Philippine Politics and Society Reflection

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The Philippines is known for its crude political scenes like political failures which resulted to the impending progress of the country. Those events that occurred in history had reshaped the world of politics in the Philippines. To start with, the structures of Philippine democracy had resulted political crises like political hegemony, capital accumulation, narrow oligarchic predominance’s staying in power, and political offices only for national-level oligarchs and local political bosses which began from its foundation in the 1935 Commonwealth-era Constitution. This is significant to the study of Philippine political thought because we could see the reasons why our country is not developing as well as the effects to it to the Filipino people which resulted to the developing and unstoppable control or domination of our national economy by transnational enterprises, the inconceivability of reimbursing our international indebtedness, the expanding pauperization of the rural masses and the total degradation of our marginalized urban poor. Personally speaking, since we are aware that there is wrong in the structures of Philippine democracy for instance, political predominance of the oligarchs in which enormous landowners, business magnates, and their scions have filled both houses of Congress as well as the offices of municipal halls and provincial capitols all through the archipelago wherein greater part of them aggregated capitals, why Filipino citizens still vote those persons even though they know that most of them are corrupt and/or have family members who have government positions during the past that have done a lot of things for their own benefit? This is still relevant in the current political landscape of the Philippines because there are government officials who are members of the elites and many of them came from political dynasties like Imee Marcos. We all know that Imee Marcos’ father is no other than Ferdinand Marcos who declared Martial law which resulted to the darkest chapter of Philippine history. Aside from this, there was news that went viral on internet about the claim of Imee that she earned a degree in Princeton and graduated in University of the Philippines Diliman which are both false based from the statements of executive vice president of UP, Teodoro Herbosa and Princeton deputy university spokesperson, Michael Hotchkiss (Cepeda, 2019 & GMA News, 2019). With these things, why Imee still won as a senator? Based from my observation, those claims of Imee Marcos which are false did not matter to the electorate that’s why Filipino citizens voted her. Sometimes, the problem is not the candidate because one of the problems is us. Why we allowed persons who are not fit for that position? Because of this, I realized that not just the structures of Philippine democracy are the problem because we Filipinos are also the reason why our country is not developing and why those problems in the past had continued up to this day.

Another point worth noting is the crises of executive predominance through presidential continuismo in the early 1950s, late 1960s, and mid-1980s. We could draw this dominance during American colonial period and even fortified in the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines setting up presidential authority over decisions about the suspension of the writ and the presumption of emergency powers as well as vesting powers over matters of national finance and commerce as well as over government budget allotments. Due to these political powers as well as the economic power of a president, the incumbent president will run again as a president. In the 1953, 1969 and 1986 elections, the candidacy of a reelectionist incumbent resulted to a massive electoral fraud. Under President Elpidio Quirino in the late 1940s and early 1950s and President Ferdinand Marcos by the late 1960s, other incumbent candidates utilized pork barrel, constabulary mediation, and other grimy tricks in their bids for re-appointment and because of these things which became evident, they lost support from the people until they were expelled from their positions. This is significant to the study of Philippine political thought because it talks about the issues related to governance like power. In light of the consequences due to the things that the reelectionists did, the Filipino people realized that they just want power so they did not support those persons anymore especially Quirino’s and Marcos’ bids for reelection. I agree that this event during those periods was a ‘critical elections’ because electoral fraud had expanded close by mounting criticisms of executive graft and corruption. This issue is relevant to the current political landscape in the Philippines because based from our experiences during the past wherein the electorates saw the reasons behind the ambitions of the incumbent to run again for that position, they did not support that incumbent anymore like what happened to Erap Estrada which is the 13th president of the Philippines. He had plunder charges and was blamed of violating Republic Act No. 7080 for purportedly getting P545-million assurance cash from jueteng (GMA News, 2007). Because of this, he did not won when he run for 2010 presidential elections. We could see that the Filipino people know that if Erap was elected again as a president, Erap will amass a lot of money which belongs to the people.

The last point worth noting is the transformist mobilization that happened against the setting of mounting crises which was explained in the previous part of this paper. This mobilization started when the excluded, unincorporated, or marginal social sectors which is composed of laborers, students, and urban middle class components emerged to reaffirmed Philippine democracy against extra-electoral threats. These associations or groups all drew support from previously unincorporated social gatherings and, by supporting extra-authoritative forms of collective action and publicly upholding election boycotts, constituted counter- domineering difficulties to Philippine electoralism and to the interests of the prevailing coalition of forces in Philippine society which is the oligarchy, the Catholic Church, and the US government. The most effective transformist mobilization is the People Power Revolution which resulted to the transition from authoritarian rule to resolve the profound established strains in the underlying structures of Philippine democracy. This is significant to the study of Philippine political thought because we could see the ideas and actions of the people during the past. We could get their ideas on how to overcome the struggles that the government had created. I agree that People Power Revolution’ is an occurrence of the phenomenon identified by Gramsci as trasformismo because when that revolution happened, there was a transformation in the Philippines- authoritarian rule to democracy- and this revolution proved the true power of democracy wherein the voice of the people was the step to shift the system. This event is relevant in the current political landscape because if the people have realized or noticed something in the Philippines especially in our government which they think is not right, not effective, or not suitable, they will voice out their opinions. Although voicing out your opinion as a group especially as an individual in the current time is not that effective like People Power Revolution since it is not that complicated, the government could still hear/see the complaints of the citizens.

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Philippine Politics and Society Reflection. (2021, Oct 09). Retrieved February 29, 2024 , from

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