Equal, inclusive-A A +A
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
GOVERNMENT rhetoric that “No longer is the Filipino mired in paralysis” is hyperbole.
If, as it also claims in the same breath, “much still needs to be done,” it is because not nearly enough is being done. On ground zero the Filipino has just one foot out of the mire and barely.
The one foot that’s out is, however, significant. I allude to President Noynoy Aquino’s most palpable achievement, which is that of having restored a good deal of the people’s trust in government. But still, if there is trust because of what government has done to fight official corruption, this trust stands on shaky ground because of what it has not done enough of.
Here are some inadequately addressed core issues that take away from PNoy’s credibility:
--Corruption in the official family. He is strongly urged to go after corrupt buddies and allies as determinedly as he does the corrupt in previous administrations. In a just society, nobody must be untouchable and policies must be applied equally to all.
--Human rights. Retired general Jovito Palparan continues to mock the government’s efforts to arrest him. Also, the Maguindanao massacre case is playing out in slow motion in court, the way the powerful like it in our justice system. Meanwhile, disappearances and extra-judicial killings of witnesses, journalists, missionaries and other activists continue unabated.
--Reforms in the justice system. Despite Renato Corona’s removal as chief justice, the Supreme Court remains of questionable integrity because nine unabashedly political Gloria- appointee justices control it. Moreover, it still takes an eternity to try cases in overloaded trial courts. Worst of all, a two-tiered justice system prevails, one for the powerful and another for the weak.
--Inclusive growth. The Philippine economy has performed very well in PNoy’s watch.
Nevertheless, “trickle effect” still dominates the official approach to economic growth. Thus, improved economic performance raises the standards of living for only a relative few in urban centers but not for many in rural areas. P-Noy cannot just alleviate poverty but must directly attack it with measures, foremost among them genuine Land Reform, that improve the productivity of millions of small farmers who comprise the country’s poorest of the poor.
Politicians are now preparing, by any expedient way, to put themselves in a position to reap the spoils (the country’s coffers?) of an election victory. By squarely addressing those four issues, PNoy firmly sinks the foundations of good government, namely equal justice and inclusive growth. He thus gives this country a good chance to continue on this course as people mature politically from a taste of it and learn to demand it of their future leaders.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2012.