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EDITORIAL: SONA and The Political Opposition

The death of our democracy is not found in our electoral system. It will die because of the absence of legitimate and credible political opposition parties.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. delivered his 2nd SONA on July 24, 2023. He delivered his speech as part of a constitutional protocol, supposed to highlight the accomplishment of the administration, and expected to have been under the scrutiny of legitimate political opposition, a body of political party organizations espousing opposite dogmas and democratic principles from their ideologues, scholars and social and economic leaders.

But it seems weird that they are not available and present around. What we observe are activists that have made their old anti-government issues in every SONA of any administration including the ones that they allegedly supported.

Under this political environment democracy is in peril. The absence of a legitimate, credible and ideological opposition will result in anti-democratic movements that will weaken our political and economic policies and system.

We cannot afford to be in this situation. We must strive to promote a leadership program to produce new herd of young people to replace old and dying political has-been because of their failure to maintain their roles and duties to the constitution and to the people.

There are three kind of leaders: those who were born from parents who are leaders, those who developed themselves as leaders, whose who choose and worked hard to become leaders and there are those who become one by accident.

Becoming a leader is also a sacrifice. In the present social milieu, knowledge, skill and influence is no longer a factor in becoming a leader. Personal charisma is needed, and a lot of money is needed, this is manifested in the composition of our legislative chambers which is originally the training grounds for presidents and vice presidents.

Ideally, there are very important characteristics that people look for leaders: problem-solver, relationship builder, proven integrity, decisiveness, and teacher, and they strive to work within legal and legitimate structure. But this is decades before. At present we can only ask ourselves? Where are they now? How can we help the coming leaders develop these commendable characteristics?

There a few, if any, formal academic programs in colleges or universities, because leadership ability is mainly personal. It cannot be quantified and therefore not subject to skills or scholastic evaluation. Most successful leaders acquire their ability from books, media and personal experience.

Any leadership development program will have to start on basic personal assessment of participants or students

1. Are leaders born? made? or a choice?

2. Can an ordinary guy become a leader?

3. Can a loner or introvert become a leader?

4. Is an academic degree needed to become a leader?

5. Is a job title or position needed to become a leader?


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