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With Malice Toward None - Filipino Voices with Michael J. Libow

With Malice Toward None

The dawn of a new year always brings with it great hope and great trepidation. The significance of 2010 for many Filipinos does not make it any less easy nor less apprehensive. In fact, the expectation is great, and the fear is palpable.

This was yesterday. For far too often, when articles are about negativity, like this piece on the Cult of Noynoy Aquino, people fail to put our time within the proper context. People forget that just last year, our national life seem locked in a perpetual circle. Have you forgotten our questions, “how do you break the deadlock? How do you break the anxiety of people that there is no hope.”

The same crowd that patronizes the ideas spewed by “the Cult of Noynoy Aquino” comes rushing forward expelling forth whats wrong with the country but refuse to understand it or to advance what we can do to fix it. They say violence erupted in Luicita, but fail to put in context the twenty years of failed comprehensive agrarian reform program. The same crowd blame wealthy landowners, but fail to account that it isn’t just the landowners who have gamed the system who are at fault. The farmers too and the Left are to be blamed.

I wrote last year, Better Political Parties, Not more Impeachment. and today, history seem poised to crown The Juggernaut Noynoy Aquino even as Aquino brings great hope and trepidation.

Today, some quarters can not believe that Noynoy Aquino is poised to become president. Why him? Did you by any chance start to grow political parties? Did you by any chance prepare for 2010? Did you by any chance remember what it was like just last year?

Do you by any chance see what Manny Villar can do? As I wrote in Manny Villar’s Platform, “The doubt in my mind starts off like this: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also knows what’s wrong with the Philippines and knows how to fix it, just as Villar does and who is just as capable as he is. The doubt in my mind is this: what makes Manny Villar different from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?”

Rochelle Chua made me realize in her post, “Get to Know Nicanor Perlas,” what a good guy, Mr. Perlas is. At the same time, as much as I admire Mr. Perlas’ intelligence and passion for the job, his stance on Nuclear Power is something I think was one of the biggest mistakes of the past 20 years.

Then again, there is something inexplicable about destiny.

So, do we Trust, more than platforms?

Today, Lila Shahani captures in “Lernaean Hydra: the battle against imputing and its many layers“, our stark reality. Very important is her analysis on the Amaptuan case and international options regarding it, so I urge you to read her piece.

There there is Dean dela Paz’s the list of the absurd. It is very important to note:

the World Bank’s (WB) Department of Institutional Integrity stated in a report previously furnished the Finance Department that as much as US$ 45 million was lost through bribes channeled to a “cartel” allegedly behind Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects.

The usual suspects were implicated including those at the very top and “relevant local media”. As absurdity would have it, rather than call government officials and relatives to account for the losses, it was the World Bank that was unceremoniously browbeaten.

Then Ding reminds us that it is Time to Junk the Killer Ro-Ro RP nautical highway experiment. For a nation with a lot of water around us, we sure are a nation of terrible sailors.

Recently the Jester-in-Exile wrote about “Elections, Pixels, and Pesos: A look at online campaign finance,” which basically deals how green the grass is online.

Oh, and I had fun reading Manuel Buencamino’s Aldo the Alligator.

And today, this in an age where people struggle with Globe Billing Problems and iPhone 3Gs.

We’ve talked about yesterday and, today.

This is tomorrow and it is full of possibilities, of plans within plans on the road to 2010, and myriad challenges like The Clear and Present Danger of Congresswoman Arroyo looming over the horizon.

Tomorrow must be about Risa Hontiveros and her stance on RH Bill and the Labor Code. It is about Budget Reform, which is TG Guingona’s Main Advocacy. It is about Mar Roxas’ Freedom of Information Act.

Earlier, I posted on blogwatch about The Five Freedoms of Filipino Running Code. It is about the future of Internet in the Philippines. It is important I believe that our Presidential Candidates know more about Internet Rights. In my humble opinion, these Five Freedoms can be used as foundation upon which to build a more perfect digital life.

On the forefront of what tomorrow will bring is that elephant in the room called 2010. Much rides on it.

Turn the clock a bit, in 2006, novelist Brad Meltzer wrote issue 0 of Justice League of America and it was titled, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” In its opening pages we find Batman and Superman talking about forming the League.

It went something like this:

“That’s my point, Clark. Martians and Magic Green Rings to fight aliens who turn you into trees… that’s not— I don’t think that’s the fight I’m meant to fight.

“It’s a new world, Bruce. It’s not just ours anymore. Besides,” Superman argued, “when the threats get that big, sometimes it takes more than a Utility Belt and a solid right hook.”

Batman stood pondering Superman’s words.

And that was it, Superman thought. In all our time working together… it was the first time I saw Bruce scared. It wasn’t the aliens. Or the diamonds. Or even the Mach 6. It was just the simple and unavoidable realization that there were bigger things on this planet than him. And that’s what terrified Batman. I could see the sweat below his mask, the way he kept readjusting his cowl. But as he’s done everyday since he was eight years old, instead of being ruined by his darkest and most ruthless fears… he embraces them.

That’s what we need to do. That’s what 2010 must be about.

Instead of our darkest and most ruthless fears ruining us, we have to embrace them. Make no mistake, the threats of tomorrow are real. I borrow these words from Lincoln, let us bind our nation’s wounds, and continue the work of nation building and we must face tomorrow with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the light, with charity for all and with malice toward none.