Friday, 24 February 2012 10:50
In the 300 years the Philippines was under Spanish Rule, democracy was an alien concept. It was transplanted on local shores during the Philippine Commonwealth period by our former American colonizers. It began to take root and grow in time after the Philippines was “granted” independence after the Second War. Decades later, Martial Law was declared and the Marcos regime perverted the concept. The Edsa Revolution in 1986 re-established democracy in our country but only time and history can tell if what was restored then was authentic or merely a mirage.
And what have we got to show for it? To this day, there is widespread corruption, social injustice and violence.
Too much power is concentrated on the executive branch; distorting the doctrine of checks and balances. The seat of government is far from most of the Filipino people – alienating them and robbing them of their roles as stakeholders.
Political elites reign supreme. They disregard the rule of law and the principles of democracy. Political patronage erodes real participation of the nation’s citizens in democratic processes. The markets are widely dominated by oligarchs and their allies. It is often unwelcoming of newcomers, preventing healthy competition and economic progress. Ethnic and religious minorities are not provided with a fair share of political, legal and economic power resources.
Being weak, the Philippines can barely prevent violence – and can’t establish a reliable economic, social and political framework through the strict implementation of its laws – thus promoting a society with unequal opportunities.
And yet, we boast that Philippine Democracy is the oldest and freest in Asia.
The Centrist Democratic philosophy is anchored on “Human Dignity.” This is our core value: an inherent right to be regarded with respect, be treated and accepted as an equal, and to have equal access to the basic needs to live a decent life.
Political, economic and social order must be so logically designed that the dignity of each person is protected and promoted.
An atmosphere of freedom is a prerequisite upon which Human dignity is enhanced. Self-determination by each individual – an essential component – is the impetus for collective expression towards the development of a just society.
These guiding principles can best be implemented through the concepts of a representative democracy based on strong, program-oriented political parties: a decentralized state structure with regional autonomy and local self-government, a “Social Market Economy” with a well-functioning open market, protected by a strong state, a social security system in place and environment protection and sustainability.
by: JACKYLEN DELA PEÑA
Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines
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