Last 25 February 2016 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLT. We were happy on 25 February 1986 when the dictator Marcos fled. We thanked God for blessing the peaceful people power revolt. We had high expectations: genuine democracy, peace, justice for all.
But these desired changes did not materialize.
Because of three interlocking causes: (1) people’s apathy/indifference; (2) post EDSA I government officials are traditional politicians; majority are corrupt and incompetent; (3) system: morally corrupt, economically exclusive, elitocracy, culturally insensitive, and destructive of the environment (mining, coal-fired power plant, aerial spray).
What to do?
- Conversion of individual person through integral faith formation. Everyone should realize that promotion of the common good is the responsibility of all (cf. Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, 166).
“Kapwako, pananagutanko.” Study the Bible and Teachings of the Church; pray and celebrate the sacraments; “act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6: 8). We should have the humility to accept our failures after EDSA I.
- Massive education in the Church’s social teachings, systematic and relevant to time and place. Voter’s education, c/o Diocesan Social Action Center.
- Judicious choice of candidates. Judge whether candidate has four (4) Cs, that is: (1) commitment to the common good; (2) competence; (3) credibility; and (4) compassion.
Common good: food, water, clothing, shelter, health care, education, job, leisure; human life, human dignity, human rights including freedom of information, communication, travel, religion; and a balanced and healthy environment.
- Volunteer for the Voters’ Assistance Center (VAC).
- Solid organizing through the building and strengthening of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs/GKKs).
- Networking with groups who promote the common good.
- Action: faith-motivated, communal, continuous.
Some Bible verses which urge us to transform persons and social structures.
- Jeremiah 1: 10. “Look, today I am setting you over nations and over kingdoms, to tear up and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
We destroyed a one-man rule, dictatorship, inhuman and unjust. We need to build and plant genuine democracy, justice, love and compassion – a new civilization of life and love.
- At the last judgment Jesus will say:
“I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see.” “Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you’…and the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, youdidittome (Gospel of the 5 fingers).” To the cursed he will say “Go away from me…to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food…I will tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me. And they will go to eternaljudgment, and the virtuous to eternal life.” (Mt. 25: 35-46)
Jesus identifies himself with the needy. When we help the needy, we are doing God’s will. We will be rewarded with eternal, complete happiness.