Rot at the top-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
NOW that you-know-who is under lock and key, hands up all those who (a), think she'll spill the beans? (b), think that we'll see senators and congressmen admitting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and (c), that we'll see congressmen and senators, past and present, being convicted and sent to gaol?
I thought as much.
That rumbling you can hear in the background is onetime president of the Philippines Manuel Quezon spinning in his grave - he's the fellow who came out with the “rather a hell run by Filipinos” soundbite but poor old Manuel - I doubt he realized the depths of venality and heights of avarice his countrymen are capable of.
That quote - it's been bandied about quite a bit these last couple of months (Usually mangled) and seems to have taken on the guise of a national excuse being wheeled out at the slightest provocation and the weirdest of reasons; as if a government apparently riddled with corruption at the highest of levels is something to be proud of. Yes, it's a mess but it's our mess so that’s alright then. It's also interesting that no-one sees fit to come out with the complete quote – “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans because however bad a Filipino government may be, we can always change it.”
That's the stumbling block isn't it - we can't change the government. Look back over the years, look back over past governments. The same names crop up again and again. The chief may change but the Indians remain the same. Those looting the nation now have been at it for years and the rot at the top will never change all the while the election process depends on who has the most cash or family connections.
And, judging by Juan dela Cruz's couldn't-care-less turnout of the other week's “Million People March,” we know the system will never change. Less than 700 turned out here in Davao to rally at Rizal Park demonstrating their disgust at the “pork barrel” scam, one news report noting that it was mostly “the usual culprits” of lefties, religious groups given the day off from bead-rattling and NGOs justifying their foreign sponsorship. Nor, judging by the aerial footage shown on TV, was there more enthusiasm up there in Manic Manila where - in a teeming population of untold millions - only a few more thousand turned out. You'll see more folks queuing outside the National Bureau of Statistics on Cabaguio any day of the week.
Maybe, if the organizers had offered a few perks - free bottled water or a packed lunch. Or freebies for, say, the loudest rallyist, the best dressed contingent, the wackiest group. Or charged a registration fee - that seems to bring the punters in - look, honey; a free T-shirt and it's only P500! And what's with this “biting” thing? Tuesday's 'paper showed us a photo of a couple of nuns chomping on a Noy facemask and over the last weeks there's been any number of photos of sportspeople - golfers, tennis players, swimmers - nibbling at their medals or trophies. Could this be the next fad after the equally stupid planking?
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 10, 2013.