A Reversal of Roles

Masses are seemingly doing a better job than the "educated class" in choosing the right path for the country. 

From the way things are going, it seems that the results for the Senate race stand at 9-3 in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte's Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), with incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar leading the pack. No one from the Otso Deretso group, formed by an alliance of the Liberal Party, Magdalo, Akbayan, and other parties and groups that represented the old establishment politics and the Far Left made it into the Top 12. It seems to be a continuation of the anti-establishment vote of the majority of Filipinos, which started in 2016 when the then Mayor of Davao City Rodrigo Duterte, a Manila politics outsider, won the presidency.

The results of the 2016 and 2019 elections seem to be ironic as far as the choices of two segments of the voting population are concerned.

Based on their choices, the "woke" Millennials and the rest of the so-called "educated class," most of whom are products of prestigious educational institutions such as the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University-Manila and the University of Santo Tomas, and holding white collar jobs in the cities, are siding with the liberal and/or Far Left establishment politics that has been in place since February 25, 1986. They seem to prefer the status quo- economic protectionism that limits foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow and prevents the growth of small businesses, the unitary presidential system of government, etc. Aside from choosing to retain the status quo, the "educated class" seems to lean towards liberal Western ideas that clash with traditional Filipino and Asian values such as same-sex marriage, divorce and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill, and are averse towards the strong implementation of the law against criminality and narcotics, and the instilling of discipline and order in Philippine society.

On the other hand, the masses, whom members of the "educated class" call "bobotantes," are riding the anti-establishment trend that began in 2016. Being the ones owning small businesses, handling the bulk of the lower-ranking white collar and blue collar jobs, travelling on the current modes of public transport to go from one place to another, and walking the city streets, believe in the results of President Duterte's policies and programs, and are more welcoming to his proposals such as tax reform measures, a shift towards a possible federal parliamentary system of government, and a more open economy that can create more job and business opportunities through the removal of foreign ownership of equity restrictions and the strengthening of Filipino-owned small businesses. They were the ones who directly felt the effects of the incompetence and/or non-action of the old political establishment, and are now seeing and feeling the effects of the different political approach, policies, and programs of the Duterte administration, hence their decision to vote for Hugpong candidates for the Senate.

This a clear reversal of roles as far as Philippine society is concerned, with the masses seemingly doing a better job than the "educated class" in choosing the right path for the country. The "woke" millennials and others from the "educated class" may rant endlessly on social media and question the choices of the masses all they want because they are entitled to their opinions and the masses prefer to keep on living their lives, and earning from their jobs or businesses. One thing is clear: Those who have a grasp of the realities on the ground can decide better than those whose only claim to "being educated" is by studying and graduating from prestigious ins

About the Author
Benedict is an agricultural economist, academician and writer. He has gained experience and expertise in various fields of economics, business, political science and public relations after through professional ventures in the academe, and in the public and private sectors. He has authored or co-authored key publications on topics ranging from agriculture and food security to global affairs and politics.
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