Why democracy does not work in the Philippines

The 1986 EDSA “People Power” revolution has been credited with bringing democracy back to the Philippines. However, three decades after the historic event, it seems majority of Filipinos still do not understand what democracy is about. The system of government is there in principle but Filipinos do not know how to use it properly. Worse, Filipinos do not realize that democracy involves hard work for the system to work. Recent events prove this.

Hanging by a thread: President BS Aquino
Hanging by a thread: President BS Aquino
The deadly clash between members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces (PNP SAF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebel group on the 25th of January has exposed not only President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino’s treacherous agreement with the rebel group, it also exposed the Filipino people’s weakness, specifically their lack of courage to take matters into their own hands.

BS Aquino has been marketing the deal his government has negotiated with the MILF rebel group under the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law as the key to lasting peace in Mindanao. The massacre of 44 SAF troopers has proven that the deal is anything but. As previously mentioned, under the deal, the MILF will get billions of pesos on an annual basis from the national government to assist the group in creating their sub state. Aside from that, all their previous atrocities including the above-mentioned massacre of the fallen troopers will be “pardoned” after the bill is passed. The national government does not even have a say in how the funds given to the MILF will be spent. They could simply spend it all on upgrading their weapons.

Why BS Aquino has crafted a deal that would burden the taxpayers and threaten the country’s sovereignty remains a mystery. Some people have speculated that his quest for a Nobel Peace Prize has been his primary motivation. To be sure, before the tragic event, majority of Filipinos did not realize that BS Aquino negotiated such a terrible deal and, with a rebel group who cannot even convince other Muslim rebel groups to join their cause and lay down their arms. Considering Muslims in Mindanao are still a minority in the region, a lot of people are baffled as to why BS Aquino seems cool about giving away parts of the Philippines that are abundant in natural resources. There are even unconfirmed reports that Malaysia could be using the MILF as a front in its pursuit to colonize Mindanao.

Up until the recent tragic events, majority of Filipinos did not question BS Aquino’s policies. They trusted him too much. That was a bad thing. Filipinos did not realise that in a democracy, they had to be consulted first prior to any deal being made. Filipinos did not know that they should have a say in how public funds will be spent. Likewise, Filipinos were ignorant of the fact that they can participate in policy deliberations through their representatives in Congress prior to any bill being passed. More importantly, Filipinos were not aware that the Philippine government should not even be dealing with a rebel group particularly one that has committed atrocities against the public.

Democracy involves using critical thinking to evaluate candidates for leadership and holding them accountable once in office.
Democracy involves using critical thinking to evaluate candidates for leadership and holding them accountable once in office.
I suppose Filipinos are not used to participating in crafting of policies because they see their President as a father figure. They are accustomed to showing deference to their “leader”. Yes, questioning the President’s decisions is still frowned upon in Philippine society. This is probably a legacy from years of being ruled by a strongman. It does not help that the incumbent President is the son of a revered political couple and so-called “democracy icons”. The mind conditioning is made worse by the constant reminder of the Aquino “legacy” and the family’s “sacrifices”, none of which resulted in any significant improvement to the country and its people.

Sadly, Filipinos have been made to believe they owe the Aquinos for the freedom they enjoy today. Never mind that that notion isn’t even true. It was the people who marched down the streets of EDSA to rally against former President Ferdinand Marcos. Cory, Ninoy or Noynoy weren’t even present during the three-day revolt. However, the propaganda to keep Filipinos beholden to the Aquino name makes some people uncomfortable about criticizing BS Aquino despite his irrational behavior and the lack of progress in the country today. Ironically, freedom of speech has not given Filipinos a strong enough voice to air their grievances. As Voltaire once said, “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

To be fair, after news broke out about the massacre of 44 SAF troopers in the hands of MILF rebel forces, public outrage was slow but eventually erupted. BS Aquino’s dishonesty about his role in the lead up to the tragedy and insensitivity towards the grieving families of the fallen have contributed to the feelings of anger of the public who sympathize with them. The President’s two speeches addressing the nation and subsequent meetings with grieving families could not make up for his diplomatic faux pas – being absent for the arrival of the bodies at Villamor Air Base to pay his respect.

Despite the public uproar, calls for BS Aquino to step down have been met with some opposition from those who are afraid of Vice President Jejomar Binay taking over his post. This has put Filipinos between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they know BS Aquino has betrayed the people’s trust but on the other hand, they do not like the prospect of having someone they know they cannot trust to replace him either. This dilemma is quite unique only to Filipinos because the Vice President is from another political party — the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Had Binay belonged to the same political party as BS Aquino, members of Liberal Party would not have engaged in negative propaganda against Binay and Filipinos would hardly worry about the succession. In any case, the fear of Binay is mostly justified because BS Aquino set a precedent for acting with impunity.

Lurking in the shadows: Vice President Jejomar Binay
Lurking in the shadows:
Vice President Jejomar Binay
The Filipino people’s problem with BS Aquino’s replacement has certainly exposed another flaw in the country’s system of government. Likewise, it has exposed the lengths to which the incumbent will go to, including subject his opponents to political persecution, just to ensure his political party remains in power in the next election. If Filipinos want to lessen the political bickering, the candidates for the Vice Presidency and Presidency should be voted for as one team rather than separately like the way it is done in the United States. Better yet, the Presidential system should be replaced with a parliamentary system of government under which the leader of the ruling party could be replaced anytime. Unfortunately, both solutions will require amending the Constitution and are not things that can be done overnight.

In the absence of a perfect system of government, Filipinos will have to rely on vigilance and hard work to keep their public servants honest. If they want the next President of the Philippines to develop a conscience and prioritize the country’s interests over his own, they have to hold BS Aquino accountable for the indiscretions he committed during his term. Holding him accountable includes asking him to step down for lying to the public about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the 44 SAF troopers. They have to ask him to step down even when they know Binay will take over. This will prove to the next in line that he too can be asked to step down if he does not shape up.

Democracy is hard work. It means Filipinos have to be involved in nation building and be more critical about how the country is being run by their public servants. Most of all, it means using their critical analysis in voting for the right person to avoid another disastrous President like BS Aquino. The real question is: are Filipinos up to the challenge?

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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118 Comments on "Why democracy does not work in the Philippines"

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Ricardo_Diaz
Guest
To quote another disgruntled Expat, “Democarcy is bullshit if people are easily led by the media.” Democracy, for all its glory only work when people are educated and capable of sound judgement. Considering the typical Filipino who makes decisions out of emotion and not logic, this will fall flat on its face. Considering that Noynoy got voted in because the masa really felt bad for him when he lost his mom and because he’s “the son of the heroes” (I wish I was making this up.) If one wants to change the Philippines, they must not only change the government’s… Read more »
benign0
Admin

It doesn’t work specially when jeje-Pinoys cry “nosebleed!” everytime someone speaks in English. Democracy, after all, is a Western system of government and the specifc flavour of it applied to da Pinas, an AMERICAN one.

So Filipinos will NEVER grasp the full point of democracy if they prefer to think within the comfy space of Pinoy thinking that their native dialects imprison them in.

Pinoys need to step up to the challenge of exchanging ideas in the lingua franca of the INTELLIGENT world.

John
Guest

Those people are just too stupid to realize that if the all games are rigged nobody benefits from the game. Even the winners are paying more for everything. The whole country becomes weak and inefficient, food, energy, transportation, water, even services aside from prostitution.

Aryianna
Guest

I just realized I basically said what you did.

Chrissie
Guest
I completely agree with you, Ricardo! I just don’t know how on earth we can effect a culture overhaul in this country. The problem seems very deep. If we had an enlightened bureaucracy, it could work towards that after recognizing that that’s the root of the problem, but then again, an enlightened bureaucracy will have to be voted in power by an enlightened people, which doesn’t exist in this country. So it’s a roundabout thing that seems to defy a neat solution. I guess we have to storm the heavens for answers. I know that’s not enough as God gave… Read more »
Ricardo_Diaz
Guest
It may be a complicated mess, but just remember there has been points in history where seemingly hopeless situations were turned around when the right people go into the right places. For example, Theodore Roosevelt managed to make sweeping changes in America when he got the presidency when his predecessor was assassinated. Funny part, he was put in vice-presidency by the syndicates so he can’t do anything about New York anymore. (South) Korea and Singapore’s sweeping changes were made by men with a mission to improve their countries. They did so by fixing their culture. But you may say that… Read more »
Attila
Guest

The problem is with the culture. How do you change the culture when Filipinos are proud of their culture?

jameboy
Guest

Considering that Noynoy got voted in because the masa really felt bad for him when he lost his mom and because he’s “the son of the heroes” (I wish I was making this up.)
========
Having Cory and Ninoy Aquino as parents definitely helped Noynoy get elected as president. The masa “feeling bad” for him is dubious at best because Erap got the bulk of them in the 2010 election.

Chrissie
Guest
I believe that the Filipinos are in a terrible bind. I used to think that a federal/parliamentary system of government will work well for the Philippines, and I still do, but I now think that no matter what system of government we have, it won’t work if the people are not interested in how the government and the country are run. I observed that so many Filipinos don’t really want to be vigilant of the government’s actions; to them, that’s work, and work is tiring. They just want to vote for whoever they think will run the country well (many… Read more »
Aryianna
Guest
How could you implement democracy in the Philippines when the average voter has average or below-average IQ, not to mention that they are uninformed about issues and have no concept, whatsoever, of what democracy means and what influences they have as citizens? It is common knowledge that politicians take advantage of dull minds, buying votes through give-away t-shirts or other trinkets that easily entice the impoverished. It would take massive effort to inform citizens and raise awareness of what democracy means. But if media is powerful enough to bombard its massive viewers with brain-numbing programs, why not use the same… Read more »
Grimwald
Member

@ Aryianna

I don’t think it’s just IQ but EQ that is missing. As a people, we aren’t maturing “emotionally”. Most Pinoys are about as fickle as an emo-teen.

However, I do agree with the media being the key to improving or destroying the next generation. Unfortunately, it keeps choosing the latter.

Aryianna
Guest

Agree. Filipinos are lacking in EQ as well, another area of bankruptcy. In general, they are very broken people, and collectively they produce a broken society. Healing must occur on an individual level and it must include radical change in character, mindset and spirit which would require nothing short of divine intervention. :-\

A very affordable (free wi-fi) and far-reaching type of communication is the internet. Why not use this to promote awareness to citizens? There must be a better use of Facebook rather than to flash one’s latest selfie.

jameboy
Guest
In all the time that I have posted on this blog and in other blogs, I made it a point not to condemn Filipinos in wholesale fashion. I do that because I’m not perfect and I don’t possess any magic bullet to cure what ails the county. I’m not even sure of my recommendation every time an opportunity to give one arises. I know talking down, insulting and criticizing is the easiest thing to do. It is so easy that everybody can do it with flair even. I don’t take it against those who resort to such style of commentary.… Read more »
benign0
Admin

Lol! Nah. Actually we don’t use a shotgun. The shots we fire at Pinoy society, its culture, its traditions and its practices, attitudes, and other ululations are sniper-precise.

To get a good grasp of just how exceedingly uber-CLUEY we are about what ails Da Pinas, and how expertly competent we are in the business of exposing the black underbelly of Da Pinoy Psyche for all the world to scrutinise, check out this brilliant slide show. 😀

Aryianna
Guest

Nice word: ululations. May I borrow?

benign0
Admin

While you’re at it, also check this other equally brilliant slide show: Why Filipinos Suck at Democracy.

It’s all there with lots of pictures for folk who lack the attention span to read small textbook-sized text like proper adults do.

Chrissie
Guest
“If democracy as we know it as a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system, then by that definition alone we can conclude based on facts that we have a working democracy.” Therein lies the problem, Jameboy: While it’s true that a democratic government is one where the power resides in the people, the power of the people does not lie only in voting for their representatives and then just allowing them to do whatever they want to do… Read more »
jameboy
Guest

Chrissie,
What can I say? I agree in the essence of what you said and I think for the most part the Filipinos have been transparent in what and how they feel and think with regard to what governance is and the responsibility of every one under the system we have.

As to election violation, I have to admit I’m not up to date on that issue.

Chrissie
Guest
Read The Manila Times Online and even Philippine Star, especially the Opinion sections, so you’d know what’s really happening in our country. Unfortunately, the conscript media (Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, GMA, etc.) hide important news from us or just gloss over them, preferring to report tabloid news like CCTV images of petty crimes. If you get to know what’s really happening, you’ll find our current situation distressing and therefore needing major action to correct. And no, simply chitchating about the latest national scandal doesn’t count as the rightful action of an enlightened citizenry of a truly democratic country. Making our… Read more »
jameboy
Guest

Making our voices heard, such as by starting or participating in a social media revolution or even going to the streets for a non-violent, meaningful protest, is more like it.
========
And for what reason? I mean, we can do all those things why not but let’s be clear why were going to start a ‘social media revolution’ and where do we go from there?

Chrissie
Guest
Every time our government officials do something patently against our will, we can make our voices heard in one way or another, such as through social media, to put pressure on our government to do what’s right. If there are varying opinions about what’s right, then we can start an honest-to-goodness but healthy debate about it. Anything that will work to communicate to our government that we’re all watching them and won’t take anything less than what they promised us, or we’ll boot them out of their posts and replace them with better leaders, as the social contract goes. The… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Besides, we should make it clear to our government that they can’t do just anything they want to do because we want to be part of the process of deciding what’s best for us, we want to be party in governing ourselves.

jameboy
Guest
I’ve watched the video and pardon me I thought I’ll see something in there that would surprise me. Nothing. In fact, a great many of them have been uttered and debated and talked about as far back as the 1980s. While I was not surprised it doesn’t mean they don’t matter, of course they do. I understand the hardships brought about by separating families in cases of OFWs; the pollution, the issue of remittances, etc. They need to be addressed and attended to not because it will destroy us, as insinuated on the video, but because we need to exercise… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

If democracy works in our country, Jameboy, we’d be a progressive country by now considering all the resources we have, and our people won’t have to leave their children behind just so they’d find jobs that will enable them to give their children a brighter future while our politicians rob us blind. That’s just one manifestation of a perfectly working democracy. Don’t get me started.

jameboy
Guest

Well, you can start all you want just don’t start on perfect working democracy because there is no such thing.

Chrissie
Guest

Don’t want a utopia, but at least we can make our democracy work for our good despite some warts.

Amir Al Bahr
Member

To expect to be perfect on the first try is unrealistic, jameboy. What should be expected, at the minimum, is that Filipinos exhibit a learning curve, i.e., they make a mental note of the things they don’t like or things that didn’t work, or the flaws they would like to correct. And then they make sure those things don’t happen again.

As it turns out, they don’t.

T
Guest

Please, for the love of bathala, dont feed the goddamn troll.

jameboy
Guest

Amir Al Bahr,

I have no idea about the “perfect” and I’m lost as to what exactly you’re pointing out. Can you elaborate further, please? Thanks.

benign0
Admin

They’re not videos. They’re slide shows.

jameboy
Guest

I stand corrected. I’m so used to videos I thought I’m still watching while I’m actually reading.

WR
Guest

Obviously many are confused with semantics and terminology, specifically the term Generalization. Generalization should not be equated with Absoluteness. There is a big difference between these two words and sadly many still think it implies this
absoluteness or no exceptions.

Generalization, though it implies broad “sweeping” statements, aims only to describe a set, a group, portion or segment with out becoming too scrupulous or obsessing over too much detail.

The beauty of Generalization is
that it does provide for exceptions when given the proper context.

LA702
Guest

@ jameboy

Very intelligent mini assessment of the state of affairs of a people and the attitude of a blog whose ideas you fervently oppose…and you seem to be winning your argument against a group that aspires to be the next Rappler or Huffington Post.

Nothing wrong with that because after all we all want to see GRP grow and make that big advertising money every blog post aspires to have. LOL @ jameboy have fun.

jameboy
Guest

LA702,

Oops, you may be putting me in hot water by saying that! 🙂

I’d like to believe that we’re all friends here and combatants at the same time. We agree and disagree on issues where we hold differing views or viewpoint. I think it’s healthy.

Kudos to benign0, et.al. for providing a space for people to talk and share thoughts and having the concern for the country as the main objective.

LA702
Guest

@ jameboy

Nah, being a lone wolf is exciting.

I must say that GRP has improved a lot in terms of insightful comments. Three years ago when I first found this site, GRP was like an angry mob everyone called you a troll when you made an opposing view or you get deleted. LOL…It was like talking to a thirteen year old on a Justin Bieber site, you know what I mean.

Istambay sa GRP
Guest

What is your basis in saying jameboy “seem to be winning his argument against a group that aspires to be the next Rappler or Huffington Post”?

Your comment is another lame attempt at insulting GRP writers. At least the writers here are successful in creating something that people like you can only dream of having. You’re just jealous coz you can’t create a successful blogsite even if you tried.

tomas
Guest

LOL!

yes, you read that right. my comment is:

LOL.

kudos, maestro jameboy.=)

benign0
Admin
@LA702: Nah. Unlike Rappler or any major new or old media presence involved in Pinoy politics, we don’t schmooze nor maintain any personal relationships with anyone nor do we have direct associations with any sponsors or advertisers. We value our independence too much to be concerned about how likeable we are within any community or clique and we will not compromise that independence by putting ourselves in a position where someone outside of our inner circle of editors could tell us what or what not to write or how to write what we do write. So, yeah, we have our… Read more »
Eduardo Mendoza
Guest

Let us recite with feeling and sincerity the original version of Panatang Makabayan, with emphasis on last three phrases:Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas
Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan nang walang pag-iimbot at ng buong katapatan
Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa. Wishful thinking ba ito, or panata????

N
Guest
But if media is powerful enough to bombard its massive viewers with brain-numbing programs, why not use the same medium to bring education and knowledge that would empower and equip citizens to vote intelligently and discriminately? —- Miles Teg in Heretics of Dune answered that superbly. He said, “One of the most dangerous things in the universe is an ignorant people with real grievances *the rebels and the masa*. That is nowhere near as dangerous, however, as an informed and intelligent society with grievances. The damage that vengeful intelligence can wreak, you cannot even imagine.” That said, if you empower… Read more »
Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

Because the tv stations and media (aside from the internet) are controlled by the local Oligarchs who in turn have government ties. This is made clear with the latest news trying to downplay the outrage of Filipinos towards Noynoy and trying to show that the MILF do want to work with Philippine authorities.

Other than that, Philippine media is more concerned with money lining their pockets rather than enlightening the people. As evident in their telenovelas, movies and popular culture here.

graycid
Guest

I wont be silence

Ingo Vogelmann
Guest

Well written, Ilda.

Amir Al Bahr
Member
Ilda, This deference you spoke of, as you already know, is not something Filipinos show only towards the Aquinos in particular. While you mentioned that this may be probably a result of being under a strongman for quite some time, there may be something more underneath it all. At a fundamental level, Filipinos are afraid of speaking out for fear of sticking out. It has been drilled into their society since time immemorial: the need to fit in, the silly notion of pakikisama, the forced fit to a group consensus. Filipinos are so easy to sway into groupthink; all it… Read more »
JAMES GANG
Guest
@ Ilda, I thought you’d finally written a good article, UNTIL you cited Aquino not meeting the soldiers coffins at Vallamoor AFB.Look ,how many coffins do you think George Bush or Barrack Obamma have met coming back from battle? NONE, Because it is not their job ! and it isn’t Aquino’s either.I agree the guy is a bumbling idiot and he may just be selling Mindanao to Malaysia behind the Filipino people’s back’s.I would not put anything past a Filipino politician.BUT, its starting to look like you just cant get over your dislike of everything the guy does that gets… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest
I beg to differ, JAMES GANG. The president is the father of the country he’s president of, and as father, he has the important duty of consoling his “children” in their time of grief. Of course he can’t be there to welcome all coffins all the time, but in incidents of the magnitude of that in Mamasapano, not being there was a fatal mistake, to say the very least. The matter is even underscored by the fact that no less than 44 of his “children” lost their dear lives under very sorry circumstances, that their families – also his “children”… Read more »
JAMES GANG
Guest

@ Chrissie, ‘The Father of the country’? OH BOY.
It is exactly thinking like this that will get YOU nowhere.The guy won an election, and quite possibly a rigged election, and you see him as a ‘Father’.OK, you win, he is the Father of your country.Remember that when your are an old woman and no better off than you are now.WOWO !

Chrissie
Guest
The president is the father of the country by virtue of his election, whether or not he deserves it or whether or not he has what it takes to be a father. Believe, my head swirls every time I refer to him as our country’s father, but I can’t change the fact that that’s what he is if he was indeed elected (groups of expert computer programmers doubt that he was only elected president by the tampered-with PCOS machines used in the 2010 elections). We’d all be happier if you communicated in a more decent way, without using curse words… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Rather, groups of expert computer programmers CLAIM… sorry for the error….

Chrissie
Guest

You used the F word in another comment of yours related to mine….

jameboy
Guest
I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings on the ‘defense’ part of my post. It is not really intended as a personal attribute but a general response to the idea (it is not the president’s job) which you don’t have a monopoly of. In fact, unlike your post, you will never find a word “YOU” in my post simply because there was no intention to exclusively aim it at you. It was directed on the idea you happened to share with other people or possibly with PNoy himself. I, too, think that the president is not required to attend funeral… Read more »
jameboy
Guest
Frankly, I have some doubts on criticisms of PNoy in failing to show up to honor the remains of the PNP personnel. But taking into consideration all that has happened, I think the president, whether it’s his job or not, came up short in joining the relatives and people who shared in expressing their grief in that moment. Whether or not he attended another function doesn’t make a difference. He should have been there for every reason possible. You are the commander in chief and the men under your authority perished in a questionable circumstance and you’re not there to… Read more »
JAMES GANG
Guest

To answer the question asked at the end of the article: No, I serioulsy doubt it. For reasons to numerous to get into right now,but NO, definitely:NO.

neil tristan yabut
Guest

actually, democracy works very well in the philippines.

in any national population (dunno, except possibly singapore and hong kong), you cannot expect the majority to be smart. this can’t be any truer in the philippines.

hence, come election time, the stupid majority number enough to bring their stupid choice to power.

magtaka kayo kung sa dinami-rami ng bobo’t tanga sa pilipinas, ay makaboto ng mga pinunong epektibo at hindi kurakot. if only (as boy abunda calls it) collective prayer actually works.

004Hayden Toro
Guest
Democracy is For the people; Of the people; and By the people. Philippine Democracy which is Feudal Oligarchy is: Fool the people; Buy the people; and OFF the people. The timidity of Filipinos to participate in the deliberations of Public Policies; and the Decisions of their Political Leaders…led to this kind of government, full of Abuse; backdoor deals with enemies; and outright thievery of National Funds. “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty”…it was stated by a noble statesman. We have this kinds of leaders and governments, because , we are not vigilant. The country owes nothing to the Aquinos…they… Read more »
Detarte
Guest

I think Duterte can make some changes for the better for the Philippines if he can win the Election. Sadly, i dont think he can win.

JAMES GANG
Guest

The guy is a thug and so is his whole family. Ha,if his daughter ever punched me I’d knock the bitch out cold.A flying clenched fist is neither male nor female.

Aeta
Guest

Whether Duterte wins or not, the Philippines is never going to change for the better. There are way way waaaay too many political and business dynasties monopolizing the whole country.

d_forsaken
Guest

The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.

Amir Al Bahr
Member

Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep secrets in the Philippine paradise, it seems. Given the tsismoso nature of the Filipinos, nothing stays quiet, or hidden, for long.

Presidente Emilio
Guest

Yup. Take the Katipunan, for example.

Yawn
Guest

Why nothing works.

Aeta
Guest

Yawn,

Because it was designed not work by the oligarchs.

Aeta

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest
You should start calling the President, Benigno “Simian” Aquino the Turd. “Had Binay belonged to the same political party as BS Aquino, members of Liberal Party would not have engaged in negative propaganda against Binay and Filipinos would hardly worry about the succession. In any case, the fear of Binay is mostly justified because BS Aquino set a precedent for acting with impunity.” I remember back then, there were a lot of Noytards pushing for a “Noy-Bi” tandem. I think there was even a faction in the Liberal Party devoted to this purpose, driving a wedge between Aquino and his… Read more »
richie b
Guest
Hi all, I’m USA born of Filipino decent where both my parents are Filipinos who immigrated to the USA (Hawaii). I Just came back from the Philippines on month long trip and discovered this blog site. So, its my first time blogging so bare with me. After 10 trips to the Philippines for the past the past 26 years I think the Democracy or democratic process the people of the country is looking for is still a long way off. On the surface, this is what I see: A) There’s two recognizable classes in the Philippine society: 1. The very… Read more »
richie b
Guest

sorry guys, it’s difficult to text in my I-phone but I hope what blogged earlier made some sense.

Chrissie
Guest

Thanks so much for this, richie b. I agree with you 100%, but I don’t know how we can empower the middle class. The Philippines’ problems are really so murky. Boggles the mind.

richie b
Guest
You are welcome Crissie! This is a great blog site concerning Philippines issues. I’ll spread the word on my side to provide their views on the issues posted. At least we can agree on empowering the middle class is major step for the democratic process to work in the Philippines. The devil is always in the details as to how empower the middle class. I have no clear thought as to how it might be done. I’ll have to look at how it’s been achieved here in the USA. At least it seems so. We take these things for granted… Read more »
richie b
Guest
Sorry Corrections from previous: At least we can agree on empowering the middle class is major step for the democratic process to work in the Philippines. The devil is always in the details as to how empower the middle class. I have no clear thought as to how it might be done. I’ll have to look at how it’s been achieved here in the USA. At least it seems so. We take these things for granted here in the USA as it always been so. As for the idea of Empowerment, I believe it takes shape in the early childhood… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Here in the Philippines, richie b, if you’re a worker & you ask questions, especially those that your employer doesn’t want you to ask, you get fired unless your employer’s a foreigner or an enlightened Filipino, which is very rare. If you’re a student & you ask a lot of questions, you’re likely to be branded “sipsip,” “trying hard to impress,” or “conceited.”

richie b
Guest
Hi Chrissie, This way of thinking has to change. It’s too bad the act of “asking” is looked at negatively in the Philippines. No small wonder why the politicians get away with it with the “How dare you question my authority” mentality. But here in the USA, it’s common enough to expect questions from people, like students and employees. One can tell or get the feeling of a person’s intent is sincere because they truly want to understand, know or do their job correctly or just trying to be a “smart ass” or “Sipsip” as you say. In fact, it… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

As I understand how important it is to ask questions, richie b, when I was still teaching, I used to REQUIRE my students to ask questions. To counter the prevailing negative mindset about asking questions, I’d tell my students that asking questions is a sign of intelligence rather than dim-wittedness. Sometimes I even conducted sessions by just answering their questions and urging them to ask one another questions. But it’s really hard to change the culture on a bigger scale. One can only try.

Chrissie
Guest

JAMES GANG:
I just prefer polite conversation. As for being “outraged at the people who’re pilfering our resources,” believe me, I am & have been for the longest time.

Aeta
Guest
@Chrisse. I stopped blaming the Philippine government officials a long time ago for pilfering the country’s resources, because they are just products of corrupt culture. So each time a government official does something wrong to the country, and its people, instead of blaming him or her, I find the nearest mirror and blame myself, because I, too, am a product of the same corrupt culture. When ALL Filipinos start blaming themselves for what is wrong with the Philippines–its culture and its people–that is the moment the country will start moving forward. For now, every Filipino is likened to a person… Read more »
Christine Diaz
Guest

@Aeta…. I agree that many Filipinos are part of our corrupt culture, but NOT ALL are. So why blame yourself if you aren’t part of it? And why shouldn’t we not hold all those who’re part of it accountable for their actions even if everyone else is doing it? If you’re an adult, you decide whether to be part of a culture or not to be part of it, so if you decide to be part of it, you’re accountable.

Aeta
Guest
@Christine. That’s just it: “If you decide to be part of it, you’re accountable.” If you consider yourself a Filipino in any shape or form, then you are still a part of the Filipino culture—and its legacy—whether you choose to or not. It’s like being a children of divorce parents. Even if you shouldn’t blame yourself for your parent’s marriage breaking up, you are still a part of that legacy. This is why I think most children of divorce parents, even if they consciously do not blame themselves for what happened to their parents’ marriage, end up being divorce themselves;… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Sorry, @Aeta, but I don’t get and buy your point. Yes, I’m part of the Filipino society, but no, I’m not part of the corruption that’s been going on for ages. Yes, I want to be part of the solution even if I did not create the problem because even the innocent ones are suffering from the dastardly deeds of others.

Aeta
Guest
@Christine Diaz, My point is so plain and simple everyone misses it: ‘ALL FILIPINOS deny they are part of a corrupt culture, and that they have nothing to do with why the country is what it is today,’ makes us directly—and indirectly—a part of it. Just because we’ve managed to convince ourselves that “I’m not part of the corruption that’s been going on for ages”; yet we continue to subscribe and patronized what this corrupt culture is providing to the public–by way of its vast networks of political and business organizations like shopping malls, movies and television shows, hotels and… Read more »
Dodge
Guest

In the end, the only workable solution is to migrate.

Aeta
Guest

@Dodge,

That is exactly what the ruling and monopolizing elites (corrupt politicians, Chinese and Korean businessmen) want you to do; so, they can have the Philippines for themselves, and make the Filipinos who cannot get out of the country as serfs.

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