Today’s View: Have faith in the people

By
March 05 2013

The cliché “silay nauudyukan” is reflective of a pattern of thought invariably sung by people in authority.  It is an utterance proceeding from an attitude that sweepingly belittles the people, especially the impoverished sectors. 

By DON J. PAGUSARA
Davao Today

Echoing the unfortunate phrase of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman, Malacañang promptly claimed that the rallyists who staged a three-day ‘kampohan’ outside the DSWD regional office in Davao City last week are “nauudyukan” (have been instigated).

This has always been the favorite “melodic line” of government authorities –Malacañang no less — whenever they are confronted by a people’s collective action, whenever the people demanded from the authority to right the wrong.  We just have to recall President Aquino’s pronouncement at the height of the Hacienda Luisita farmers’ strike some months ago.

Isn’t this tantamount to saying that the people have no capacity for feeling?  That they are not capable of perceiving injustice?  Of feeling oppressed?

Isn’t this saying that the people have no mind of their own?  That they are too dumb to decide on their own?  That they are too impotent to act in pursuance of their rights?  To advance their own interests?  Most especially to fight injustice?

Is it only Malacañang, Sec. Soliman and the DSWD personnel who can discern what is just and what is not?

The cliché “silay nauudyukan” is reflective of a pattern of thought invariably sung by people in authority.  It is an utterance proceeding from an attitude that sweepingly belittles the people, especially the impoverished sectors.

This is a remnant of the arrogance of the colonial rulers of our society — from the time of the Spaniards to the time of the Americans — and now it resides in the mental recesses of the political bankruptcy of the Filipino ruling elite of contemporary times.

The anti-thesis of this supercilious outlook should be an abiding “faith in the people,” “reliance on the masses.”  This invaluable motto of a world outlook is what is lacking in the government officials’ conduct vis-à-vis the people.

It is only during election time that those who are in authority pretend to have trust in the masses, feigning populist posturing that supposedly cater to the wishes of the people.  For don’t they rely on the people’s vote for their climb to power?

But in fact, even in election they do not trust that the people can wisely vote.  And so they make all sorts of deception, including insults by buying the people’s votes!  Despicably vile is this crop of government authorities!

Have faith in the people.  This is what ought to be foremost in the mind of Sec. Soliman in resolving the problem of the typhoon victims in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte.

She should have left it to the Barug  Katawhan, the movement of Pablo victims, to take responsibility in systematically distributing the relief goods instead of standing adamant to a very inhumane positioning of demanding a master list.  Or was it her last ditch resort to save face?

Sec. Soliman should have realized that it is this organized group who had earlier witnessed the irregular(read: corrupt-ladenmanner with which the distribution policy was conducted by DSWD.

This group knew what is best, what is reasonable, what is just.  Not Sec. Soliman, not anybody from DSWD Regional office, not Malacañang.  And, definitely not the Davao Police force whose “maximum tolerance” is ill-conceived and mal-understood.

Have faith in the people.  Leave it to them!   It is they who have suffered hunger and injustice.  They are the experts of what injustice is and how to combat it.

The people have a great capacity for social conscience, social justice and social action.  They are the most reliable resource for a just resolution of what will ultimately accrue to them in terms of social welfare.

Don J. Pagusara is a native of Mindanao, a multi-awarded author and a Palanca-awardee.

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