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Bite the bullet



In ordering an all-out war against communist elements, what is involved is something very fundamental in our society. The paradigm is that the Reds threaten our way of life and, therefore, since they have refused overtures to come back into this way of life, then they have to be eliminated.

What is this way of life that we are enticing them to go back to? Let us enumerate the features of that way of life the way it is right now:

1. We have an election system that is flawed and which prevents the people from freely expressing their choice of leaders, so that those who would really bring about policies that would benefit the nation as a whole and not just an oligarchic few can be elected.

2. The economic system is biased in favor of the oligarchy which enriches themselves without regard to the economic advancement of the Filipinos as a whole nation.

3. The agriculture sector is deprived of resources. With endemic poverty in the rural areas, there is a spilling out of the agricultural poor into urban centers. In the cities, there are not enough jobs that await them that could pay a wage that respects the dignity of labor.

4. The oligarchy is not making any effort to develop industries that would absorb the ever-increasing labor pool that comes with a growing population.

5. Thus, our people are forced to sell themselves as cheap labor units in the international market, since our economy cannot produce exports that could be sold to the world in their stead. Our overseas Filipino workers therefore proceed to risk life and limb and are forced to swallow indignities that come with the risk of becoming victims of white slavers. And even without the nefarious operations of these syndicates, the cultural norms of these receiving countries, particularly in the Middle East, put our countrymen at risk the moment they leave our shores and enter their jurisdictions.

6. We are in effect a tributary nation that are slaves to the payroll whiplash of stronger currencies and nations that are so efficient that they produce a lot of job opportunities that our economic oligarchs could not produce at home.

7. Calling the OFW heroes is salt placed on the wound of the nation. They are de facto tributary slaves, forced to go out of the country because the nation’s political and economic leaders have failed to produce economic opportunities for them at home. And the social cost is staggering in terms of broken homes with a huge portion of the young growing up without proper parental care, since their parents are forced to take care of the children of other people rather than their own just so they could earn the remittances that would sustain their families and the nation in turn. Is this the way of life that the President will order our soldiers to defend in pursuing the all-out war against the left?

8. Even the migrants that go into countries that allow them to settle and become residents, this portion of our transplanted overseas nation suffer high divorce rates and other dysfunctionalities, as their lives are buffeted by the conflicted cultural context of their host nations. As many of them would say, they would not have left if they had the opportunity to make a decent living in the Philippines.

The question of having a way of life that is worth defending is a fundamental question that should not just be swept under the rug.

To make the soldiers’ sacrifice worthwhile in laying their life in harm’s way with the risk of making the ultimate sacrifice, we should have a society that is worth dying for.

Is what we have right now as a society worth that risk and sacrifice for the common soldier?
It must be remembered also that the officer corps of these soldiers comes from the ordinary families of the nation and was schooled with public funds in the military and police academies. And in their minds, the question of whether the situation is worth dying for would be a relevant one.

So, the President has to bite the bullet and make certain decisions that would ensure change towards a society that we could all be proud of, one that the soldiers of our nation can defend without equivocation and any mental reservation — and even lay their lives on the line in doing so.

And one where there is no rationale at all for a leftist armed movement to exist. Therefore, in such a society — suppressing such an armed group is fully justified.

The President will have to bite the bullet.

Gil Ramos ([email protected])