but let me also urge everyone to accept the fact that, rather than go into the cliche of cheating accusations or that money politics took over or indulging in what-ifs, as elegantly as i can put it: we had our butts badly kicked yesterday. the candidates, parties, and party lists that won deserved to win and should be congratulated for their victories. they read the pulse of our people right and organized themselves accordingly.
on the other hand, we (the pro-life movement as a whole) were deplorably disorganized, our fund raising capacities were miserable, and we did not bring out a coherent positive message until late in the game. some of us were even weirdly just happy to be part of the campaign, doing things or giving speeches that had no point, without a thought of committing themselves to the actual duty of winning. some ridiculously thought that simply because our cause is just, victory would automatically fall on our lap. others, while mouthing pro-life platitudes, would go on to contribute (in order to protect their business or family's social standing) funds and other such support to non-pro-life politicians who didn't need the contributions as much as we did. then there were those so-called pro-lifers who were all energy at the start but as time went on and they realized the spotlight won't stick with them just packed up, made any excuse possible, and left. if there was one thing this campaign made me realize: never trust the old rich or old elite families. they're the best reason to do away with political dynasties. and then there were those content to just pray, forgetting the fact that God gave us reason, will, and the means, as well as each other, to act and help ourselves. there is nothing heroic in all of this. all are inexcusable.
also sad is the fact that the clergy, after preaching for so long regarding the true meaning of church and state separation, after proclaiming so loudly that the church and the faith properly does have a say in the public square, would now suddenly lose their nerves and fail to make a stand behind the laity (or if some specific dioceses did make a stand, it was too late). reason and faith are two wings it is said. well, so are the clergy and laity. they had to be together. and in these elections, we had to fly on the laity's single wing. if there had to be given one reason (although there are many) for the laity's seeming confusion on how to proceed in the campaign then it would have to be the clergy's baffling ambiguity or outright refusal to publicly support the politicians who were up front campaigning based on the church's teachings. instead, the clergy hid behind the non-sensical reason that 'the church doesn't dictate'. nobody said or asked that the clergy dictates, the laity simply asked that they speak up on who they think they (as voters themselves) would support and vote for. and yet the church didn't want to risk being misunderstood, which was hard to understand considering that lay political candidates and their supporters, all fighting for church teachings, were risking a lot and putting sometimes literally everything on the line. if ever there was a time the faithful needed to hear the bishops' and priests' voice, to make a public and clear stand, it was during the election campaign of 2013. however, it will be the year remembered when the shepherds refused to lead the flock. and what's truly devastating about this is that it will be the laity - that actually has to live in the world, without the clergy's option of being in secured cloisters - that will suffer the most in the coming years.
in any event, i am quite thankful to my family, friends, and supporters. i am also so proud of my campaign team (spread all over the country, led by the 'antipolo group', you know who you are!), despite limited resources, they were able to execute a campaign competently, efficiently, and without drama. it was a joy being with truly committed people, unlike those whose enthusiasm was only at the beginning and replaced later on by excuses. indeed, it was a privilege to be part of our nation's electoral process, not merely as a bystander but as an active participant. i found it an honor and gratifying to meet and know more of my countrymen all over the philippines, and see firsthand how truly wonderful and beautiful this country really is.
now the elections are over. the people have spoken and it's their direction, whether we like it or not, that we must take. perhaps the country has changed. perhaps our values and faith have changed. but responsibility for that falls on each and every one of us. if we do not like the results, consider the fact that the people saw - correctly - by our lack of preparation and political smarts, that we did not present a viable alternative to today's old and corrupt leadership. and it's mostly because we did not possess the character and attributes necessary to deserve winning, that we showed ourselves unprepared to lead and take the country to a different direction.
on my part i shall go back to teaching and my law practice - quietly, as voltaire once wrote, to 'cultivate my own garden'. i am confident that there are better and more capable pro-lifers that can now step in and take the lead for our cause.
i wish all of you the best.
= = = =
*got this quote from a friend. and i must say, because of my experience in this campaign, i appreciate the words better. and that has got to be something at least - -
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt