Ten years ago, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines issued this statement:
"Philippine politics--the way it is practiced--has been most hurtful to us as a people. It is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving full development...If we are what we are today--a nation with a great number of poor and powerless people--one reason is the way we have allowed politics to be debased and prostituted to the low level it is now."Since then millions of Filipinos have left the country in search of a better life, not necessarily an easier one. Since this exhortation, we have driven away one president and have beleaguered his successor with charges of corruption and dishonesty. It would be fair to state that the situation has taken a turn for the worse.
We can do something about this. Since these problems are as a result of our many limitations, we can work together as a nation to remedy the seemingly insurmountable problems that have turned many of our people into cynical and apathetic citizens.
First we need to find the root of the problem. John Paul II identified them as the "Idols of today". These are materialism and selfishness and their consequences: violence, corruption, hedonism. Benedict XVI added the "dictatorship of relativism" which leaves every individual to determine whatever value system that best suits him or her.
We need to accept that we are part of the problem.
We each need to undergo a personal revolution and permanently reform for the better.
Finally we need to take positive action.