Just want to share this open letter written by none other than F. Sionil Jose.

To my fellow Pinoys who are dreaming and hoping of a better Philippines, read on.

Let us all pray for the President-apparent Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino III to be the leader we wanted him to be.

An open letter to Noynoy
HINDSIGHT By F Sionil Jose

(The Philippine Star) Updated May 23, 2010 12:00 AM

Dear Noynoy,

You are now swamped with suggestions and advice, but just the same, I
hope you’ll have time to read what this octogenarian has to say.

You were not my choice in the last election but since our people have
spoken, we must now support you and pray that you prevail. But first,
I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore:
you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous
job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the
single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time — the
experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one
generation — 25 years — for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But
you can begin that happy process of healing.

Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the
many contradictions in it that we have not resolved, whose resolutions
would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too.
Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the
Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its
possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become
president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an
enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest
to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among
them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes — you may consult them. I cannot
say I did not profit — he bought many books from my shop and when he
was in Marcos’s prison, your mother brought books from my shop to him.

Forgive me for giving you this unsolicited advice. First, beware of
hubris; you are surrounded by panderers who will tell you what is nice
to hear. You need to be humble always and heed your conscience. When
Caesar was paraded in ancient Rome before the cheering multitudes,
there was always a man chanting behind him: “Remember, you are
mortal.”

I say to you, remember, the poor — some of them in your own hacienda —
will be your ultimate judge.

From your comfortable and privileged cocoon, you know so little of our
country and people. Seek the help of the best — and the best do not
normally want to work in government and neither will they approach
you. You have to seek them.

Be the revolutionary your father wanted to be and don’t be scared or
wary of the word “revolution.” It need not be always bloody. EDSA I
was not. Your father wanted to destroy the most formidable obstacle to
our progress — the Oligarchy to which you and your family belong. To
succeed, you have to betray your class. If you cannot smash the
oligarchy, at least strive to have their wealth develop this country,
that they bring back the billions they stashed abroad. You cannot do
this in six years, but you can begin.

Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to
do this. Your mother did not do it — she did not jail Imelda who was
the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation.
Watch her children — they were much too young to have participated in
that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents
stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power,
gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.

You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful
smugglers, thieves, tax cheats — all you really need is guts to
clobber them. Your father had lots of it — I hope he passed on to you
most of it.

And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your
father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only
his wife — you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be
measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of
a true leader.

And, finally, your mother. We loved her — she united us in ousting an
abominable dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for
her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary
government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but
did not do it. And most grievous of all — she transformed the EDSA I
revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy.

She became president only because her husband was murdered and you
became president elect only because your mother died. Still, you are
your father’s son and may you now — for the good of this country and
people — scale the heights he and your mother never reached.

I am 85 and how I despair over how three generations of our leaders
failed! Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to
be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people
have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are
brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father’s aborted promise.

Hopefully yours,

F. Sionil Jose

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