Emilio Aguinaldo rose to power by killing the people—Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna— who became a threat to his supremacy. He fled to Hong Kong, and later came back to the Philippines during the Spanish-American war to declare independence and proclaim himself president. Aguinaldo’s internal motives led him to become power hungry. Majority of the Cabinet of the First Philippine Republic were willing to cooperate with the Americans during the Philippine-American war. It is because they wanted to do business with them instead of fighting for freedom.
As taught in the Philippine history, the church and state during the Hispanic era were considered as one. Friars together with the Governor-general equally had their say in leading the country. Since the Filipinos were uneducated, the friars took advantage of it. They used the church’s money to satisfy their big stomachs. The friars orchestrated the murder of the people who opposed them. Historians believed that the Filipinos inherited something from the Spanish that is very obvious today—self-interest.
Self-interest is one of the problems that has been passed down to the Philippine system of governance. It’s like a dominant trait that keeps repeating every generation. Politicians destroy other politicians by creating “context” that would degrade their adversaries’ image. But, it’s not a politician attacking another politician. It is a Filipino attacking another Filipino. The Philippine government declared war against itself because of self-interest.
the Weekly Sillimanian(tWS) believes that politicians should set aside their self-interests. The government should be united. There should be open communication between the three branches. Self-interest destroys the respect of one politician to another. Politicians are leaders. Leaders should be the pioneers of unity, respect, and integrity. While in public office, politicians should serve for the people, not for their respective parties.
Young leaders today are the future leaders of tomorrow. They should learn from the mistakes of the past. They should use these mistakes to form a better future. They should change the old system and become better leaders. Because if they don’t, history is just repeating itself. ~