OPINION: Lost values

Teddy Locsin, Jr.

Posted at Jul 08 2016 02:06 AM

"Real change, that is the direction of our way of governance. Far from being mere slogans, these were battle cries articulated by me in behalf of people hungry for genuine and meaningful change. But change, if it is to be permanent and significant, must start with us and in us. To borrow the language of F. Sionil Jose, we have become our own worst enemies. And we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves."

My initial reaction was distaste. What? Another president telling us to change ourselves, he should change the lousy government.

We the people who suffer from bad presidents, tayo pa mag-change? No, you change, you won the election, ikaw lang mag-change, kasama na mga tao niyo.

Why do presidents always say they cannot do it alone, that the people must do it with them. The problem with that is the people end up doing it all alone. So who or what was Duterte talking about?

"Love of country, subordination of personal interest to the common good, concern and care for the helpless and the impoverished – these are among the lost and faded values that we seek to recover and revitalize, as we commence our journey towards a better Philippines."

So it is not about us but about the old values that were lost, lost in disappointments after independence, lost in frustrations after every administration since, lost completely in the thievery of martial law when public service was entirely self-service and worse yet after EDSA, it was just more of the same under cover of freedom.

To underscore the vintage of those vanished values, Duterte says "there are two quotations from revered figures that shall serve as the foundation on which this administration shall be built. 'The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; / it is whether we provide for those who have little.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the Great Depression.

And from Lincoln he draws this expression: “you cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot further brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men. My economic, financial, and political policies are contained in these quotations couched as they are in general terms. So read between the lines. I need not go into specifics now. They shall be supplied to you in due time.”

Take his word for it, for in those words and in this inaugural is the blueprint of dreams to be achieved or once again lost. Keep well.