When will corruption lie low

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


ON SUNDAY, I arrived home near eleven in the evening from Bangkok, Thailand where the nine-member Philippine delegation of photojournalists and lifestyle writers enjoyed a three-night stay at the posh Amari Watergate Hotel downtown.

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand invited a thousand guests from all over the world to enjoy Thai hospitality under the country’s new administration. This is my second year to go to Bangkok and I still feel nice about the country.

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Monday was the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III who yearly does a lot of long talks. Many doubted if the millions are listening wholeheartedly. For a long, long speech, there is definitely a minute of boredom every three minutes. It is the act of sincerity that the Filipino people want to see, and they want to feel the good changes in governance.

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For as long as there is an instance of corruption in government, the people are not happy with the country, said the retired bank executive during our coffee talk. For as long as there are millions of Filipinos whose lives are still below poverty line, there is no belief of progress in this country, he added.

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A frequent traveller quipped that for as long as we become victims of “kurakot” traffic guys along the roads of Metro Manila and other provinces, there will never be the so-called matuwid na daan. If the leadership promises a less-corrupt Philippines, then those barrels of pork or whatever new names they carry should be taken out from the legislators’ hands, said the traveller. The legislators become the architects, engineers and urban planners of their respective provinces. The budget should be given to the executive branch. Why can the leadership not have the guts to reform this? Is it because those in the top echelon are also beneficiaries? asked the frequent traveller.

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Stop that 4Ps fund dole-out of government as the money does not go to its true purpose, said a car salesman. After giving the dole-outs, enterprising vendors wait for the beneficiaries to buy “ukay-ukay” or collectors are just in waiting. Why not give them goods, like rice, and more? That is Filipino life and it will remain to be, said the car seller.

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Catch those “kotong” police along the roads; stop those senatorial funds and congressional allotments and let us see how many will run as legislators of this “kenkoy” country called the Philippines, said a broker.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 31, 2014.

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