Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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HOWIE SEE IT: Leni Robredo and genuine people unity

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By Atty. Howie Cajjeja

Unity is one of those values that we tend to generally think of in a positive light. When a faction of individuals are unified, there’s a clear sense of everyone pulling in the same direction. People are able to better identify mindsets, behaviors, or ideals that don’t fit within their unified direction. Sports teams that are truly unified can at times make up for a talent disadvantage because their ability to work together may far exceed that of a more talented, but less unified, team. Unity truly matters and can be a formidable concept, but could unity ever be a bad thing for a group of people to experience?

Well, in this election many talk about unity when the only thing that unites them is their interest to strengthen their family dynasty — Yes, to unify the North and the South but unity is more than just Geography. For if the purpose of Geographical Unity is simply to widen the territorial stronghold of each family’s “sphere of influence”, “kingdom” and “elitism” then this kind of unity is more negative than it is positive.

Genuine unity is an ideological convergence of vision and belief for good governance compared to a corrupt form unity propagated by Dynastic families. How can we join in unity with those whose family is proven by law to have ill-gotten wealth and whose international bank accounts worth billions are yet to be recovered? Wouldn’t this act of solidarity with them mean that we are condoning such an act? This unity among thieves sounds benevolent but it is what is it … a “criminal syndicate” awaiting the voters’ stamp of approval; whose past acts of plunder of our government’s coffers have brought our nation into the dark abyss of corruption and poverty.

Yes, unity under these circumstances is unhealthy. If we are unified around the wrong or lesser purpose, we will never pursue the right or greater things. The empty call of Unity of the Marcos-Duterte tandem calls only for a geographic unity that brings together the failed corrupt family dynasties of Marcos, Macapagal-Arroyo, Estrada and Duterte who had 41 years combined history of placing our country into debt and whose administrations has all been mired by corruption scandals. Adding to their unified team are a group of corrupt officials, human rights violators and even suspended lawyers. Then there is the other form of unity borne from ideals and a struggle to bring us out of a corrupt and despotic regime. It offers unity among the legal left and the legal right, moderates including farmers, urban poor, LGBTQ, OFWs, and even the religious Christians, Muslims, The unity among these groups of people puts the political elites and tycoons at the side while Center stage are the Filipino Masses. Here the unity of all sectors and groups are broad, inclusive and signifies more meaningful unity for those in the fringes of our society.

We see the above authentic unity that is led by a leader who does not profess self-interest and greatness but someone who wants to see the greatness in all. No family or vested interest to protect. A vision of a unified Filipino people compared to uniting traditional family dynasties. It is a kind of unity not of the social elites or dynastic families but of a unified society that is born out of an ordinary Filipino family’s desire to join hand-in-hand with other families in support of a cause that benefits everyone regardless of social class and orientation.

It is a kind of unity that is not done through force or intimidation; not of fear but of love — love of our country and of our fellowman. Unity is done not to “massage a leader’s ego” (as grand display of one’s leadership) or regain once misinformed glorified past but a unifying leader is someone that uplifts the hearts and mind of every Filipino regardless of self. Finally, true unity is leadership by example; for how can a leader to inspire a nation to unite if the very tool to unite (e.g. massive troll farms) the country has become the tool of misinformation which disrupts unity. Well, I for one vouches that at least my President — VP Robredo, lives by ideals of unity and is someone who never makes fakes promises and empty excuses.

We don’t want to be united with criminal syndicates, despotic families and social elites; we need a United Philippines for the benefit every Filipino family. We need a higher purpose for Unity — a true genuine unity of the people with the people and for the people.

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