This is an issue, together with other more important issues, that should be discussed nearer to May 2010, when national and local elections are scheduled. Two events, however, reminded me to write about it sooner.
First, in my discussion with Dean Amado Valdes during a TV show on whether President Estrada is eligible to run again, he pointed out that we should let the people decide whether they still want former Pres. Estrada as a President. It was along the lines of vox populi, vox dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God).
Second, a recent comment on divorce in this blog partly lambasted lawyers for the “financial burden” in going through the regular process of annulment/declaration of nullity. Divorce should be allowed, the anonymous comment said. I replied that it’s unfair to blame us working lawyers because the status quo (without divorce) and the proposed law on divorce are matters well within the powers of the legislators/lawmakers — the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators. These are government officials that the Filipinos will vote for in 2010.
The common thread is the representative nature of our government.
Under our system of government, we elect our representatives in government. For instance, we elect our congressmen to represent our district in the House of Representatives. When they enact laws, they are theoretically representing the constituents. If the constituents believe that the elected representatives failed to carry their voice on certain issues, then they are entitled to select, during the next elections, someone else who is sympathetic to their issues.
Let’s have some examples. If the majority believes that the reproductive health bill should be passed, make the preference known to the elected representatives. If the majority believes that the divorce bill should be enacted, do the same thing. If the representatives choose to listen to certain interest groups or institutions, and not to their constituents, the latter could decide to elect another representative in the next elections.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that certain vote-rich groups wield more power during elections. For instance, the TODA (tricycle operators and drivers associations) and other groups use their numbers to get certain concessions. Politicians flock to certain religious groups for endorsement. Why can’t those who clamor for a divorce bill organize and support their representatives? Gabriela, for one, is endorsing the divorce bill.
The issue on divorce is just an illustration. You could take up bigger issues of our society — poverty, corruption, employment, law and order, etc. Make your vote count. Convince others to vote wisely. There are complaints about broken promises made by politicians. So many are whining that the representatives don’t listen once they get elected. Some say it’s all about money. If you accept that, then stop complaining about the absence of divorce (or the rampant poverty or just any other bigger issues) in this country.