IN the discussions held by the Senate on Wednesday on the proposed shift of our government — from the present presidential type to a federal system which the Duterte government is strongly endorsing right now — it has come to light that it is not really important whether our system is federal or presidential.
In the often fiery but civil exchange between the senators and their resource persons, it became quite clear that it is not a change in government that we Filipinos need. What we need so that the Philippines can achieve success and prosperity is a change in thinking and perceptions, and in behavioral patterns — from the current worldly disposition of many, towards obedience and reverence for our God and Savior.
As is being proclaimed by a signboard that I have been noticing to be posted in various places every time I go there to attend hearings of cases I handle at the Regional Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, “what we need is not a change of men, but a change in men.”
What these street posters mean, simply, is this: it is not the change of men in government, in positions of influence and power, that is needed by our nation at present, so we can transform the difficult and poor life our people are experiencing for quite a long time now.
What we truly need is a change inside men. We need men who has left the kind of thinking we have long been accustomed to — thinking of nothing but our personal and family interests, ambitions, and aggrandizement. It is now fitting and proper that we start considering our God and Savior whose Name is Jesus, striving to learn His commands and sincerely obeying all of them every day of our lives.
We must realize that in this world, there is not one single human being, whether he is the most wealthy or affluent or the most powerful or famous, who can chart the best course for humanity. It is only our God and Savior whose Name is Jesus who can give us the peaceful, and prosperous life that we all aspire for and dream of having.
The truth is that, even if we change the system of government today, this would still not yield any tangible benefit to many, if the plunderers, the corrupt and the criminals, retain their power and influence. As one resource person in the Senate hearing on Wednesday said, we already had a change in government when President Marcos was in power, but nothing good came out of it just the same.
Because of this, what the Duterte government and its allies should be furiously working on is the instilling among Filipinos of the requisite fear and love of our God and Savior. President Duterte should also strive to instill in his officials the Spirit of God all the time.
His officials must also be taught to maintain their fear and love of God in their minds, hearts and spirit, coupled with a healthy hatred for dishonest gain, especially if it comes from the exercise of their positions. It must likewise be drilled into their consciousness that as officials of government, they are to act like slaves of the people, serving with utmost dedication and loyalty.