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Monday, May 28, 2007

Thank You from Dr. Martin Bautista


The election is over. It is time to examine, and to both skeptics and sympathizers alike, explain my participation in it.

I gave up a flourishing medical practice in America, joined Kapatiran and ran for the Senate because I wanted not merely to prove a point, but to live by it.

And the point is this: we can change our country, help our people, not by talking or theorizing but by actually doing something about it. One cannot simply make a statement. He must apply it in his life, by example, by involvement, by action. Our political campaign was such a statement.

Did we succeed? We did not get enough votes for a seat in the senate. But we did get the attention of the electorate and, more importantly, we made people aware of alternative solutions, better political options.

We demonstrated that it is possible to conduct an open, honest, vigorous campaign on programs, not personalities.

We showed that there is no need for false promises, political gimmickry, immoderate spending; but that there is a need for continuing communication, defending and justifying our positions and priorities.

Our fundamental premise is this: Politics is not a means of livelihood. It is not an economic investment that will pay off in future material gain.

Politics is a way of giving, of sharing, of helping. It is not soliciting support but providing it. It is not about rendering service in the senate when elected, but rendering service now, in the present, in this time and place, in one's capacity as a candidate, a citizen, a Filipino of compassion.

If we have, even in a small, tentative way, we have redefined politics in the Philippines, then we have been fully recompensed for our efforts. The accomplishments of our greatest heroes cannot be judged in the simplistic terms of triumph or defeat. Like Burgos, Gomez and Zamora, the Kapatiran candidates won no instant victory. But they achieved a beginning, advanced the cause for reform, and awakened a hope that such reform is possible.

A personal note of accountability. We received donations from many sectors of society. Added to our own private contribution to the campaign, the total amount exceeded our modest campaign expenses. The balance we shall turn over to Gawad Kalinga in accordance with our conviction that politics is not an enterprise for profit.

Finally I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all the men and women of goodwill who stand with us in the common belief in a Filipino future. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Martin D. Bautista, MD


I voted for this guy! Will watch out for him in the next political exercise.
- Dexter

Friday, May 04, 2007

Looking back, 10 years ago

It has been 10 years since my letter to the Philippine Star was published in the said broadsheet. It was the first time that a written work of mine was seen in a widely circulated print medium. I know I kept a clipping of this article, inserting it in our huge, antique Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but unfortunately, I couldn't find it anymore.

As a young teenager then, I wrote about being open about accepting money, specifically P500.00, in exchange for voting for a presidential candidate in 1998. "Of course I will accept the money!", I wrote. "Anyway, no one will know if I really voted for that candidate."

Today, at age 28, I ask myself the same question of whether or not to vote for a candidate in exchange for 500 bucks. I could not answer with the same conviction as before. Yes, I can still get away with the money while having the freedom to vote for my chosen bets, but thinking again, if I keep on accepting these bribes, I am not contributing to putting a stop on this vote-buying culture we have in Philippine politics.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pumipichay ka na ba?