It has been more than two decades since the Snap Elections, the Edsa Revolution and the exile of Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos and others. And since then we have witnessed the coming and going of the different Presidents and their Government. And here we are now another Aquino as President, another Ferdinand Marcos as a Senator of the Philippine Republic. Yes, Imelda Marcos and her family are back in the Philippines. If one stops to think, several question arises that populate my thought.
First, What is the state of democracy in the Philippines? Are we free to vote as we please? Free from coercion and corruption? How different are our leaders from before? Or is it the same set of family names we see from election to election?
Second, What is the state of freedom in the Philippines? Are we free to express ourselves without fear or imminent death? Do journalists and other citizens still harmed or worse killed? Will yoi go to jail if you displease someone with means and power?
Third, What is the state of Justice in the Philippines? Is there justice for all? Have filing of cases and press releases, and congressional investigations replaced actual prosecution of the case? How long does it take a mass murderer or a corrupt official? Will it take forever and a day?
Fourth, Do a number of Filipinos still go outside of the Philippines to work? Has the price of galunggong gone down? Has the problems of Mang Pandoy been solved?
Fifth, Have we seen the last of Martial Law? Or has it resurfaced as something that tries to control not only the people but the Internet?
Sixth, Has nothing good come out of those days in February that deposed Marcos? We do have a democracy that has survived coups and power grabs, but will it survive the corruption of the Republic? Our economy has improved but so has it trickled down to the to the rest of Philippines?
Seventh, what do we do now?
Things have changed and things have remained the same. There is progress but there are still challenges as well. And there is tendency for us to forget what has happened. What was it that George Santayana said?
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.