Friday, June 18, 2010

An Open Letter to The President of The Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III

Dear President Aquino,

As an expatriate American residing in the Philippines, I followed the election here last month which you won handily.  I offer you my congratulations and best wishes on your victory.

I find interesting parallels and similarities between that contest and the 2008 Presidential race in the United States. When President Barack Obama was elected  by an overwhelming majority, the millions of Americans who had supported and voted for him, myself included, were elated. After the the long dark night of the repressive and dishonest Bush administration, we looked forward to a new day and the progressive agenda for our country that Obama had promised in his campaign.

I'm sure the millions of voters who elected you now hold a similar trust, in this case that you will lead the Philippines out of the wilderness of corruption and poverty; or based on the likelihood that such a change might take generations to accomplish, that you will at least make a strong impact against these twin evils and set the country on the road to brighter future.

I hope that  you do not sacrifice your goals in the name of unrequited bipartisanship and that you do not make unreciprocated concessions  to your opponents in order to needlessly placate them.

I hope that should an ecological disaster strike the country, whether natural or man made, you will exercise decisive leadership immediately.  If the calamity was the result of human error or negligence, I hope that you will immediately hold the perpetrator(s) accountable and not allow them to stall and make excuses while the situation worsens.  If the violators acted in collusion with the officials in government department that oversees and monitors their operations, I hope that you will pursue the latter as well.

I hope that you will order an investigation into the crimes such as treason and human rights violations  that were committed by your predecessor and  whoever else was involved in these abuses no matter how powerful or influential and that if they are convicted, you will use the power of your office to let the chips fall where they may.

I hope that you will reverse the population control policies of the last administration  and that you will not be intimidated by religious extremists who want to impose their will on those who want to make their own personal choices in such matters as family planning,contraception, and sexual identity.

I hope that you will change the economic policies of the previous president, specifically that you will back a policy requiring businesses and wealthy individuals to pay their fair share of income taxes, and that the resulting revenue will be used to rehabilitate and expand the country's infrastructure and improve the educational system. 

Remember, Mr. President, you were elected by a landslide. You have a mandate from the people to make significant changes in the political landscape and an opportunity to turn the Philippines around.

I hope that you will utilize it.

Very truly yours,
Rick Levy