Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Answers

1. Why did you enter the enclave of politics?What prodded you to compete with other candidates who have well-oiled political machinery, famous, and have so much resources?What makes Kapatiran candidates different/distinct from others?How would you describe country's political system?

Our country is going down because our leaders are thinking about the next election all the time. Our leaders regularly fail to plan in advance and invest in the future. Why should ordinary citizens continue to default on our responsibilities to our country to persons more interested in becoming Mayors of big cities and visionless individuals who treat governance as a way of making a living? I estimated that a doctor could see about 70 charity patients a day and at the end of 20 years treat half a million patients. In 20 years this figure would represent .25%. Why should we abandon the formation of public policy to persons who don’t appreciate the enormous responsibility and trust given to them by the people?

“Competing” with other candidates will provide the public with an idea of who we are and what Ang Kapatiran represents? The people will see a big difference and will regret why the well-oiled traditional political machinery prevents better-prepared outsiders from participating.

2. Do you also have the same concern over alleged "rampant cheating" during elections? Do you believe that there's really padding and shaving of votes?So far, how do you evaluate this year's May elections?

Many people have told me it is futile to participate in Philippine elections because whatever votes we receive will not be counted anyway and that it is from poorly-funded candidates like ourselves that our votes are “transferred” to paying candidates. Message received loud and clear but this will not deter me from continuing to work 18 hours a day because this is a struggle for the heart and soul of our country. The stakes are simply too high for us to continue to take all these abuses lying down and in silence.

3. How would you evaluate people's response to Kapatiran? How's your campaign trail?Have you identified so far your bailiwicks? How would you evaluate your political machinery? Is it enough to help you to be enlisted in the Magic 12?Are you not discouraged by the surveys depicting that none of you has a chance to win such seat?

Personally, what keeps me doggedly going despite all the insurmountable odds that you enumerate is the sincere and intense support that we get from complete strangers, kindred souls. It is great comfort to realize that there a lot of us who feel the same way for our country and there is a lot of passion out there for substantial, non-violent change. We are not willing to compromise however by joining the fray and spend indecent amounts of money that could very well go into feeding programs for poor and hungry children. I am not ashamed to admit that I am asking people to pray. We have relied on our human capacities for too long and look where it has led us. To resolve our serious problems will need much more than faith in our human faculties.

4. If you'll be given a chance to lead, what are your advocacy, and programs? What do you think are the needs of this country-socio-political and economic?What do you think is the best antidote to country's problems?

Our country needs leaders who have genuine faith in the Filipino people. The opposite of faith and belief is fear, we urgently need leaders who will not be afraid to seek a different direction. We have assiduously complied with all the conditions set forth by various financial institutions and compared to our neighbors, we have only lagged behind even more. We need to get away from this “utang-import” mentality that is keeping us from fully realizing our potential to produce. This mentality is keeping us from effectively negotiating with other countries regarding trade agreements, lending rates, environmental accords…We need leaders who will deal with the international community as equals. We need leaders with clear visions for our country. We need leaders with road maps on how to achieve these goals. We need credible leaders with the right priorities (education, health and infrastructure) and who continuously think of investing for the future. Courageous leaders who have no problem making tremendously difficult but morally correct decisions.

5. Any appeal, message to Filipino people?

We seem to have lost all semblance of control in our country. The peace and order situation is appalling, human rights abuses are routine, our economy appears to be at the complete mercy of external forces, corruption is rampant, we expect to produce succeeding competitive generations without investing in education and healthcare. It is time to take our country back from the narrow, self-serving interests of entrenched traditional political entrepreneurs. We urgently need to change course. This will require the united effort of all of us, law-abiding, hard-working, God-fearing and silent citizens who compose the overwhelming majority in our country. We have the power to change our nation. The process may be long and difficult but we have to begin immediately.


Delia said...

Doc : One of my neighbors said that Has anyone commented that because you have lived so long and so far away from the Philippines, that you have lost understanding of the ways, mores and values of the Filipino nation. I really did not know how to respond other than "... knowing how they do it in America is better, anyway", but that does not sound right. Please comment.

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

Delia, my 17 years in the US certainly helped form whatever opinions and beliefs I now hold. But while I was physically away I was never truly away from the Philippines because of the internet, telephone and there was never a year that passed without me visiting our country. There are many lessons we can learn from the US that will benefit our country. It is up to us to select which lessons these are.