Another Christian season of joy has arrived; another year is about to bow out of the front pages into recent history.
As the whole of Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus two thousand years ago, other religions celebrate similar festivals that fall on roughly the same range of dates. The Islamic Eid ul-Adha falls on Dec. 30-31 this year. The modern Hindu also observe Pancha Ganapati, a festival to their five-faced Elephant God.
Other cultures celebrate the winter solstice as the rebirth of the sun, such as the Chinese Lantern Festival that falls on Dec. 21-22. Even the Afro-American community now has Kwanzaa. Whatever the cultural roots, the last days of December has globally become accepted as a season for expressing hope, for celebrating life and family, for seeking peace, through gift-giving and other acts of kindness.
If only it were so easy to observe the true spirit of Christmas in reality. If only it didn’t require much effort, beyond the superficialities like sending trite Season’s Greetings through calendars, promotional gifts, and public messages – which has become the standard practice of corrupt politicians who suddenly morph into cherubic angels and holy magi this time of year. (The rest of the year, many of them are worse than pigs eating at the trough of public coffers.)
But remind them we must – to put their commitment and action where their mouth is.
We remind the leaders of the GMA administration and the AFP-PNP to finally implement serious steps to stop the unabated loss of lives through bloody Oplan Bantay-Laya and the resultant murder or disappearance of more than 1,000 citizens. For the wider public, it is a matter of life and death – especially as we now enter the more violent season of electoral guns, goons and gold.
We remind the leaders of the GMA administration and its allies in Congress to finally stop this insanity of stalking the Constitution, like an inveterate sex maniac, for a chance to abduct it, rape it, and enslave it at their earliest convenience. For the wider public, it is a matter of life and death – especially now that the clamor is to legislate and implement laws that truly benefit them (such as the legislated wage hike), and to repeal existing laws that have proven inimical (such as the EPIRA and the Oil Deregulation Law).
We remind the leaders of the GMA administration and its policy-makers to grow some patriotic backbone, if only on the matter of asserting Philippine custody over erring U.S. military personnel within the national territory. For the public, it is a matter of life and death – especially now that more and more U.S. troops are being geared up for direct and indirect, overt and covert, participation in counter-insurgency in the guise of military exercises and civic action.
And so, in this season of joy and kindness, let us all join hands with hopes and prayers for our people to finally find the voice and the vision to make 2007 a year that brings our country closer to real peace, unity and prosperity. #