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The City has been plagued with all sorts of teething  troubles…troubles that have become more apparent and unabated since the onset of the new administration…the blossoming politization of the local bureaucracy, the shameful siege of September, the unrelenting and senseless killings, the never-ending perennial brownouts, the timely water shortages, the conundrum of governance and leadership style, to name a few, have taken their deadly tentacles into the lives of the people.

There are voices of concerns by the citizenry, however, faint to which we could hardly hear, more so like whispers amidst the howling winds, that easily dissipates in between one ear out to the other end. Seems like most of the people are already callously indifferent to what is happening or that their time and focus are deeply inundated into their own personal survival, or it could be fear-injected into their psyche by the powers that be, that somehow controls them like puppets on a string.

We always say that “ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” And we talk and take pride in “people power.” But who are these people? Where are they? We see and hear and experience government officials towing the line of their leader even though they do not know where that line is heading to. Is it for fear of being labeled as an outcast or a trouble-maker or fear that their personal interests will not be given due course in the future or their personal secrets revealed? What about the government workers? They have associations and grievance machineries they can use to voice out concerns. But fear of backlashes takes center stage, either they are afraid not to be promoted or afraid to lose the chances of having their children, siblings and other relatives join the ranks. They forget that they have taken their oath of loyalty to the republic and not to a particular person.

How about the other sectors of society? The civic groups, the business sector, the religious groups, the academe…their voices are muffled too for we have not heard a thunder from them. What are they afraid of? It could be anything from losing face in the limelight; obstacles to business opportunites; loss of contracts, sponsorships and donations, etc. The deafening sounds of silence are one of the contributing factors that makes the culture of corruption flourish in our midst. And most people are unconsciously becoming contributors of that culture.

Fear is the tool used by those who are anti-truth. They are the people who take advantage of the weaknesses of others to promote their own personal interests. They try to perpetuate both their powers of information and secrecy just so the unlearned people will treat them as gods. The antidote for this poison is the collective voices of the people. 

Is it too late? No, not in a million years! It only takes a single step for us to reach our destination. But to make an indelible dent in that journey, we need to unite all loose-ends of society and demand that change for a more protected, just and peaceful lives for the people should be forthcoming.  It should start from each one of us to put premium on what is right and what you honestly deserve. It is now the time to hear the voices of the lambs!

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