We find ourselves in an uncertain, complex, ambiguous situation. Nothing is certain. We will be surprised how things will turn out. This is how many felt at the beginning of 1986 before the Snap Election that Marcos Sr. called confident of his victory. What happened in EDSA in Feb. 22-25,1986, was totally unexpected. It was not in any of the scenarios. It seemed miraculous.
But already we are seeing a glimpse of what can happen no matter what the outcome of the election may be. What we are seeing so far is the emergence of a new kind of politics that gives hope for the future – beyond May 9.
A substantial number of ordinary citizens from all walks of life, most of them young people, fed up with the traditional style of politics, who are actively involved in the fight for good governance. They are people full of hope, with integrity, decency, kindness, compassion, self-discipline, creativity and joy. They represent the best version of the Filipino.
They look for and support servant-leaders who can inspire them to share their time, talent and resources to work for a better Philippines. They are developing a sense of solidarity, communion and what sociologist Victor Turner calls “communitas.” We can already see and experience this in the massive rallies. They are organic and self-organizing making use of the digital information and communication technology to connect to each other, fight false news and disinformation, and go out into the streets, and far-flung communities voluntarily to make a difference.
The spirit of EDSA People Power is once again here and will not easily go away. This is the face of transformative politics that will replace the traditional transactional-patronage politics dominated by corrupt and self-serving political elites and dynasties. Assuming that this is not just a temporary phenomenon but a genuine social movement, the struggle – the Pink Revolution – will not end on May 9 – whether with a victory of Robredo or Marcos Jr or a “Daughterte” presidency.
Under a Robredo presidency, their active support and participation can be relied on so that there will be genuine transformation and good governance. From among them will emerge new breed of servant-leaders chosen and supported by an awakened citizenry that cannot be bought and dominated by traditional politicians. They can change the prevailing political culture.
Under a Marcos presidency, the Pink Movement will resist the continuation of the corrupt and authoritarian style of governance and any efforts of impunity, human rights violation, etc. They are capable of carrying out massive protest and even another people power uprising when necessary.
The struggle for good governance and genuine social transformation continues. This time it will come from below rather than from the top. This is the new paradigm of social change.
According to Italian sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, based on his studies of institutions and groups, it only takes at least 20 percent to make a difference. Arnold Toynbee in his study of the history of civilizations and nations also wrote about the role of “creative minorities” in initiating social change.
Whether the number of those in the Pink Movement is enough to win this coming election remains to be seen. What is certain is that in the long run, this is enough to effect genuine social transformation. This is the source of hope, the light in the midst of darkness.
Fr. Amado Picardal is a Redemptorist priest and human rights and peace advocate. He was executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities. He also served as co-executive secretary of the Commission of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation of the Union of Superiors General in Rome.
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