I wonder what it would take for the Filipino people to finally wake-up from their stupor. One catastrophic event after another has been happening in the country lately but the rest of Philippine society seems unaffected and continue with their lives and celebrate annual festivities like everything is okay. It is mind-boggling to see how a society can switch to a fiesta mode even when there are ongoing issues that need to be resolved.
One can’t help but compare Filipinos with the people of Thailand who have been conducting mass protests for several weeks now against their corrupt government. The protests even turn violent as emotions run high and as people become increasingly frustrated. Not that I condone violence, but it seems the Thais know what they want and know how to get it. In comparison, Filipinos come across as a society that would rather pretend there is no problem than worry about the nation’s future. Unfortunately, a lot of Filipinos also come across as uncaring and indifferent to the plight of the poor and destitute. No wonder the problems that have been afflicting the nation for decades still persist today. What most people who run away from problems don’t realise is that problems do have a way of catching up with them and when they do, the consequences are even far more devastating.
There had been so many issues in the Philippines in recent times that a member of any of the world’s more advanced societies would consider “wake-up” calls, but the Filipino public in general could not even be bothered to do something about them. As a result of the majority’s indifference, those who should be accountable for the criminal acts that affect millions of lives are getting away with their crimes. It doesn’t help that most Filipinos are easily distracted by celebrity news or any other superficial news like sex scandals and Kris Aquino’s love life (or lack of it), which they tend to find more interesting to discuss.
One public servant who has been taking advantage of the people’s screwed up priorities is Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino. News of his involvement in indiscretions or abuse of power is becoming a regular occurrence but this has not resulted in a public outcry from the majority. The revelation that BS Aquino met Senator Bong Revilla and possibly some other senators before the conclusion of former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial should have been enough for people to ask him to step down from office.
What’s worse is that BS Aquino does not even deny that the meeting took place. He just gave this pathetic excuse to justify why he had to meet with the senator or senators. He said something about how he was just trying to ensure that the senator judges decided the case on the merits of the case rather than other outside factors.
The President’s statement says a lot about himself and what he thinks of the senators. For one, it shows he didn’t trust them to do the right thing, implying that they are incompetent and undeserving of the privilege to hold high positions in government; two, the President thinks the Filipino people are dumb enough to believe him. Hopefully, he is only right about the first, although there seems to be enough evidence to suggest that the Filipino people would believe anything BS Aquino says despite the lameness of his excuses.
As we all know by now, Senator Bong Revilla, by his own recount, was picked-up and driven to the meeting place to meet with the President by then Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas. The latter has proven himself to be a true minion by doing all the footwork for BS Aquino. Roxas also chose to do the chore without aides, which is quite odd considering Filipino public servants are always surrounded by heavy security. This says a lot about the extent to which Roxas tried to keep the meeting a secret.
This likewise contradicts what Malacanang mouthpieces said about how meetings with other public servants are part of BS Aquino’s regular activity. But obviously that particular meeting with Revilla had to involve a covert operation, which means the less people involved, the less witnesses to testify against the sponsor of the operation. As the meaning of the term implies, “a covert operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor”. Too bad for BS Aquino and Roxas, Revilla’s revelation could not be denied.
It’s not hard to tell who is distracting the public from the real issue. Yes, both parties have been caught with their pants down but some truths are greater than others. While it may be true that Senators like Revilla can be bought for 50 million pesos or be dumb enough to be bullied into doing something for nothing, BS Aquino and his minions have proven that they are double crossers. They made a deal with weak individuals like Revilla but also considered someone like him dispensable. In other words, BS Aquino is not someone even the mafia could trust. Revilla and other senators may as well have signed a deal with the devil himself.
The Filipino people have all the reasons to be alarmed. The fact that most of the sessions in the Senate halls have been devoted to mudslinging instead of the performance of senators’ duties means that our worst fear is coming true. As some of us have predicted in the past, BS Aquino is turning the Philippines into a vindictive society and is further damaging the country’s already fragile institutions using taxpayer’s money. A society who will let him get away with this is a society that deserves its wretched fate.
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