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HomeOpinion“There is a Battle Outside & it is Ragin!”

“There is a Battle Outside & it is Ragin!”

Kim’s Dream  Orlan Ravanera

The Wind of Change Now Hovering

“Come senators, congressmen/ Please heed the call/ Don’t stand in the doorway/ Don’t block up the hall/ For he that gets hurt/ will be he who has stalled/ There’s a battle outside/ And it is ragin’\ It will soon shake your windows/ And rattlee your walls/ For the times they are a changin’.”

These are the opening lines from the song, “The Times They are A-Changin’,” popularized by Bob Dylan, an American folk singer, who together with anti-war activists spearheaded a movement to stop USA’s imperialistic engagement in Vietnam in the 60’s. Who would believe that after seven decades,  the song would still be very relevant, this time however, it is one to remind our legislators to take heed the call of the people, to rectify the misuse of their billions or pork barrel funds, which  was exposed about two decades ago.  Remember the Napoles Scandal?

Yes, there is a battle out there and it is ragin’. This time, in the Philippine context, it is a war against dehumanizing poverty, gross social inequities, social injustices especially against the Indigenous Peoples. Such painful social realities are worsened by massive ecological degradation/exploitation, perpetuated by the culture of corruption and greed, reinforced by the apathetic attitude of the people who are considered powerless all these years. 

Suddenly, there is now the dawning of a new day as the Filipinos are now undergoing a process which is called “conscientization,” an awakening process where the people have finally realized that social change cannot be had out of the “kindness” of the powers-that-be but only through their collective power, meaningful participation and continuing vigilance. Indeed, for those who have dreamt, struggled and even died for it, social change has been so elusive all these years despite two peopled-power revolutions. The structures of greed, corruption and oppression have remained as formidable as ever in a highly pyramidal and skewed social order where only 300 families control the economy.

Confucius once said, “If we focus our attention to the finger that is pointing to the stares, we will miss the beauty of the universe.” Yes, we were angry upon knowing then that some 10 billion pesos were pocketed by a greedy few through “ghost” NGOs but allowed the mindless connivance of the cabal of vested interest politicians and law enforcers in full defiance of the rule of law. Yes, where have all our 17 million hectares of dipterocarp forests gone?  Gone to loggers everyone.  Yes, where have all the top quality minerals gone? Gone to illegal miners everyone and many are either Chinese or Korean nationals carrying only Tourist Visa.  Why do we allow our agricultural lands to be bombarded with toxic chemicals that are already banned internationally? Why do we allow foreign corporations to wantonly exploit our natural resources, with utter disregard for nature and the welfare of the coming generations? Why are we allowing the massive transformation of the thousands, if not millions, of hectares of ancestral domains of the Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao into plantations to earn million of dollars to the rich and powerful while the Indigenous Peoples are now living in hunger and extreme poverty?

Are there laws creating the right policy environment for sustainable development, for equity, for social justice or laws only meant to serve the Cartels, the Conglomerates and monopolies? Remember the Rice Tariffication Law authored by Sen. Cynthia Villar?  It allowed the entry of cheaply grown rice from Asian neighboring countries, to the detriment of five million Filipino rice farmers. While farmers in Thailand and Vietnam are producing rice at only five peso per kilo, the Filipinos are producing a kilo of rice to about P15 to P20 per kilo. DAHIL DITO MARAMING MAGSASAKA ANG NAGPAKAMATAY DAHIL NA BAON SA UTANG.  Because of the passage of that law, no less then DA Secretary Pinol resigned PERO SI SEN. VILLAR NUMBER ONE SA SENATE. Hindi ito alam ng mga Filipino dahil kasabwat ng mayayamang politiko ang mainsteam media. 

There are laws that must be legislated as called for by the 1987 Constitution such as one to stop political dynasties but until now such legal measure cannot be passed.

Yes, there is a battle out there and it is ragin,’” and our senators and congressmen must prove equal to the task by way of enacting laws to democratize wealth and power, to erase the ugly faces of social injustices in this country.  If social change cannot be had through legislation, then let us be reminded of a social warning that says, “When a few elite will continue to have much too much and the many who are poor have much too little, then, we might face circumstances horrible even to contemplate.”  Yes, “it will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a changin’.:

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