Friday, October 28, 2016

Is change really coming?

I met a young Inquirer reporter recently and when I asked her how she's doing she told me she's fine and then she followed this up with a very tart statement which made me think : " Magulong magulo na sa Pilipinas, di ba sir?"

Flashback two years ago, and every thing seemed fine. Yes, there were some political noise about the alleged misdemeanor of a veteran politician, but the one sure thing that animated the minds of many was the misuse of government funds by factotums of the previous Arroyo administration. A lady by the name of Janet Lim-Napoles was tagged as the PDAF scandal queen, a reference to the scheme employed by politicians to get a humongous slice of the budget pie. Many felt anger and even went to the Luneta to express their disgusts. Of course, after the usual gathering of like minded persons, nothing came out of it afterwards. I think everybody was busy minding their own business, enjoying the fruits of an ever-growing economy, that these political noises are not as interesting as the next young bright entrepreneur making his first million in just six months.

After PDAF came a succession of stories which local journalists amplified to a pitch that it caused the defeat of this administration's bet for president. The Mamasapano massacre, the Yolanda relief tragedy, the lag lag bala at the airport and the traffic mess in Metro Manila provided a messy collage of images that headline the terms "incompetence" and " massive failure" at the front steps of Malacanan. This was amplified so much that it broke the trust of the people behind the administration and even paved the way for the Punisher from Davao to enter the national political scene and the rest seemed pretty much part of our History.

Duterte came like an asteroid from the Davao galaxy and broke the peace. He threatened drug lords and criminals with death, promised to jet ski towards Scarborough shoal to plant the Philippine flag there and blamed the oligarchs for the mess they created in this country.

Four months unto his administration, and we see every single thing lay scattered, broken, and crushed. Filipinos walk like zombies, most disoriented and disappointed with the realization that everything seemed the same, and the promise of change remains a dishonesty.

Filipinos aspire one thing---a prosperous life. Whatever government does for as long as every single one is given the opportunity to get the resources he needs to survive, and opportunities to compete in this capitalist system.