The Need for a Constructive and Objective Political Opposition

"So far, what the political opposition, and its supporters and enablers are doing is to create manufactured noise..."

A balance between the party in power and the opposition characterizes a country's healthy political environment. The two groups may not agree on issues most of the time, but when the interests of the nation and their countrymen are at stake, they set aside their differences and unite to achieve a particular cause. An example of this is how the Democrats and the Republicans joined forces to steer the United States during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and how the members of the Conservative Party and Labour Party united in condemning the various acts of terrorism that occurred in the United Kingdom recently.

This does not seem to be the case in the Philippines. With the way things are going nowadays, I have this impression that the political opposition is really not the constructive opposition that it is supposed to be like. It has turned itself into an obstructive force that seems to be more than hell bent on finding ways to discredit the government of President Rodrigo Duterte by all means possible.

So far, what the political opposition, and its supporters and enablers are doing is to create manufactured noise, all in the name of derailing government efforts to implement needed political and economic reforms, discrediting the gains made by the Duterte administration of various areas, and, by behaving and acting like as if they are the sole moral and intellectual authority in this country, undermining the will of the majority of Filipinos, who, based on surveys conducted by both local and international polling organizations, are supporting this legitimately elected President and his government.

There are lots of concerns that the Philippines under President Duterte needs to address. So much ground has been covered on the economic front, with growth domestic product (GDP) constantly growing and still predicted to grow, inflation under control and within target, and the local stock market breaking records, but there is still a need for the government to implement badly needed economic reforms to sustain the momentum and make the country more foreign direct investment (FDI)- and business-friendly. Of course, there is also the concerns of common Filipinos, such as living in a safe and peaceful community to having a safe, effective and efficient public transport system to cutting bureaucratic red tape and ending graft and corrupt practices in government, all of which necessitate vital political reforms.

Instead of being able to address various concerns, and formulating and implementing political and economic reforms, the government is now preoccupied in dealing with the political opposition's manufactured noise, a lot of which is not even substantiated, and defies both truth and logic. The interests of the country and of the people are at stake because they do not care of those things as long as their agenda will be met. Instead of approaching the role in an objective and constructive manner, the country's political opposition, and its supporters and enablers have become too much of an obstructionist or, if not, a borderline opportunist.

Is it not possible for the Philippines to actually have a political opposition, an intelligentsia and a media establishment that actually works for the genuine interests of the larger number of Filipinos and of the Republic? Is it not possible for them to become more constructive and more objective in helping the Duterte government achieve the targets that it set since the President himself said that everything that he and his government does is for the country and the people? Is it not possible for the "Yellows" and the "Reds" to set aside their party and political agenda for the good of the Philippines and the Filipino people?

I hope that there is a way for this country to have a constructive and objective political opposition. Otherwise, all of the gains made will be wasted and the momentum that is present now will be lost. If that happens, the discredited status quo, a product of the failure of the post-Marcos governments to put the interests of the country and the people first, will return and the Philippines will be a banana republic again.

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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