Easter Message…

Sa pagsapit ng Linggo ng Pagkabuhay nitong taon ng kailangangkailangang pagbabago para sa Pilipinas, ating alalahanin ang bagong pag-asang sinasagisag ng dakilang araw na ito matapos tayong tubusin sa ating mga kasalanan ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo. [As Easter comes in this year of much needed reforms for the Philippines, let us remember the new hope symbolized by this holy day after Jesus Christ redeeemed our sins.]

Christ’s passion gave birth to a new man; so too our struggle for urgent change will find transformation into a new nation with more jobs, cleaner environment, safer streets, more investments, and freedom from the ills of crushing debt, endless poverty, and vile corruption.

Huwag tayong mawalan ng pagasa sa kabila ng maraming mga pagsubok. Isulong natin ang ating bansa sa klarong direksyon mula sa inyong halal na liderato, desididong aksyon sa Kongreso, at pagkakaisa ng taumbayan. [We must not lose hope inspite of all these setbacks. Let us move our country in a clear direction from your elected leaders, resolute action from Congress, to the unity of the people.]

Nawa’y laging maghari ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa ating mga puso upang tuluyan na nating makamit ang makabuluhang pagbabagong maghahatid sa atin ng kapayapaan at kaunlaran. Nawa’y mapaikot na natin ang ekonomiya at makapagbigay ng tunay na puhunan sa buhay ng karaniwang Pilipino. [May the love of God reign in our hearts so that we can truly achieve relevant change that will bring us peace and prosperity. May we finally turn around our economy and give true quality of life to the common Filipino.]

We must stay the course, as Christ did, to eventual triumph. We must stay the course until the Philippines has turned the corner. In the end the weak-willed and the self- serving will be changed or cast off. In the end the corrupt will be indicted and convicted, and their ill-gotten gains forfeited to the government. And our faith and perseverance will win support and vindication from the people.

Happy Easter to all!

-President GMA’s Easter 2005 Message

At the outset, this statement is sooooo easy to make sitting in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned room (or comfy in the cold climate relaxing during a vacation break) where you really don’t have to worry about where you’ll get your next meal, or where you’ll be able score some money to pay mounting debts. Practising philosophy, economics, or law is always easy from an armchair. There is really a tendency to wax poetic, philosophical and even religious if you never really know what hunger or even burden really is.

What course is it? Heavier burden for the poor by additional taxation? There is only so much the people can take. There has to be a better way of doing this. There must be an equality of sacrifice and the burden should be equitably distributed. The additional taxes will barely make a dent in the rich person’s coffers. For the middle class downwards, however, it will mean their quality of life will suffer a major downgrade…again. And where will all these additional taxes go?

All this talk about the self-serving, weak-minded and corrupt people getting what they deserve has become worn-out lip service. These people can afford to have the wheels of justice turn their way. Believe me, I know this for a fact.

Finally, true change should begin from within. And I mean this in more ways than one.

Happy Easter, Philippines!

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