April 4, 2010
A passover for the Filipino People
1. We are a spiritual people blessed with a living faith that has seen us through critical moments of our history. Today, even greater faith in a merciful God and in ourselves as a nation is called for. Past obstacles that have blocked our path towards nationhood pale in comparison with the amoral brutishness the Arroyo regime has been using to degrade the moral fiber of the people. The relentless battering to which this administration is subjecting the country threatens to break the indomitable spirit of the Filipino people. No institution of our democratic system has been spared. No sector of society left unmolested. Long standing traditions have been violated.
2. We deplore the shame that has befallen us. We denounce the evil leadership of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. We accuse her and her cohorts of unprecedented corruption, enriching themselves by stealing from the poorest of our people. They have betrayed our trust. They lie and cheat with impunity. They perpetuate political dynasties that enable a few families to appropriate all political and economic powers. They have prostituted our democratic values. We hold them responsible for the 1118 extrajudicial killings and 204 enforced disappearances that have taken place from January 2001 to October 2009, symptomatic of the utter disregard this administration has for human rights.
3. The May 10, 2010 National Election is crucial to the life of the nation. It could mean the end of the notorious Arroyo administration, shameful for its shamelessness; and a fresh start for the citizenry. But there are foreboding signs. Intensified election-related violence and massive electoral fraud are already a given. There are indications that the election will be manipulated to advance the purposes of those in power. Worse, there is evidence pointing to a dastardly plot to bring about failure of election or, the non-proclamation of elected officials on the national level. It has become obvious that the many delays and glitches in the COMELEC’s preparation for the election are not so much because of inefficiency, but rather, are part of a grand scheme to make the elections fail.
4. A failed election will surely be used as an excuse to impose martial law and the perpetuation of the Arroyo administration in a hold-over capacity or, as the transition government. Moreover, GMA herself is running for Congress together with three members of her immediate family. She could easily garner a majority to pave the way for a parliamentary government allowing for the possibility of her being chosen as Prime Minister.
5. Let us say a resounding NO to a GMA holdover government, NO to military rule. Together let us work for credible elections. God forbid, but a failure of election could as well signal our failure as a nation.
6. In Gethsemane, Jesus admonished His Apostles to watch, stay with Him and pray. Today, He is asking us to do the same. The call of the hour is prophetic vigilance. In one collective and prophetic voice we must denounce this season of betrayal and name the Judases of our times. We have what it takes to thwart the diabolical wiles of the Arroyo administration in its attempt to downgrade our standing as people.
7. Ritually, in observance of Holy Week, we have shared the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. In real life, in this our beautiful and dangerous land, we have accompanied Him bearing our own pain and suffering in the hope of resurrection.
8. We are a people blest. God has endowed us with a magnanimous spirit. We have long-suffering, grit and intelligence. We have what it takes to bear the cross of suffering and we also have what it takes to bring about our resurrection as a people, with God leading the way.
9. We have what it takes to restore hope in the heart of every Filipino, to recover her or his dignity as a citizen of this country. We have had the patience to wait for our moment of grace.
10. We call on everyone to discern our options and make carefully considered plans for collective action. Let us come together in united, common purpose. Let us build on what we have. Let us find and support true leaders from amongst us to replace those unworthy of our trust. Let us organize on the grassroots level and affirm the right to vote. Let us move to sustain the fervor of those who want their votes to count so the people’s sovereign will could prevail in this land of the morning sun.
We hope and we believe in God who never abandons His people. We have made an offering of the violated lives of our martyrs on the crucible of Calvary. May their blood be the seed of our people’s deliverance from hunger, oppression and violence. As the ancient people of Israel prayed, we pray for liberation, for freedom. We pray for our Passover.
Circles of Discernment Groups – Clergy, Religious and Lay