(Un)common Sense by James Veloso
(Un)Common Sense

On Revolutions and Charter Change

Mar 3, 2023, 12:18 AM
James Veloso

James Veloso


A few weeks ago, I had a fruitful talk with a former editor from a major daily newspaper in the Philippines about revolutions and socio-economic changes.

It was his opinion, he said, that the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 wasn’t really a “revolution” but merely a “revolt.”

In his view, a “revolution” happens when there is a complete change of the form of government or a radical change in the socio-economic landscape.

He doesn’t consider the People Power of 1986 a “revolution” since the Philippines retained the same form of government – and the same people who have enabled a system that perpetuated inequality, injustice and tyranny.

I happen to agree with that mindset.

Let’s remember that national hero Jose Rizal, in his first novel Noli Me Tangere, likened the socio-political situation of the Philippines during the last years of the Spanish occupation as a “cancer” where corruption and injustice has metastasized (to put it in plain terms, the “cancer” has spread to other parts of the body) and that (as he later contemplated later in El Filibusterismo) only a “radical” surgery could arrest the disease.

Filipinos after EDSA I, I believe, were like cancer patients who, after that radical surgery, did not even bother to visit the doctor for a follow-up. Yes, we managed to overthrow the dictator – but then, what happened?

Many of the political dynasties and oligarchs which have enabled the dictator were able not only to cover their tracks but also camouflage themselves in the “New Democracy.”

And Filipinos, who were still burdened by the economic troubles caused by the wholesale robbery of the Marcos regime, became too apathetic or too accommodating to these powers that be. After all, what’s the alternative: an armed conflict that will only destroy the country even further?

I’ve always said this in my social media space, and I believe many of those who have joined EDSA I share this thought: Hindi tayo binigo ng EDSA; tayo ang bumigo sa EDSA.


And now some sectors are pushing (er, railroading) for a change in our 1987 Constitution, despite pronouncements from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. that amending the constitution is not in his top priorities right now.

It’s my long-held conviction that what we need is not a charter change but a culture change.

To those still pushing for changes to the Constitution, let me say this: even if we change our charter endless times, if the same political dynasties, the same economic oligarchs, the same failed systems that have caused our troubles are still there, there is no guarantee that our country will ever make it out of the current mess we’re in.

But after all, it’s much easier to change the charter than to change the culture of corruption and injustice that we’ve all grown used to. Because apparently, if we do apply the “radical” solution that Jose Rizal had recommended for our social cancer, we might as well ask North Korea to target us with a nuclear bomb and end our country entirely.

For in my view, corruption and injustice in this country has not become just a part of life, it has become life itself, the only way for us all to get along with our daily lives.

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2024 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.