Why The World Needs People Power

Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin both warned that when people choose personal convenience above civil liberties, they are doomed to lose both. Those who equate People Power with “mob rule” don’t see it for what it really is: a vibrant manifestation of the citizens’ inalienable rights to free speech and assembly.

If Richard Nixon didn’t resign when the Watergate scandal broke out then he faced impeachment by bribing Congress, the people would have taken to the streets. Americans don’t understand our political situation because they never came to that point, and this is true as with the Japanese and South Koreans.

This is because public officials in nations with a tradition of honor step down on their own initiative when they have broken the law, abused their powers, tainted their office and lost their mandate.

There is nothing Unconstitutional about People Power. It’s just that we Filipinos are like stubborn mules: we need a solid whack in the head. It’s amusing since we don’t have mules in the Philippines, but it’s not a joke to realize that we are one of those countries without a tradition of honor, and that’s why the world needs People Power – to remind us that true democracy is, and always will be, the freedom of the people to uphold the rule of law.

This freedom should be defended, in the immortal words of Archibald McLeish, “by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, and in the final act, by determination and faith.”

Image courtesy of DocMuzic. This story originally appeared in the Op-Ed section of BusinessMirror. It also appeared in AllVoices -- with videos

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Anonymous said…
I'm happy that you now allow anonymous feedback. More power
Anonymous said…
Nice post, nice blog...
SiopaoHouse said…
Hey, it's SiopaoHouse! Did you know that I was stranded in an Internet cafe last night for almost 5 hours because the street outside was flooded? What has this adventure got to do with the fact that Gloria is delivering her (hopefully last) State of the Nation Address?