Sunday, 16 May 2010

DEAR Your Excellency,

I realize that I am calling you this, most possibly against your wishes. In your desire to truly respect the will of this nation, you refuse to be called President until the day of your official proclamation. However, the laws of statistical probability – if not quite the laws of this country -- are all now stacked in my favour, and I am fairly certain that I will probably not be eating crow anytime soon.

You have enjoyed a truly convincing victory, in what has to be the most remarkable election exercise this country has ever seen. Possibly the cleanest polls ever, it was an election worthy of a democratic process in the information age – informed, lively and free. You, Mr. President, are the first leader of a cyber-age Philippines.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

And yet, as much as you belong to this internet generation, you also represent the hopes and aspirations of those who belong to earlier ones.

Many will recall your father as a youthful senator and eager president-in-waiting, whose own dreams were ruthlessly crushed by the dictator Marcos -- as he lay dying on the tarmac upon his arrival -- to free his homeland from the shackles of tyranny and oppression.

Millions like me also remember your mother’s sacrifice. We stood shoulder to shoulder with her as she marched the streets to press for the dictator’s departure, and supported her unconditionally, when her presidency was threatened several times by those jealous of her overwhelming popular mandate.

Mr. President, in a secular sense, you are this country’s long-awaited messiah.

You have ascended to power to fulfill your father’s lofty promise, and your mother’s supreme sacrifice. In you, those who watched helplessly as Ninoy was gunned down, and prayed fervently as Cory was besieged by hungry power grabbers, shall have their fulfillment and salvation. It is a weighty responsibility, Mr. President, but you have little choice in the matter. Carrying the Aquino name has given you that duty, and whether you like it or not, this is now your manifest destiny.

Our nation is in immediate need of healing.

Our civil service is corrupt and inefficient, our public officials inept and greedy, and our people jaded and disillusioned. It will take a leader who can deftly combine the popular touch with a sharp economic acumen, genuine humane compassion with a strict sense of discipline, and skilled secular governance with a strong moral compass, to pull this country together. Yes Mr. President, the demands are difficult, but we know you expected no less when you made the decision to walk in your illustrious parents’ footsteps.

But worry not, Mr. President, for we will be with you every step of the way. Steadfast and unwavering, proud and unbowed, we will march forward to claim what we have long coveted – the material comforts that many of our neighbour countries have long enjoyed, and the respect of the world that this nation has been denied for so long.

Mr. President, we can make this nation great again. More beckoning than Mr. Reagan’s shining city upon a hill, and more luminous than Mr. Bush’s thousand points of light, we can bring forth -- during your presidency -- a Camelot more storied than the reign of the legendary Kennedys.

I can only recall few instances in my life when I truly believed, as your father did, that the Filipino is worth dying for. When your father died on that tarmac, when your mother took her oath as president of this country, and now, this historic time of your election.

Mr. President, do this nation proud. Lead us to greater glory, as we strive to claim what are rightfully ours – the freedom from want, the respect of our freedoms, and the world’s total respect for our great nation.

Good luck, Mr. President. This nation’s prayers are with you.

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Published in the Sun.Star Daily, 15 May 2010.

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