ocieties the world over
have always been fascinated by wealth. And nowhere is this more evident than
in the Philippines today. In fact, Filipinos seem to have gone beyond
fascination to actual adoration of anyone with a lot of money. And such
adulation is at some level, understandable. In a country where corruption is
pervasive and everything—as well as everyone—appears to be for sale, money
will put you above the law. Unlike countries such as the United States where
even a billionaire could end up behind bars, in the Philippines, the rich
get away with murder—literally.
Therefore why not be rich? Makes
sense doesn’t it? So a vast number of Pinoys make it a point to get
rich—quick! And there lies the problem. It is easier to make money
illegally rather than legally. Break the law, stack the deck, grease the
palms, buy off the regulators, give kickbacks; the ways to accumulate wealth
the wrong way are endless. Sadly, the number of Filipinos making money
illegally appears to have increased alarmingly over the years.
It is therefore only
logical that not just the media but the average Juan and Juana start asking
rich people how they made their fortunes. For example how was Bureau of
Customs clerk Paulino Elevado IV whose take home pay was less than P6,000.00
a month able to drive around in a Porsche? Instead of being awed, Elevado’s
friends and relatives should have asked him how he managed such a feat.
Another example was Ferdinand Marcos. According to his wife Imelda, they had
a trillion dollars in their Citibank New York bank accounts. Assuming this
was not another one of Imelda’s fantasies, the public should have asked: how
did a poor boy from Batac who supposedly had a full-time job running an
entire country manage to amass more wealth than say Warren Buffett, a
renowned businessman who works full-time at it and employs an army of
top-flight investment advisers to help him out? How was Marcos able to
out-Buffett, Buffett—singlehandedly, and all the while doing it on the side?
Instead of being impressed
with the fancy new car, or the Rolex watch, or the opulent mansion of a
friend or relative, Pinoys ought to be asking them how they managed to
afford those luxuries. In fact the whole country should be asking the same
question of all these sudden millionaires who gain untold wealth without
anyone having the slightest clue of how they do it. The Philippine press
ought to be leading the charge instead of lionizing the rich as most media
outfits do today.
In the context of
Philippine society today, a healthy dose of skepticism towards individuals
who are making tons of money is not uncalled for. These folks need to pass
some kind of “acid test” before they can be embraced by the public. And
public servants who make money while in office ought to be hauled off to
The Philippines will need
to put in place exceptionally tough laws to combat corruption given the lack
of ethics and morality in our society. And until that day comes when the
country has been effectively cleansed of it, you and I and everyone else
need to be asking the rich this question: “how did you get to be so rich?”
It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF)
policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international
Doctor Expedito Castillo, a retired internist with training in sports medicine thinks so. Castillo who lives in New York points out that Los Angeles—where Manny Pacquiao now trains for his May 2nd fight, and Las Vegas—where Floyd Mayweather trains and where the boxing match will take place, have enormous differences in terms of elevation. Los Angeles is just 233 feet above sea-level, while Las Vegas is a whopping 2,000 feet above sea-level.
Just When You Thought Filipino Cops Were the Worst, Here Come US Cops
What in the world has happened to cops in the United States? It seems that today only psychotic, unstable, individuals are joining the U.S. police force this days. People from all across the globe were more than willing to give American cops the benefit of the doubt, at first. But in instance after instance, from Ferguson, MS and the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man who witnesses say was unarmed and posed no threat at all to police; to today’s cold-blooded murder of Walter F. Scott, 50 by South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager,
NPA Celebrates 46 Years of Destroying the Philippines
Founded by Bernabe Buscayno, or “Kumander Dante” as he was more commonly known, the New People’s Army established on March 29, 1969 marks its 46th year of existence. From less than 40 founding members and a handful of firearms, the NPA grew to over 26,000 members in the 1980s. Today however the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) places NPA membership at less than 5,000 nationwide. That number is expected to dwindle even further as progress and education creep in to the far-flung towns and barrios that were once breeding grounds for recruits.
Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos, What a Difference!
An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented.
Will the Philippines Ever Speed Up Its Glacially-Slow Justice System?
We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice."
Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ...Why?
Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves.
Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world."
With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?
What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project?