A (Hypothetical) Letter to the Filipino

June 2 2010

My Dear Countrymen:

My name is Noynoy Aquino and I would like to thank you for trusting me  with the future of our nation.

A year ago I would not have contemplated a run at the Presidency but the death of my mother and the outpouring that followed made me realize how desperate the Filipino is for change, for something better. If I believed even a little of what my father and mother wanted for this country, then I could no longer sit in the comfort of my home, in my position in the Senate, in the warmth of family and friends; knowing that outside a people stood destitute, seeking a future for themselves and their children.

So here I stand before you, honored by your trust, humbled by your enthusiasm and anxious for the great responsibility that is now upon my shoulders. Can I deliver your hopes, can I fulfill your dreams? These are the thoughts that fill my days and my nights.

This country is in serious trouble. We have been left with the coffers dry, a 4.4 trillion peso debt, an education, health care and environment in disrepair, a culture of corruption in government.

I do not have to tell you this. You know it better than I do as in your every day lives you struggle to put food on the table, worry about the medical bills of your parents, wonder how you will survive to the next paycheck or worse, when there is no paycheck. You despair the child that you love more than life itself will never have a future.

And you watch, you watch how corrupt politicians and government officials become so rich they burst with their arrogance, how businessmen so clearly crooked reek of their wealth, how criminals so evidently guilty get away with murder. And you wonder, why is this so?

It is so because our government has allowed it to be so. It is so because our justice system has allowed it to be so. It is so because the power of money has allowed it to be so.

Well, under my administration, God willing, it will no longer be so. But for this I will need your help.

For this I call upon the judiciary to administer fair and swift justice. If the Executive branch is the body of this government, then the judicial is our soul and our conscience, the last bastion for redress to a beleaguered people.

For this I call upon our legislators to fulfill their covenant with the nation for just laws and responsible practice.

For this I call upon my colleagues in government to act as true servants of the nation.

For this I call upon the Opposition not to let our differences divide us but our common interests unite us. Let us not seek to outshine each other. Let the light fall solely on the people.

For this I call upon the stronger and more fortunate among us to contribute more than their share of wellbeing. To whom much has been given, much will be asked.

For this I call upon each and every one of you to toil, to be responsible and vigilant citizens, respectful of your neighbor,  mindful of the elderly.

For my part I vow to devote my every moment to working for you. My father gave his life for this country, my mother the comfort of home to build a better nation. If my life is what it takes for one more Filipino to be secure, one more child to be educated, one more home to be sheltered, that is a small price to pay.

Our efforts will be arduous, our choices painful and the outcomes long in coming. We will not overcome decades of corruption and mismanagement in a year, possibly not in my term, or even my lifetime. But we must start and we must be steadfast for the benefits will be there and are worthwhile. This I know to be true.

I do not promise I will not at times stumble or even ultimately fail for lack of discernment, lack of ability or lack of courage. There are also dark forces among us who seek to enrich and empower themselves at the nation’s expense, to deny our wellbeing. But these are insufficient reasons for us not to persevere, not to endure with God as our light and faith in the spirit, goodness and initiative of the Filipino.

I may not always be all you want but I vow to always be all I can.

I love you all.

Noynoy

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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