Saturday, October 26, 2013

What lies before us

We stand at what we historiographers describe as a threshold. We are faced with a big quandary—what to do with this humongous problem called “pork barrel system”. There are three things which are very evident at this point:

1. Our present crop of leaders do not agree entirely on abolishing the pork barrel system because it is their source of Power over their constituents. Money spent on soft and hard projects strengthen the patron-client relationship that is the very thing which keeps these politicians alive. Without this system, no politician will even dare run in an election where he needs to spend millions just for election.

When I say, “politicians”, I am describing every single Filipino who occupy the power structure. They are the ones with interests, most of them, selfish ones. Their interest is to keep themselves in power. Why? Most of them are businessmen. They have business interests which they need to protect against predators in government. 

2. What Malacanan is doing is keeping all these funds to themselves, something which the political opposition of course, militate against. Centralisation of funds mean centralization of power. What is happening now is these funds are being controlled by Malacanan through the President’s social fund and this creature called DAP.

While the power of the Legislators are being whittled down, Executive power is slowly increasing by the day. There is no balance anymore. While the people rant against “legislators” cum “politicians” over their uber fascination with pork, the Palace makes every effort to “insulate” itself from the rantings and creates opportunities to tell the public that it is the best organ of power to handle such a sensitive thing as the People’s monies.

However, Malacanan itself cannot claim sainthood. The Malampaya funds are missing. The Treasurer of the Republic says that 138 billion pesos are already gone. Puff. 

What is happening now is purely political. Every single organ of power in the Philippines has been severely damaged, tainted by charges of intense corruption and graft. While one survey firm reportedly show the President’s ratings as “stable”, no one believes that sh…t. You don’t need to be a polished political scientist to notice that there is a palpable feeling of anger beneath the public sphere. The people have lost their trust in this government, in this system. For most of the people, there is no more system to turn to, because funds have disappeared and have been stolen by these politicians.

For most people, these so-called politicians are worse than bank robbers. They are thieves of stolen dreams. They are raking millions from companies and even robbed the people of their hard-earned monies.

For the people, these politicians are ravenous blood suckers.

3. There is a perception that every single person out there in government and even in civil society have been compromised. This present generation of leaders are all corrupt. 

The NDF is right in calling for systems change, but is wrong in calling for former government officials to handle things and lead the people towards real, substantive change.

Joma Sison, for one, described Grace Poe as “clean”. What he probably does not know is someone in Poe’s legislative staff has been involved in the Malampaya mess. This person in Poe’s legislative staff once carried two bags full of money from the LTA building, courtesy of You-Know-Who. I don’t know if Poe knows, but she must check who among her “trusted men”. If Poe calls for a probe on the Malampaya, she will be shocked to find that one of her men was once a bagman.

I have no problem with former Congressman Satur Ocampo. He is a man of integrity. He must be one to lead this.

What the people do not know is the murky records of men lurking behind this so-called “moral-based” revolution. 

Is the NDF okey with the names of Boy Saycon and his friend, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco? These self-proclaimed “messiahs” have been involved in not one, but multiple cases of corruption. Don’t tell me that they will manage the Bureau of Customs once this revolution succeeds? My gulay.

Admit it—this present generation of leaders are all failures. They failed in their dreams of giving back what the People gave them when they were just University scholars. 

They are all motivated by their thirst for power. They want those accolades back. They want to be called “His Excellencies”, or “Honorables”.

The Solution

The solution lies before us, a solution that requires our strongest backing. Changing the system is our utmost goal. 

What this means is not just abolishing pork, but the entire overhaul of a system which needs extraction and immediate destruction.

We cannot anymore say that, no, we must not destroy this system because there are still saints out there serving this government. Yes, there are still some who shun the allure of power and serve.

There are still names such as Siegfried Mison of the Bureau of Immigration who takes his job very seriously as “public servant”. There is this chap whose name is Ruffy Biazon who is very serious in reforming a very corrupt agency and is facing tremendous challenges, that a man with a weak will would have succumbed already.

I can still name others but the fact is, they are quite few. The rest, one way or another, have been directly or indirectly tainted by corruption. I have seen how government works and I am certain that the very system itself promotes a cycle of corruption. 

We need a revolution. After seizing power, we, the People, must establish a Council of State. This council should be administered by academicians, not politicians, not scions of wealthy families, not former government officials, not those tainted ideologues, but academicians.

Their reign should be in the interim. Within a period of six months, this Council should achieve the following:

1. Establish a Truth Commission to try all those involved in this pork barrel scam. The people deserve a speedy dispensation of justice. All those found to have abused their posts and have spent the people’s monies for their own interests, should be jailed and some, executed. Let their execution be made public. They don’t deserve a soldier’s bullet. Let their deaths be as humiliating as possible. Either the State executes them through the gallows without the benefit of hiding their faces with a sack or chop their heads off with a Kris. Some of course would probably say that this is inhumane or reminds one of old world methods. For me, they deserve such deaths. These people have no bitter sweet affairs with morality anyway. For years, they thought that they can escape the fangs of the people’s justice. Let all the world see how we, Filipinos, respect ourselves by dispensing the proper justice to those who wronged us. 

Why give respect to those who disrespected us? When poor thieves are caught, these hapless victims of a cruel system are either killed instantly or made to suffer through salvaging by agents of the State. I did not hear any one scream or shout in opposition? If we have this anger against petty thieves and bank robbers and rapists in our midst, then, why not give the same treatment to those who stole billions of our hard-earned monies? These people are monsters. These people are unrepentant big time thieves. They are the very reason why we remain poor and why the rest of our Asian neighbors are laughing at us, because of our lukewarm treatment against the very same leaders who show us their so-called “civility” while they rob us blind. 

2. Call for an election of the people’s representatives that shall create a New Constitution. This Constitution will take effect shortly after a people’s referendum.

3. By 2016, let us elect our new crop of leaders. Those who already have been elected or appointed in positions of power will not be allowed to run.  Let us have people with ideals occupy the rungs of power. Let us be guided by their illustrious vision of our future. 

The solution is before us. The question is—what do we do now?