Friday, March 02, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. HARVEY KEH

Dear Mr. Keh,

We are thanklful for your genuine service to your fellow filipinos through your various civic works. However, your letter of appeal to filipinos citing 7 reasons that would make you leave the Philippines is short of shallow, if I am allowed my opinion.
Yes, for the record, you sited the following 7 scenarios that would make you think of leaving our beloved motherland, to wit:

1.) If former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of HelloGarci fame wins in his bid to become Congressman ofBukidnon...seeking to replace a good man no less in incumbentCong. Neric Acosta... We would really be the laughing stock ofthe whole world if we allow a man with the reputation of Garcito be one of our so called "Honorable Gentlemen".

2.) If Dancing Queen Tessie Aquino Oreta reclaims her seat at theSenate... I hope that all of us would still remember that dancethat she did during the 2001 impeachment hearings after theyvoted to overrule the decision of then Chief Justice Davide...let us make sure that people like her never make it to the Senateagain.

3.) If Richard Gomez becomes a senator... what does he know aboutmaking laws? We already have the likes of Bong Revilla and LitoLapid in the Senate and their performance or lack of it would bereason enough not to elect another actor who has no priorexperience in government to the distinguished halls of theSenate.

4.) If Gringo Honasan wins again.... have we not learned ourlesson? I cannot believe that just because someone is charismaticthen we will just elect him to become one of our senators despitethe fact that he has time and again caused so much instability inour country... if we want a military junta similar to that ofThailand ... then lets all vote for this guy....

5.) If Manny Pacquiao becomes Congressman of General SantosCity... everybody loves Manny the Boxing Champ but Manny theLawmaker? Lets be realistic here, Manny is our Hero alright but Ithink it takes more than just great boxing skills and a desire toserve to be able to make appropriate laws that would help upliftthe lives of the many Filipinos who live in Poverty.

6.) If Lito Lapid wins for Mayor of Makati City... I don't likeJojo Binay as well but Lito Lapid as city mayor of the country'sfinance and business center?!?! And do you really think he isfrom Makati and has good plans for the city? The Arroyos askingsomeone like him to run just goes to show you how much love andconcern this government has for our country.

7.) If Chavit Singson becomes a Senator, Illegal Gambling =Chavit... enough said.

Wouldn't it be more patriotic for you to remain in this country should these seven scenarios happen? You mean to say that you are willing to abandon the Philippines just because of 7 people? Is that patriotism? Sure, your achievements count for something, but if you threaten to leave because of these 7 people, what does that make you? Our heroes Rizal and Ninoy, exiled though they were, chose to return home to face danger while you threaten to do the opposite! Your intention is commendable, inspiring and calling on the voting public not to vote for these people (I certainly won't vote for these 7 people, trust me).

We are still a free country. People can vote for whomever they please. We cannot blame the masang pilipino for voting for these 7 people, much less teach them to vote wisely by threatening to abandon them. I said this before, it takes time to educate voters. It will take generations before we can come up with true intelligent electorates. This, i think, is all the more reason for you to stay if the 7 people are elected. It is up to people like you and me to set the stage for a thinking electorate. Trust me, we won't even live to see that day come, but at least we know we have done the right thing and stayed when others chose to leave.

Do not abandon the country because of these 7 people. They are only 7 reasons for you to leave, as opposed to millions of reasons to stay.

If by May, heaven forbid, these 7 people do get elected and you decide to abandon ship, so to say, then good luck. There will be many more willing to pick up where you left off. Those who chose to stay against apparent insurmountable odds. These are the true patriots of the motherland.

RODEL BANARES

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Here is the complete text of Mr. Keh's letter:
Dear Fellow Filipino,Good day to all of you! Before I begin my letter... just adisclaimer, for people who know me they know that I love thePhilippines very much and I am not really one who rants andcomplaints to high heavens about what is happening to our countryand does nothing about it, in fact, I feel that at my relativelyyoung age of 27, I have done much service to the Philippines bysetting up Pathways to Higher Education which has sent more than500 poor but deserving students to college and AHON Foundationwhich has already built two public elementary school librariesthat have benefitted more than 3,500 students. Yet, after seeinghow events in our nation have transpired the past few weeks andtalking with some friends, I feel the urge to share with you myown thoughts and feelings.Over the weekend, we saw the completion of two major politicalalliances for this coming Senate Elections that has just beganhere in the Philippines . Now we have two political forces withfamiliar faces nonetheless on opposite sides of the fences. Onone end, you have Tito Sotto and Tessie Aquino-Oreta who were twomajor stalwarts of the opposition and the FPJ Campaign in 2004hobnobbing with the woman (Pres. GMA) whom they claimed to havecheated FPJ in the last Presidential Elections.On the other sideof the fence, you see Manny Villar, the former house speaker whowas actually responsible for impeaching Erap now part of theUnited Opposition who is led by no less than... Erap himself. Nowif you don't see anything wrong with this picture then you mustbe one of the many Filipinos who have accepted this very sadreality that there is indeed no permanent ideals that our government leaders stand up for but rather they just go wherethere self-interests can best be served. It is this kind ofpolitics why I no longer wonder why good people like RamonMagsaysay Awardee Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City or outstandingBulacan Governor Josie Dela Cruz will find it hard or worse,never be elected to national positions.It is with these in mind that I'd like to share with you what areevents this coming May elections that will make me considerleaving the Philippines :

1.) If former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of HelloGarci fame wins in his bid to become Congressman ofBukidnon...seeking to replace a good man no less in incumbentCong. Neric Acosta... We would really be the laughing stock ofthe whole world if we allow a man with the reputation of Garcito be one of our so called "Honorable Gentlemen".

2.) If Dancing Queen Tessie Aquino Oreta reclaims her seat at theSenate... I hope that all of us would still remember that dancethat she did during the 2001 impeachment hearings after theyvoted to overrule the decision of then Chief Justice Davide...let us make sure that people like her never make it to the Senateagain.

3.) If Richard Gomez becomes a senator... what does he know aboutmaking laws? We already have the likes of Bong Revilla and LitoLapid in the Senate and their performance or lack of it would bereason enough not to elect another actor who has no priorexperience in government to the distinguished halls of theSenate.

4.) If Gringo Honasan wins again.... have we not learned ourlesson? I cannot believe that just because someone is charismaticthen we will just elect him to become one of our senators despitethe fact that he has time and again caused so much instability inour country... if we want a military junta similar to that ofThailand ... then lets all vote for this guy....

5.) If Manny Pacquiao becomes Congressman of General SantosCity... everybody loves Manny the Boxing Champ but Manny theLawmaker? Lets be realistic here, Manny is our Hero alright but Ithink it takes more than just great boxing skills and a desire toserve to be able to make appropriate laws that would help upliftthe lives of the many Filipinos who live in Poverty.

6.) If Lito Lapid wins for Mayor of Makati City... I don't likeJojo Binay as well but Lito Lapid as city mayor of the country'sfinance and business center?!?! And do you really think he isfrom Makati and has good plans for the city? The Arroyos askingsomeone like him to run just goes to show you how much love andconcern this government has for our country.

7.) If Chavit Singson becomes a Senator, Illegal Gambling =Chavit... enough said.

Now if all of these 7 things happen during this coming electionsthen don't be surprised if I decide to leave this country that Ilove dearly. Like I said during the first part of my letter, Ifeel that I have done much for this country but I think its timethat Filipinos become more vigilant and critical in selectingour leaders for the sake of our future and the generations thatwill go beyond us. So I appeal to every Filipino who asks whatcan I actually do for my country... Choose and vote for the rightpeople this coming elections, huwag na tayong magpaloko sa mgakandidatong maganda lang ang jingle o gwapo lang sa mga poster.Let us choose leaders who have a good track record for serviceand who are genuinely committed towards serving our country.Manindigan naman tayong lahat para sa ating Kinabukasan at parasa Kapakanan ng ating Bayan!Thank you very much for your time in reading this letter.Sincerely,Harvey S. Keh