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Bitter lesson

RRoy’siPad Bitter lesson
Ronald Roy — May 12, 2016

Let’s all observe the traditional “one-hundred-day honeymoon” with the newly elected President of the Republic — assuming he won legitimately. This is needed not only to soothe hurt feelings and vindictive urges but, more importantly: to express the republican spirit of respecting the national plurality vote.

Let’s welcome Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte to the presidency by cooperating, for a hundred days at least, with his administration in its initial efforts to transform his promises into realities. May all his enemies unite, look forward, and help him succeed for the sake of our beloved country. This would be one big sparkling moment for a people’s democratic spirit.

Vox populi est vox Dei?
But then, as always, the honeymoon can be aborted by abominable events. Yes, it may very well be all up to Digong. We were all witness to his crude, profane and vulgar behavior and utterances that depicted his character as a self-confessed serial murderer and a threat both to our national security and world peace — and yet, he won by a landslide!! Holy macaroni! Vox populi est vox Dei?? (The voice of the people is the voice of God??)

Absolutely not, because the historical dictum is: Vox populi est non semper vox Dei (The voice of the people is not always the voice of God). For example, when the Jews voiced out to Pontius Pilate their demand for the death of Jesus on the cross, that certainly was not the voice of God. Another, in the time of Noah when the peoples of the world wallowed in the epicurean pleasures of the flesh, God inundated them because what they wanted was anathema to their welfare.

The applicable Latin adage here is: Salus populi est suprema lex (The welfare of the people is the supreme law). Question: If voting for Digong was not good for the people’s welfare, why didn’t God prevent his win? Answer: Because He wanted us to use our free will. As in all cases of decision-making, we suffer or benefit from the consequences of our free will. Hmm, maybe we didn’t pray hard enough for a deus ex machina (divine intervention).

In any event, we should be Digong’s patient honeymoon partners. Who knows that he might yet be among God’s chosen ones, like the Roman soldier Sol who persecuted Christians, but was converted by the risen Jesus to carry out his work under a new name, and would eventually be revered as St. Paul?

A portrait of Digong
Two things eloquently speak about Digong at opposite ends of the human character. One: When his vote lead became statistically irreversible, he paid a visit to his mother’s tomb site and, shedding tears, implored her to help him. Two: With as much passion, he swore to be “a dictator, but only against bad guys, evil people, criminals and drug lords”! An assaulting thought, indeed, for all adherents to the Rule of Law!

Some friends call me a “freakish” advocate of the Rule of Law. To them I say: systems are imperfect, as imperfect as the humans who create them. Nobody is perfect, and I can only hope that Digong’s imperfections do not get the better of our democratic system. Again, it may very well be all up to him. I hope I am wrong, but I see tumultuous times ahead under the yoke of a misguided leader.

However, the horror isn’t so much the election of the wrong man (assuming this to be the case), as it is the realization that our democracy is a governing system of unwise people, for unwise people, and by unwise people — the electorate who may yet find only themselves to blame for an unwise national vote.

Reaping what one sows
Even assuming the elections had been free of fraud and other irregularities, it could be that the voters had not voted wisely, in which case: they would have to painfully reap what they sowed and, hopefully, learn a bitter lesson. I pause at this point to ask: when shall we ever learn this lesson if, for the past over a century, our heroes and martyrs have come and gone….to no avail??

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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