sect will always choose to play it for its own agenda. Let the pink-clad priests lead the faithful to glorious freedom, just as the yellow-clad priests had done before. For blessed is she or he who receives the official “Dominos vobiscum” and, thus, hold the scepter. Why revise history at all? That is how it has always worked since ancient Roman society, of which we are but one clone among many.
Who would not trust the support of the majority religion in one’s campaign to lead a nation? If Cory, the “housewife”, could do it with that powerful partner, Leni, the lawyer/politician, could. Any slight or even a Gethsemanesque hesitation would turn into a glorious confidence. And so, from a clearly reluctant candidate to a gung-ho presidential contender, Leni has amassed the following of many who see her as a saintly, pink-robed crusader who would put to rest the ambitions of the “dictator’s son”. And so, donning a “miraculous mantle” bestowed by ecclesiastical authorities, she claims superiority over those who might stand against her and that seemingly immovable force pushing her on. Who would dare deny such religious legitimacy or defy such impressive show of her “divine anointment”? Perhaps, the people themselves who clearly see behind the theatrical and hypocritical façade that they had seen once upon a time on EDSA and its failed aftermath?
And so, many Catholic priests have raised the banner emblazoned with “Never Again”. And many echo: Never again! Yet, that battle cry is a poisoned arrow made by those who know so well the game of deadly politics. Those who use power and money as tools always hate those who also have both but do not share the same agenda. And so, a notoriously-rich father’s son is deemed guilty as well and must be made an enemy of the people. Hence, Leni’s color and photo are prominently displayed and promoted, along with other sacred images, in churches where she attends and prays, making her a would-be saint after Cory’s image. And the many gullible parishioners who already kneel to so many saints and images now add Leni to the long list. Like the Matryoshka doll, a revered image gives birth to many other smaller images created in the image of the original physical image. And that is exactly how people lose sight of Yah.
Therefore, almost every religious Kapuluan citizen, politician or not, has a talisman or amulet to turn to for good luck. Our culture and our folk beliefs are replete with them: Sto. Niños, Black Nazarenes, crosses, rosaries, blessed palm leaves, scapularies, novenas, Latin prayers, potions, bulols, incantations and many others. Many grow up believing these are effective tools to ward off evil or gain love and fortune. And now, the son of the most evil leader of this land appears to be making his way to Malacañang, so Leni and her patron church want to make sure she gets there first. The “Blessed Lady”, the favored “Mother of God”, will make sure she does. After all, Yahusha is supposedly overly solicitous to her pleadings (Catholics wrongly assume she is in Heaven already). Right? After all, so many who have prayed to her have been granted their wishes. Right? It is actually only a religious belief, a patently unbiblical and unspiritual one. But that means nothing to them because they value the word of their priest or pope more than they do the Word of Yah. Otherwise, they would give up all their carved (or idolized human) images. When you kneel before a man or a woman, real or not, you let that person or thing block your view of Yahuah. Think of it.
Yet, one needs more than mere moral or ethical support. One has to have the logistics to run a successful campaign and the full support of a political party. Any observer would see early on that Leni’s hesitation could have stemmed partly from the fact that the major opposition party, the Liberal Party, was already a spent force in the present political environment. The last primary elections in 2016 gave Leni her vice-presidential post and only 5 of 12 senatorial seats for her Liberal Party, and not without controversy and electoral protests on her own victory. Later, in 2019 the opposition party failed to get even one seat out of the 12 senatorial slots available. Her party’s dismal performance practically left her within a political wilderness, almost alone and wandering among the unwelcoming tribesmen who made no room for her presence. Where would she seek support for a presidential candidacy in that situation? Support from friends and from religious leaders are good and necessary, but one needs a party. Yellow was clearly no longer an option for her and she stayed away from their plans.
Enter the Pinklawans! Never has a color made such news, next to yellow, of course. For starters, it was BBM’s color of choice at the start. When Leni took it as her own, it was no accident or uncalculated move. It was in keeping with her avowed reason to run, in the first place. If she had to actively “run against BBM” proactively, she had to grab the monster by the neck and render him breathless, from pink-healthy to ashen-dead. Whoever came with the bag of funds and finally convinced her to run, also told her to come down hard on the main opponent. Unfortunately, the first to use pink turned brilliant red instead and has been leading the surveys. And more than that, she is probably green with envy now that red-and-green banded together. What keeps her apparently afloat is that along with the mixed-in party colors (the Yellow Party fielded her VP candidate, Kiko Pangilinan), the MSM threw unabashed support for her bid and practically eclipsed any decent exposure to BBM and others. MSM, as we all know, already bared its own true colors during the plandemic and are merely acting out the hidden interests at play in the global economic and political milieu. Leni knows this as well and has apparently chosen to lend her support as well to the agenda that media and their backers promote.
And that last point necessarily makes Leni not just a tool but also a would-be puppet-head of a government that has perpetuated the same policies that have brought this nation nowhere since the late 1980’s. Certainly, this could also be said for the rest of the candidates, to a comparable degree, with a few exceptions. We now all know that even the powerful countries are no-less exempt from having rigged elections, if not democratic processes being run by powerful global interests. Which makes some think of elections as an exercise in futility. If so, what does that make of candidates? Are they as helpless as we are? Or can we hope to have heroic leaders who will storm the ramparts and lead the people to heights of victory? Perhaps, that is exactly what we need to have. But who is there who can fit the clothes? Leni does not; she cannot even choose her own new color. And there must be a hundred varying hues out there.
Politics is only dirty because the ones who play and run it make it so. Those who navigate wisely, there are a few, do not mind getting some of the dirt as long as the goodness they deliver will keep society in order. It takes wisdom as well to really search out these few heroes. For running for a top position requires top money. Even a reluctant candidate would consider the logistics needed to launch a campaign. In fact, elections are all about numbers: both of money and people count. But a wise leader knows these numbers are but means for the greater good. While powerful forces go all out flooding the field with money to buy people or, at least, the awareness for their cause and their visions, the wise leader depends on the inherent awareness and desire of people for what is good and beneficial. That sign of goodwill leads the people themselves to support a leader by spending their time and money to assure their own victory through unselfishly supporting that leader. Those who sell votes or buy votes in order to make more money through running are no better than ordinary pirates.
The apt metaphor “lutang” (afloat) used by opponents of Leni to describe her campaign graphically expresses her ad-hoc-cacy to run incumbent on the reasons thus given. She is less running on her own steam than that of other interests. In short, she is being run and that fact is further shown by the instability and lack of focus of her campaign thrust. From her choice of color and party support to choice of motivation to usage of prime hook-lines and caricature-images, one cannot feel but get dizzy from the hodge-podge nature of her campaign. Her target is out of focus, and people need certainty in these times, not hollow promises and childish posturings.
We realize the complexities of running for top positions, and the dynamics lie beyond the reach of most of us. But being simply human, sincere and caring fall within the moral compass of any normal people. On the other hand, grotesqueness stands out in the face of such organic, moral honesty. So far, we see who are obviously lighting for us the way toward a brighter future. An election promise, oxymoronic as it may seem, can be a shared promise. It can only happen if people make it happen as well. An effective president is one who listens to the people through the local leaders who in turn listen to the people. Even now, candidates must be doing this. Not just listening and promising but, more so, preparing everyone to work together to achieve what Hinirangs need to lead other nations. Yes, the new leader must also be Heaven’s chosen leader to promote the calling for all humanity. We cannot and should not aim to become a world power but the channel of Yah’s power to create total change for all nations under Yah. We will deal with the hows in future articles.
Unfortunately, in these islands, crowds nowadays are often equated with money, wrongly at that. In past eras, crowds came as readily during fiestas as during political rallies. It still applies today, as a general rule. We may not be as politically-savvy compared to advanced countries, but our passion for civic awareness and participation is no-less pronounced and altruistic. Only hope and trust will lead many people to spend their own money to support their candidates and not to sell their votes. Neither would they allow themselves to be influenced by the pastors or priests to influence their personal choices.
For many, the Roman Catholiic Church can do no wrong; in fact, it claims infallibility for itself. On the other hand, others think the Church can do no right. Only Yah can be final judge on that. For now, in fairness, we use history as our basis and say it has done a lot of good and also a lot of bad of the worst kind. No church or denomination is perfect; only Yah is, and people He calls are under His program of ongoing perfection. Anyone who claims otherwise deceives himself and others. Hence, an endorsement from any church means nothing but an appeal to gain numbers. Both of votes for candidates and of money for the treasury. The former for Caesar, the latter supposedly for the Master. The link lies in the priestly position many consider divinely-ordained. Thus, an endorsement is a heavenly approbation, as often supposed. Nobody ever asked who is the better politician, the candidate or the priest or minister. An endorsement is either a real blessing or a kiss of death. Leni obviously sought such a blessing, but it could be a poisoned one in the end. Remember Cory whose term was fraught with many violent military coups, economic crises, agrarian unrest and natural calamities. A nation can only be as blessed as its leaders.
The final reason we give is that for all her avowed achievements, Leni, as a nationalistic citizen and high-ranking official, owes it to herself, her family and friends and, most importantly, the people to be the most-qualified and most-prepared of all candidates. Yet, for that reason, precisely, the previous reasons negate her claim to be that candidate. Her initial hesitation already puts doubt to her claim to the highest job in the land. For having reached the final step toward that peak, her hesitation could only mean she was not completely serving the highest good of the people but hers or someone else’s.
Having served as VP for 6 years and given all the advantages of that privilege and status, any good politician with vision and adequate organizational skills would have been fully secure and gung-ho to throw herself into the job long before the get-go. Was she merely forced by circumstances to enter into politics or was it not already in her agenda as a lawyer and wife of a cabinet secretary? If there was indeed hesitation at first, any new hesitation reveals a genuine weakness somewhere. That is why the main reasons given for her confident and gung-ho stance now validate and affirm her unfitness to lead.
The new leader we need must rise above the conventionally-perceived checklist of qualities and skills for the “Land of the Morning” and “Hailed Land” (Lupang Hinirang). He or she must not only be adequately equipped with the fervor of our noble ancestors but also fully competent to pursue the ancient legacy they handed down to us. Such nobility, heritage and vision do not and can never be the exclusive provenance of any interest-group, party or individual but a shared wealth of a nation and of people-at-large.
Here and now is where we must separate politics, economics and material prosperity from the spiritual realities that remain unrecognized and unaddressed in our common polity, and more so in our individual lives. We were not and we are not “Hinirang” by accident or by some artistic or nationalistic fervor. We are the “isles of the sea” and “ends of the earth” spoken of by the prophets. (Isa. 24:15; 42:10; Matt. 12:42) We are Ophir, the Land of Gold the explorers sought and found — and hidden and suppressed for 500 years by the same forces that still wish to keep us in chains. All the various local and foreign interests in the past and in the present that have been deployed to run, to ride or to rig elections have not and will never serve the divine calling placed on Kapuluan. 1521 merely set us back by 500 years for the final reckoning and showdown between Yah and His enemies.
The new leader must not only then be a nationalist, a politician, a party-member, a law-abiding citizen and an educated, experienced, national leader but also anointed to unite and lead Hinirangs toward the future set by Heaven for them. No cabal or elite or pariah can wrest that role from the Almighty and claim it and give to their figurehead. The new leader must be a choice that Heaven makes and one that the people themselves must make, in that order. Vox populi, vox Dei is a twisted Venus fly-trap full of putrid lies and flies.
Heaven alone grants promotion. Humans may choose to compete or promote themselves in elections, fairly or not, nobly or not. It takes genuine wisdom to make these intramurals clean, on the side of administrators, the candidates and the voters, all together. The Judge sees all. But the troubled times call for one upending act we all must gravely consider. When Heaven calls and promotes a leader, He does so on behalf of the land. Thus He spoke to Israel through Jeremiah: I have loved you with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jer. 31:3) As indestructible and precious as gold, Yah has also loved and blessed Ophir since Creation’s dawn. He loves, draws and promotes; we cannot but obey and follow His lead. Choose whom Yah chooses. Promote whom Yah promotes. Support the one in whom Yah’s everlasting love for Hinirangs will be fulfilled. Vote for the one who displays real lovingkindness. Most of all, vote for one who has sincerity and not hypocrisy.