Freedom can do whatever he/she wants as long

Freedom
can have several interpretations from different viewpoints. A prisoner can be
freed from his offenses after being released from prison, yet he will still be
caged within the guilt that his crimes had made him feel. A doctor can feel a
state of relief after a successful operation, however he may still feel detained
by the risks and dangers tomorrow’s surgery might bring. These varying
instances suggest how the definition of freedom is dynamic. When one asks about
the meaning of freedom, the answer usually deals with the description of a
philosophical, judicial, political, economic, and social system.

In
general, freedom is a state wherein there is an absence of restriction or limit.  Freedom can be incorporated as a natural
right, which is intrinsic to every human being born. It can also be identified
as a constitutional privilege, wherein one can do whatever he/she wants as long
as it is in the jurisdiction of his/her country’s constitution (Anderson, 2002,
p.35).  All of these characteristics
exhibit a definite but paradoxical meaning of freedom; it is not absolute.

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            In the Philippines, democracy and
freedom are two misguided ideologies used to describe power. Democracy as a
governmental structure formed and constructed by the people of society, is the
source of sovereignty of the Filipinos. This type of regime was adopted by the
Philippines as the pillar of its administration ever since the Americans
colonized the country on 1946. The Western colonizers implemented this type of
system in the Philippines in order to protect their colony from the influence
of communism that was being promulgated by the different Communist leaders
(Paredes, 1989, p.12). In this type of government, citizens exercise power and
civic responsibilities directly and through their elected representatives.  The Filipinos were given the power to enact
laws and decide how these laws will be enforced. Even though not every
definition of democracy is alike, as culture and society influence people’s
ideals, the fundamental principles it upholds still remain consistent in every
form (Kramer, 2006, p.433).

            At present, democracy in the
Philippines is still alive and active. The population is still able to elect
their officials by the means of electoral voting. The Filipinos, in terms of
all the rights and opportunities their country’s jurisdiction can provide, are
still able to exercise the liberty and the freedom of speech and information. Although,
the sovereignty that it once had attained is very much different from the autonomy
it has today (Mckenzie, 2012,
p.157).

Before,
there was a genuine balance of power between
the executive and legislative branches of the government, even if this
sometimes resulted in political stalemate and administrative inaction. Now, due
to the abuse of the granted “rights to speech and information” by the systemic
government, the population, including the administration and the society, is currently
experiencing instability within its economic system (Paredes, 1989, p.11). Although
democracy is fair and nondiscriminatory,
it relies mostly, if not solely, on a majority to make an informed decision,
and in the Philippines, that unaware majority can be manipulated by capitalist
politicians, this can lead to ineffective governance.

            Democracy in its direct form, mostly
favors small governments and personal liberty over large administrations and
personal freedom (Marsh, Blondel,
Inoguchi, 1999, p.197).
It also has intrinsic characteristics that suggest how it
can be a feasible type of government in developing countries. The voice of a
states citizen and their liberties are the most important factor, thus personal
interests of the democratic people are protected and safeguarded by the
government. This suggests how democracy is a type of government that is
appealing to not only the state officials but also to normal citizens in a
nation. A representative government is established in a democratic country, thus
elections are free and fair. Media and press are also autonomous, meaning that
these mediums of communication cannot be influenced or controlled by the
government, thus transparency of information is attained. It is a form of
administration wherein it represents the views and notions of all the citizens
of the country, whether majorities or minorities (Keohane, Macedo, Moravcsik,
2009, p.8). Thus, the citizens are able to voice their opinions without fear of
governmental retribution.

            A
democratic state also promotes equality in terms of its law-making judiciaries
and law-implementing councils. It is a just government wherein all members of the State are equal in the eyes of law.
All enjoy equal social, political and economic rights and the state cannot discriminate
among citizens on the basis of caste, religion, sex, or property. All have
equal right to choose their government. And because it is a system based on
public will and interest, there should be little, or perhaps, no chance of
public revolt, thus forming a stable administration (Anderson, 2002, p.35). Representatives elected by the people conduct the affairs
of the state with public support in order for the administration to branch out
its influence and maintenance to the society effectively. This results to a
harmonic communication between the government and the people, thus public
revolts and chaos will be avoided (Holcombe, 1985, p.223).

            All
of these characteristics of Democracy show how it is a type of government
wherein unification of equality and power are its main techniques to establish
a stable economic nation. However, most of these qualities also contain ambiguities
that can become gateways for abuse. This accountability is also a very
significant element especially in the Philippines, wherein the majority of the democratic
community population is a part of the marginalized sectors of the society, a
region of the society wherein the influence of the wealthy dominates the minds
of the unfortunates. Another issue can also be accounted to this is the
conflict about the middle class sector of the community, wherein ever since the
transition of the Philippines from the authoritarian rule to democratic
government, more and more citizens from this section try to expel
democratically elected leaders through extra-constitutional actions like
protests and rallies (Ungpakorn, 2007, p.8). These actions further promote
instability within the democratic government.

            Democracy
in the Philippines is an important paradoxical issue.  The nation is the first country in the region
to topple authoritarian rule (Girling, 2002, p.47). Signs of a vibrant
democratic atmosphere are extensive: high voter turnout, civic engagement, and
institutional arrangements that theoretically promote accountability and
safeguard rights and liberties. Yet the flaws in the democratic process are
also extensive: elite dominance, institutional feebleness, and widespread abuse
of public office (Mckenzie, 2012, p.157). Concerns about the quality of
democracy have become central to political discourse in the Philippines.  According to Jose Sison (2014):

 

We have been on
this “experiment” of an independent republic anchored on a US-style democracy
for nearly three (3) generations since 1946. True, we were under an authoritarian
regime for a brief 14 years, but we have been back on a democratic track for 28
years or twice as long as the Marcos dictatorship and yet the level of economic
prosperity, quality of life and happiness index remains much to be desired (n.p.).

 

            One point of argumentation why
democracy is not a feasible system of administration in the Philippines is the
flaw of its original definition on the emphasis of quantity vs. quality. This
definition states how democracy doesn’t really seek out what is best for the
citizens, but simply does what the majority of the citizens’ want. A defect of
this definition is it generalizes the fact that what the majority wants will
always be what the majority needs. It does not account the errors in human
decision-making wherein the views of the
people aren’t always the ones that will lead to the greatest outcome, in fact
they often aren’t.  In direct
democracies, like in the Philippines, where the people rule, they often make
mistakes in their decisions, because of fleeting passions and not having full
knowledge which has severe consequences for everyone (Mckenzie, 2012, p.158). This
loophole of democracy can eventually lead several shortcomings; unawareness of
national political status and misuse of the granted “democratic” rights. 

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