Friday, July 18, 2014

Apolinario Mabini: Philippine Oligarchy, Liberty, and the Decalogue

A facebook friend shared an article about Apolinario Mabini to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary I am happy to know that July 22nd is Apolinario Mabini's day of birth, and I also appreciate that piece of history shared by Ambeth R. Ocampo about Mabini's warning to Aguinaldo about some rich men giving loan to the government in exchange of having a voice in the Treasury. I just wonder if that really happened. And if it did, I am just curious about the extent of such arrangement. I could not resist this suspicion in my mind that perhaps if such arrangement took place, that might explain the perpetuation of Philippine oligarchy. 


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As to the political perspective of Apolinario Mabini, again this is another piece of history that is not familiar to most Filipinos. Around two years ago, I stumbled with one blog that claims that Apolinario Mabini was actually a member of Cuerpo de Compromisarios, a political organization based on the principles of liberty established by the 91st Governor General of the Philippines, Carlos María de la Torre y Nava Cerrada (1869-1871). Two other great political luminaries influenced by de la Torre were our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Fr. José Apolonio Burgos y García. 


Such libertarian stance of Apolinario Mabini receives a confirmation from Tamiko I. Camacho's Gutenberg's version of "Mabini's Decalogue for Filipinos". Allow me to share an insightful excerpt from this ebook:

"Mabini was undoubtedly the most profound thinker and political philosopher that the Pilipino race ever produced. Some day, when his works are fully published, but not until then, Mabini will come into his own. A great name awaits him, not only in the Philippines, for he is already appreciated there, but in every land where the cause of liberty and human freedom is revered." 
"In spite of his terrible suffering from paralysis, Mabini continued writing. He severely criticised the government, voicing the sentiments of the Filipino people for freedom. He was ordered to desist, but to this, in one of his writings to the people, he replied: 'To tell a man to be quiet when a necessity is not fulfilled is shaking all the fibers of his being is tantamount to asking a hungry man to be filled before taking the food which he needs.'"

And here are the six commandments I appreciate from the Decalogue:

First. Thou shalt love God and thy honor above all things: God as the fountain of all truth, of all justice and of all activity; and thy honor, the only power which will oblige thee to be faithful, just and industrious.  
Second. Thou shalt worship God in the form which thy conscience may deem most righteous and worthy: for in thy conscience, which condemns thy evil deeds and praises thy good ones, speaks thy God. 
Third. Thou shalt cultivate the special gifts which God has granted thee, working and studying according to thy ability, never leaving the path of righteousness and justice, in order to attain thy own perfection, by means whereof thou shalt contribute to the progress of humanity; thus; thou shalt fulfill the mission to which God has appointed thee in this life and by so doing, thou shalt be honored, and being honored, thou shalt glorify thy God. 
Sixth. Thou shalt strive for the independence of thy country: for only thou canst have any real interest in her advancement and exaltation, because her independence constitutes thy own liberty; her advancement, thy perfection; and her exaltation, thy own glory and immortality. 
Eighth. Thou shalt strive for a Republic and never for a monarchy in thy country: for the latter exalts one or several families and founds a dynasty; the former makes a people noble and worthy through reason, great through liberty, and prosperous and brilliant through labor. 
Ninth. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: for God has imposed upon him, as well as upon thee, the obligation to help thee and not to do unto thee what he would not have thee do unto him; but if thy neighbor, failing in this sacred duty, attempt against thy life, thy liberty and thy interests, then thou shalt destroy and annihilate him for the supreme law of self-preservation prevails.


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