Sunday, July 24, 2011

Change: Government or People?

First published by Tao Po at

If change is the only constant in this world, then why do we go round and round in circles with one bad leadership after another? Always the victim, always on the losing end, we never seem to get a hold of our destiny as a country. Are we all off the hook just because we always have someone to blame-The President of the Philippines?

Let us take a moment to think about this. While it is true that there were a number of them who did a number on us, there must be something fundamentally wrong with us for this to happen over and over again. What is it then?

How about if we start with what we have been dealing with? Patterned after the United States, our country has been under a presidential system of government since our independence from the Americans in 1946. Of course, we are not counting those years under our deposed and dearly departed President Ferdinand E. Marcos who took over all three branches of the government that were meant to be separate and independent from each other.

Which brings me to the heart of my topic. Did we not learn in school that there are three branches in our government-Executive, Legislative, and Judicial? I think we all need to go back to basics, like how is this important?

First we need to understand that to preserve the individual liberty that we all enjoy now, the three branches of government were designed with what they call the separation of powers. The main purpose of this is to distribute authority away from the executive branch which the president falls under. 

In other words, to prevent another Marcos, the executive officer is not supposed to make laws (role of legislature or House of Representatives), or interpret the laws (the role of the judiciary or the Supreme Court).  To put it simply, Noynoy's job is to enforce the law as written by Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. and his crew of congressmen (including those before them), and interpreted by Chief Justice Renato Corona and his justices of the Supreme Court.

Need you wonder why our country is in such dire straits?  Need I talk about the performance of our House of Representatives in formulating resolutions to our country's problems?  How about our Supreme Court who has degenerated into one of the worst courts of justice in the world?

I say that while we keep looking the other way to focus on our own survival, the three branches of our government have been enjoying free reign to wheel and deal among themselves with the supposedly separated and independent powers given to them by the Constitution of the Philippines, to their own selfish advantage.

I think we should think of it like driving a car on auto cruise.  We still need to have our hands on the wheel. We cannot rest on our laurels that we elected a president who does not seem to be dipping his hands in the other branches of our government, like what the lady who preceded him did.

With that said, if today our president fails us, we should never give up. Let us all do something to help him push the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and all the government offices under them to do their jobs as well.

As Mahatma Gandi once said, "We must be the change we wish to see."

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