o finally the cat is out of the
bag, so to speak. But we Pinoys should not be surprised at all. We all
know how corrupt our country is. Even before former president Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo was accused of electoral sabotage and the misuse of public
funds in 2011; even before Joseph “Erap” Estrada—an earlier president was
convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan in 2007; even before Ferdinand
Marcos, a president-turned-dictator, was booted out of the country along
with his family and cronies twenty-eight years ago; we Pinoys knew
they were corrupt. We also knew our Senators, congressmen, governors,
mayors, Barangay chairmen, BIR and Customs officials, and our next-door
neighbors were never totally on the up-and-up. And how did we know this? We knew
it because we ourselves are as corrupt as all of them.
The sad truth is that we
Filipinos are just as flawed and just as weak of character as the
politicians we elect into office. We are not very forthright, we lie and
cheat…and take the easy way out whenever we can. We choose to make money
the fast, and “sleazy way,” rather than the slow and honest way. We
even hold in the highest esteem people who are wealthy and ostentatious…never-mind if
we know they're
So how can we Pinoys appear surprised that our lawmakers are
now accused of receiving
kickbacks from Janet Lim-Napoles and her criminal organization? Truth be
told, if you pressed any “Juan-on-the-street” they would likely tell you
that as far as they're concerned, all our politicians are corrupt. A few are
better at hiding their nefarious deeds than others.
Thus all the protestations by
Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce-Enrile, even Miriam
Defensor Santiago, Chiz Escudero, et.al., blend into a cacophony of white
noise that we Pinoys over the years have learned to simply tune out.
And then we have the Aquino
administration that is content to simply spin its wheels until the 2016
election rolls around. They're happy basking in the glory of pretending to go
after big-time crooks in government. But the stark reality is that in the
end, they will
likely achieve next to nothing except pass on already “cold” cases to the next
administration—cases that will likely end in acquittals. So, nothing really changes.
President Benigno Aquino III is simply raising the hopes of Pollyannaish
Filipinos who think that real change might actually
happen in their lifetimes.
We saw something similar after
the EDSA revolution when Filipinos were euphoric at having booted-out Marcos
and his cronies, only to wake up to the sad reality that today the Marcoses
and their cronies are all back and as rich and as powerful as ever. Filipinos
just have to accept the fact that in the Philippines, the more things
change, the more they stay the same. And the Philippines will
remain in this sad constant forever.
For much of the last month, my Facebook friends in Metro Manila have been posting comments lamenting their helplessness at being condemned to spend a great portion of what is left of their productive lives stuck in hours of traffic with no hope in sight. They now appreciate why Dan Brown described Manila in his book, Inferno, as “the gates of hell” specifically referring to its “six-hour traffic jams (and) suffocating pollution”.
Since 1620 when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, people the world over
have migrated to America in search of a better life. Filipinos are no
exception. In the '70s and '80s Filipinos who were able to, left for the
U.S. to escape the tyranny of the Marcos regime; today they leave is to
escape the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homeland.
Whatever the reason, Filipino migrants quickly shed their old habits and
attitudes and embraced American culture.
Both United States and Philippine Governments to Blame for Death of Jeffery "Jennifer" Laude
The United States and Philippine governments share the blame for the tragedy. Two young lives needlessly destroyed: the first, a young Filipino transgender found strangled inside a motel bathroom; the second a teenaged American serviceman now accused of murder.
Death of Filipino Transgender 'Jennifer' Laude Was Totally Preventable
The evening for the young US Marine and his Filipino date "Jennifer" began at the Ambyanz Disco Bar in Subic Bay, Olongapo and ended shortly before midnight at the Celzone Lodge where "Jennifer's" lifeless body was found leaning against the toilet bowl. Jennifer, it turns out was actually not originally a "she" but a "he." A Filipino transgender, Jeffrey Laude, 26, began calling himself "Jennifer" after medical procedures made him look more female than male.
Sorry Mr. President But PNP Chief Alan Purisima Has to Go
What’s with Philippine civil servants these days? It seems that you can stick all their pictures on a wall; throw a dart; and whoever’s photo it land on, that person can be successfully prosecuted for graft. It is unbelievable how pervasive and widespread corruption has become. We go from one corruption scandal to the next and there seems to be no end in sight.
Tear Down the Torre de Manila Building Being Built Behind the Rizal Monument?
According to the developer’s website, “Torre de Manila, DMCI Homes’ newest one-tower condominium, is an exclusive residential community right in the heart of the city.” As of this writing, the 49-story edifice is about halfway complete. But as it continues to rise, so too do the howls of protest from an eclectic collection of groups and individuals who want it torn down. Why? Torre de Manila will permanently mar the skyline behind the Rizal Monument.
How Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law Continues Hurting Filipinos to This Day
On the evening of September 23, 1972, two days after it had taken effect, Ferdinand Marcos announced via live television from Malacañang Palace that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. It was a calculated move by a devious politician to keep himself in power beyond what the Constitution allowed. A staged ambush attempt against his Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was the main excuse Marcos (or “Macoy” as he was deridingly referred to back then) used to strip Filipinos of all their constitutional rights. With that, the diminutive Ilocano from the backwaters of Batac, Ilocos Norte became the despotic dictator for over a decade.
Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines
In our July 25th editorial we asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay should be the next president of the Philippines. In this editorial we arrive at the definitive conclusion that that Binay should not be elected president. Since our last editorial, more witnesses have come forward with more allegations against the embattled Vice President. But our decision not to support Binay’s presidential bid is based on irrefutable public acts that in our opinion disqualify him from the presidency.