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Open letter to all Filipinos living in Okinawa: “Hopeless Philippines?”

Date Posted: 2003-09-13

"The Philippines is still the same, and will remain the same that’s why I will not participate in voters registration." In short, the Philippines is hopeless! This is one of the reasons why those who were aware of voters’ registration last Aug. 30 through Sep. 1 at the Philippine Consulate did not exercise their right to vote. I do not blame those who said this for they have valid reasons. But as a priest and as a Filipino, it is my duty to God and my country to instill hope in spite of the seeming hopeless situation.

The reason why our country cannot move towards progress, unity and lasting peace is not the politicians but ourselves. We were the ones that put them in power. From the very beginning we knew the background of these politicians. They are either corrupt, kidnappers, coup leaders, womanizers, protectors of drug lords, or other kinds of crooks. In spite of these evil and immoral background, they won because they are popular and cheaters. Now, we reap what we planted. You may say ‘ I did not vote for them.’ But did you ask your family or friends not to vote for them? A Filipino who doesn’t want to participate in any reform because of cynicism is like a man who sees his house burning. He doesn’t want to put off the fire because he doesn’t want to involve others and above all he was not the one who caused the fire. So be it. The problems of poverty, education, peace, security and economy of the majority of the Filipinos cannot be addressed because the national attentions are focused on the problems of these officials. Sa halip na ang problema ng bansa ang bigyan ng atensyon, ang atensyon ng bansa ang nakatuon sa kanila.

In spite of this chaos, I believe that there is one remaining hope, and that is us, the Filipinos working abroad. We are the ones suffering here in order to support the economy of the Philippines. We endured suffering, isolation, racial discrimination, and more, because the government or the opposition cannot offer us opportunities to live a better life back home. Walang gustong umalis ng Pilipinas kung may maayos na trabaho lang. Kaya nga tayong mga Pilipino wala na tayong bukam bibig kundi yong kailan tayo uuwi. We did not want to leave the Philippines, but we are forced to leave by the politicians who abandoned us after they got what they wanted… our vote! The economy of the Philippines relies so much on us. How come we are allowing politicians to rob the fruits of our sacrifices? Before, we said ‘because I cannot vote’. But now, the opportunity is here. We are allowed to vote and I personally believe in this hi-tech system of voting that my vote will be counted. After the election in our country there are two results: Isang nanalo at isang dinaya! If electoral reform is implemented through computerization, there is a big chance that cheating, vote buying and delayed counting will be eliminated. There are lots of people working in Okinawa but the turnout of voter’s registration is very, very low. There were reasons why they were not able to register but instead of blaming one or another we look for solution. I am asking you then to participate in signature campaign for this is one of the best ways to convince the Philippine Consulate to schedule another date of registration.

My fellowmen, mga kapwa ko Pilipino, our nation is facing crises in all fronts. Yet in spite of this, we should never stop hoping for a better Philippines. My fellowmen I believe in you and God is counting on us. Babangon at uunlad tayo, only if we turn this crisis into opportunities. Let’s make a difference. Go out and register. May God bless us. May God bless the Philippines!

Sincerely,

Fr. Rommel Cruz, MSP
Awase Catholic Church
Toobaru, Okinawa City 904-2164

Contact Persons:
Rose Liggayu-Raymundo rose@fad-tech.com Tel. 936-5842
Romy Ura mlcromyura@mcbbutler.usmc.mil 090-8293-4441
Maryann Yonamine yonaminem@aafes.com 646-2903
Romy Mariano romeomariano@gushikena-e.com 090-7585-8465
Rei Saraku annangeljp@ybb.ne.jp 090-9369-7526
Edwin Ventura win_ed50@hotmail.com 892-1326

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