Nicanor Perlas' Personal Decision to Serve His Country  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nicanor Perlas is truly a man worthy of being called a Filipino.

Dear Friends,

I am writing you all today because I want to share with you a personal decision. I have decided to respond to a call. It is a call that has followed me now for some time. It is a call that I know we all share, but which we may all respond to in the different ways that are unique to each one of us. This decision to respond to a call is connected with the present condition of this country and its future possibilities.

This call for me has become urgent especially in the midst of the current attempt by the current administration and its vassals in the House of Representatives to illegally change the Constitution and usher a permanent state of totalitarian control of the Philippines under the guise of democracy. (See the two recent articles that I just wrote on this development in and This brazen and treacherous act shows us all, whether or not it will succeed, what we are dealing with politically. Embedded in the center of our public institutions are unaccountable elite powers who have no conscience and moral restraints and who want to continue, at the expense of the vast majority of Filipinos, their abusive and destructive reign come hell or high water.


If we truly listen to our inner voice, we all feel a deep inner pain, a pain not connected with anything personal in our lives. Rather, we all feel deeply wounded because our beloved country, Filipinas, is dying from a mortal wound. We look with care and compassion at the condition of Inang Bayan, Mother Philippines. And we feel something turning in our guts. We realize that Her mortal wound is not only Hers but ours as well. Her corruption is our corruption. Her pain is our pain. Her poverty is our poverty. Her wars are our wars. Her darkness is also our darkness.

Nicanor Perlas Speaks at Pepe Goes to Market

She is calling to us for help. She wants us to stop Her bleeding, from the wounds of poverty, corruption, injustice, violence, drugs, joblessness, mis-education, and all the dozens of plagues now battering the country. She is calling us to heal Her, to restore Her former beauty, warmth, joy, love, creativity, excellence, heroism and promise. And in the process of healing, we will also be restoring our sense of honor, dignity, freedom, justice, solidarity, and our deep sense of the sacred, deep values we have held for hundreds of years.

Her call to all of us is to take action and prevent Her demise and our demise in the 2010 elections. Dear friends, we need to understand that this coming election is not going to be an ordinary election. The Arroyo government is worst than the Marcos government. Marcos controlled and damaged the institutions of society. Arroyo, in addition to institutional control and erosion, is damaging and increasingly taking control of our morals and our spirit. We are facing not just any election. In 2010, we will decide whether or not we will lose of soul and drown our spirit under the rampage of the forces of traditional politicians that right now are aligning and preparing for the final assault. As we speak, the administration is already pouring billions of pesos worth of public funds to secure their control in 2010, public funds that they disguise as social services of all kinds.

She is warning us: If we do not do anything, our country will surely plunge into violent chaos because the tyrannical reign of this present administration will continue beyond 2010. She is warning us that the fate of the country would be no better if another wave of self-centered power-hungry and wealth-salivating traditional politicians from the opposition captured political power in 2010. For their corruption, lust for power, and greed for money would be just as compulsive and insatiable as Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies. She is challenging us all to step forward to create a new societal force that would redeem this country, not only politically, but also culturally, economically, ecologically, and, most important of all, individually and spiritually.

Dear Friends. We have survived the colonial reign of Spain, the US, and Japan. But we are still under the yoke of a power that is more difficult to overcome because this is a power that now comes from deep within and among us. It is an oppressive power that is springing from our darkness within and our weaknesses as a people. We are now under the imperial rule of traditional politicians who offer us really nothing inspiring but instead ram down through our throats increasingly more decadent versions of the same old injustices and moral decadence that have been ruling and torturing us all for too long.


It is with this deep concern that traditional politicians will permanently obtain control of our future that I am stepping forward to announce my bid for the Office of the President in 2010. It is my humble opinion that someone with my qualifications and track record can inspire this nation to dream again of real profound aspirations: of true honor, dignity, honest achievement, and visionary creativity. Only when we can dream as profoundly as we want to, can we overcome the forces of darkness arrayed within and against us and deserve the future that awaits boldness, courage and initiative.

I am not comfortable speaking about my achievements and awards. You can check out the details of my qualifications at my official website,

But this present occasion does not allow me to remain totally silent regarding my qualifications. People who do not know me will understandably ask: Who are you? Why do you even think you are qualified to run for the highest office in the land?

Given these questions, I will therefore, of necessity, have to give you a brief overview of how my life has prepared me for the task of unifying the nation and enabling it to become a visionary country. I also hope that my sharing of important biographical facts, would allow you to get a gut feel of the dramatic possibilities and the real choice that my candidacy provides for the country in the presidential elections in 2010.


I have been very active in civil society for over 40 years as a leader of several national civil society networks and meta-networks (coalitions of national civil society networks). Since I was 17 years old, I have contributed my share to make this country a better and more dignified place to live. Areas where I have contributed include (but are not limited to):

- anti-corruption and good governance; assisted the Philippine government, under the Presidency of Corazon Aquino, in filing two legal cases (one in the US and one in Europe) against Westinghouse Corporation for bribing Ferdinand Marcos $40 million to approve the defect ridden Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in favor of Westinghouse; helped to stop the corruption within the Department of Agriculture (DA) where pesticide companies bribed DA officials to approve and promote pesticides hazardous to the health and safety of farmers and consumers; and was a member of the Steering Committee of KOMPIL II, the broad civil society movement that spearheaded the ouster of a corrupt President, Joseph Estrada; and co-founder and spokesperson of Pagasa 1.0 which staged the longest running daily protest against the corruption of the Arroyo administration;

- poverty reduction/eradication and job creation in over 230,000 micro-finance partners throughout the country as a former Chairman of a bank and a trustee of the bank’s foundation; also provided technical assistance to thousands of economically poor farmers in over 23 provinces save thousands of pesos by shifting away from chemcal-intensive farming to sustainable agriculture; consulted with donor agencies on how to improve their national programs for empowering tens of thousands of mothers and children especially in combatting malnutrition; sustainable agriculture and agrarian reform; first to demonstrate large scale commercial organic/bio-dynamic vegetable and rice production involving and benefitting thousands of farmers (including those in agrarian reform communities) and consumers;

- renewable energy and environment: helped to mothball the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, preventing this project from potentially harming the lives of tens of millions of Filipinos and potentially polluting 1/3 of the Philippines with harmful radioactive materials; restricting and banning the use of 32 hazardous pesticide formulations that were harming the lives of millions of rice, vegetables, and other farmers and enabling the government to launch a P750 million national program on more ecological approaches to pest management in agriculture which directly benefitted over 100,000 farmers and indirectly and positively affected the practices of several hundreds of thousands more; biotechnology regulation, pioneering in civil society’s involvement in regulating the potential hazards of genetic engineering in food production and consumption, a struggle that continues until today and which can potentially affect the health of millions of consumers and the welfare of thousands of farmers;

- national planning and implementation for integral sustainable development, as civil society co-chair of the Philippine Council of Sustainable Development (PCSD), Office of the President, during the administration of Fidel Ramos; and technical writer of Philippine Agenda 21 (PA21), which remains today the blueprint for sustainable development of the country, although basically ignored by the Arroyo administration; and national facilitator for and technical writer of SIAD Guidebook: A Framework for the Localization of Philippine Agenda 21, which today is still being used by local government units serious in pursuing sustainable development; PA21 was the product of more than 25 regional and national consultations involving thousands (before and after becoming the official development framework of the country) and was characterized by one Philippine president as the most consultative document in the policy history;

- shaping globalization; introducing a third framework which embeds trade liberalization in Asia and the Pacific under the higher context of integral sustainable development; as lead negotiator of 5000 civil society organizations in Asia and the Pacific, convinced then President Fidel Ramos, and through him, the Heads of State (Presidents and Prime Ministers) of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) to include strong sustainable development language in the Statement of Leaders, Ministers, and Senior Officials of APEC, which in the mid 1990s constituted 52% of the world economy including the United States of America, China, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Philippines, etc.); as one concrete result, 3 million rice farmers were spared from early and radical liberalization under APEC; wrote a book on this experience called, Shaping Globalization: Civil Society, Cultural Power, and Threefolding, translated in 9 languages, and a modest international best-seller.

- human development especially of the youth, education and leadership; conducted and facilitated dozens of courses, workshops, and seminars on many topics including the global workshops on hope that are changing the lives of many people; trained teachers to set up new schools embodying more advanced and holistic concepts of education; mobilizing national and global excellence of Filipinos towards the creation of a visionary Philippines as lead convener and co-founder and co-spokesperson of the Karangalan National Conferences on Filipino excellence to showcase the reality of another more dignified, incorruptible Philippines; thousands have attended the Karangalan conferences and tens of thousands have been made aware of the reality of another, much better Philippines through mainstream tri-media.

Aside from concrete achievements in these areas, I have also written 500 articles and other papers as well as given over 200 plenary talks globally and nationally in these subject areas as well as many other fields. (Again, kindly see for more details.)

In addition, to these initiatives and writings, I am not a stranger to the apparatus of government and governance, even at the highest levels. I have counseled several presidents as part of my leadership in a number of presidential bodies. Because of the visibility of my achievements, I was offered to be Cabinet Secretary for Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), a position that I did not accept because I did not believe in the integrity of the Arroyo administration. I have advised official Philippine delegations to the United Nations and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. I have provided consultancy services to many government departments as well as to some congressional bodies.

In these capacities, I am familiar with how government operates and I have started initiatives that have resulted in the transformation of national policies and programs. I have also been part of large anti-corruption initiatives that have resulted in major benefits to Philippine society as briefly noted above.

That these achievements have had some objective value can be seen from the prestigious national and global awards that have been given to me. These include the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, the Global 500 Roll of Honor, also known as the Champions of the Earth Award, and The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award. These awards have been given, among others, to Presidents and Prime Ministers, giving credence to my bid for the highest office of this land.

In short, I have been inaugurating significant national policies influencing the lives of millions without being an elected official. I have achieved significant results and impacts despite the more difficult path of having to convince those who held political power to take up one’s advocacies and despite threats to my life. I will be able to do significantly more for this country if I get elected to the Office of the President. I will then be able to directly mobilize the resources of government to advance integral sustainable development towards a visionary Philippines, including the eradication of corruption, the reduction of poverty including creation of jobs and more strategic use of social services, pursuit of true justice, peace and order, quality education, the restoration of our dignity and moral fortitude, ecological sustainability, among others.

I will work very hard to win as candidate for the Office of the President of the Philippines. That is part of my nature and who I am, that I work with total dedication and devotion to any cause that I freely commit myself to. But I must honestly tell you that I am not attached to this position. If somebody more qualified steps forward as a candidate for this Office, then, I will happily let go of my candidacy and support a more qualified person. So far, from my perspective, no one has appeared who can truly lead this country into a new and better future.

That person must be able to provide the depth of understanding, the breadth of knowledge, and the track record of a leader that can inspire us all towards realizing a visionary Philippines. We live in a complex age riddled with complex problems. We cannot afford to have leaders who are good with single issues but do not have the knowledge nor the track record to handle the diverse range of burning issues facing the Filipino nation. Equally as important, that person must have the moral depth and integrity to heal the broken institutions and people of the land.

The exciting thing is that we do not have to build it from scratch. Millions are longing for a different country. Thousands have launched innovative projects to put their longing into practice. We can make this happen in our lifetime, if we only have the conviction and will to do so. Forget the excuse for mediocrity that often whispers in our ears: we cannot achieve something this grand in our lifetime. For this doubt will only prevent the coming of the real future that awaits us. We truly deserve something much better and we can do it.

We seem to be facing an impossible task. The odds seem to be stacked against us. But that is always how it seems to be. Because the new future can never be a mere repetition of the past that normally governs our day-to-day reckoning. Thus our past-directed consciousness can never fully appreciate that new that is emerging right in our very midst. Impossibility is just a temporary condition awaiting creative transformation. In the impossible is the real, the future reality that wants to happen.

Our heroes did it at the turn of the 20th century. We did it in People Power 1 during the latter part of the 20th century. We challenged a dictator against all odds, against all possibilities. And we triumphed and helped other similar movements around the world triumph. At the beginning of the 21st century, in People Power II, we ousted a corrupt President, again, under conditions that seemed impossible. All logic then pointed to a civil war. But then the impossible happened and we rid ourselves of a national pain and embarrassment.

Now we want to create a very different kind of people power, one that is more conscious and visionary and one that is not merely against something but for something. Truly nothing is impossible especially if we embed our efforts within the context of the Divine Power that created the universe, all life, all consciousness, all humans. We will ultimately triumph especially if we put our will, conviction, resources, and time to it knowing fully well that the Universe itself has been imbued with meaning and dignity, a direction we are aiding with our decision to heal our land and restore it human and natural goodness.

Dear Friends, today, let us throw away the chains that have imprisoned us for so long. Let us work hard, to the very end, so we can claim, with Rizal and other heroes that, in 2010, there will be no tyrants because there will be no slaves. For by then we will have awakened, cast off our chains of fear and apathy which have enslaved us for so long, inaugurate a new era of promise, usher in the new Philippines, and change our destiny forever.


No one, no matter how qualified, can change this country all by himself or herself. Nor should that be our goal. For this is a task that we must all be engaged in. For this is what true democracy means. All citizens are active and involved in the pursuit of a better future. Equally as important, the guns, goons, gold, machinery, and networks of traditional politicians can only be countered effectively by a committed movement of inspired and enthusiastic volunteers.

If you truly believe we can all make a difference collectively in 2010 and wish to join in my campaign, kindly get in touch with me directly thru my personal email address: Kindly contact me directly.

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