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56 Phil. L.J. 56 (1981)
The Philippines: From Communal to Societal Pangulo Regime

handle is hein.journals/philplj56 and id is 61 raw text is: THE PIIILIPPINES: FROM COMMUNAL
This paper attempts to interpret Philippine politics by examining its
changes and continuity from the pre-Spanish times to the present and by
prescribing a kind of regime for the 1980's and beyond. Its thesis is com-
posed of two parts - an empirically based argument and a normative one.
The empirical part argues that the Philippine political system evolved from
a communal pangulo regime to a societal pangulo regime. The normative
portion is a corollary to the empirical. This may be put briefly as follows:
The great danger of a societal pangulo regime being dictatorship, this thing
should be banished from the polity; or if this is impossible, then at least
it should be caged or chained. One way to banish this danger is to dis-
solve its attributes; this paper argues that the Filipino cultural value of
pagdamay, or sharing with and caring for others, which is an integral part
of a pangulo regime, will do the work. However, since pagdamay is only
an ideal, a practical means should be relied upon in coping with dictator-
ship. The practical means to chain or cage this danger is the countervail-
ing power of liberal democracy. If liberal democracy is blended with the
pangulo principle, the resulting synthesis is a Filipino liberal democracy.
There are three principal concepts on which this paper is based -
first, the idea of pangulo regime (communal and societal), which is pre-
sented in Sections II, III, and IV; second, that of pagdamay, which is taken
up in Section V; and third, the concept of Filipino liberal democracy,
which is discussed in Sections VI and VII. Sections I and VIII are the in-
troduction and conclusion, respectively, of the paper.
After World War II, Western colonies in Asia and Africa won their
independence and became members of the fast-growing family of nations.
In Asia, the Philippines was the first new nation to win independence,
which took place in 1946. In Africa, Ghana was the first black new coun-
try to get established as a new state, and this happened a decade later,
in 1957. Eventually, since the 1940's and 1950's practically all the colonies
in Asia and Africa under the domination of Western imperialist states have
* Presented to the 5th Asian-Pacific Cultural Scholars' Convention, an Activity
of the Asian Cultural Center, Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union, February 25-
March 1, 1981, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines.
** Professor of Political Science, University of the Philippines, Quezon City,
Philippines; Delegate from the Philippines.

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