Three reasons why Filipinos are not as outraged by Jeane Lim Napoles’s lifestyle as they are by squatters

To be sure, alleged Anak ng Pork socialite Jeane Lim Napoles copped more fame (more like infamy, actually) than she had bargained for thanks to the ironic orgy of self-promotion she engaged in on social media over the last several years. Tough luck for the 23-year-old. Wrong place at the wrong time — kids do suffer from the sins of their parents. Ask Bongbong Marcos and he can very well relate. The self-styled fashionista now had to close or set to private most of her social media accounts although online content has a funny way of slipping through even the most draconian of privacy measures (as evident in the way her now private Vimeo video upload of her fab 21st birthday bash somehow ended up in YouTube for all to gawk at).

But while a sizeable shockwave from the exploding “scandal” rippled mightily across Pinoy social media (or so we are made to believe by ABS-CBN’s lazy reporting), some have observed that the “outrage” directed against the poor little rich girl partying in LALA Land was still dwarfed by the sizes of the digital knives unsheathed against the “plight” of the Philippines millions of illegal settlers (also known more popularly as squatters).

The curious case of Jeane Lim Napoles
The curious case of Jeane Lim Napoles
Granted, the Napoleses (if they did indeed scam pork as alleged) and Filipino squatters are really not that different. Both are mere parasitical products of Filipino-style “democracy” and the perverse notions of “humanism” taught by Philippine churches and schools. However, there are fundamental differences between the nature of expressions of “indignation” lobbed by the public against either one.

(1) Squatters stink, while the Napoleses probably smell nice.

For one thing, the Napoleses do not deposit their untreated human and household waste all over the Pasig River or toss them into passing public trains. Nor do the Napoleses account for the zillions of votes that keep the very politicians that fund their glam lifestyles in power.

(2) Fantasy versus nightmarish reality.

Second, the Napoleses’ are living Da Pinoy Dream — throwing big parties in key Pinoy migrants’ aspired-for destinations. Squatters, on the other hand, represent the cause of most things that make Philippine cities what Los Angeles and London are not. Jeane Lim Napoles throws most of her tralala parties and engages in her fashionable frolics in these great cities — half a planet away, while the by-products of squatters’ parasitical activities are on exhibit in ordinary middle class Filipinos’ faces, wafting up their noses, and devaluing the precious little left of the national equity every ordinary day. Every minute of rage the average Filipino motorist spends on Manila’s 2km-per-hour roads and every allergy and respiratory ailment suffered by big city residents has traces of squatters’ contribution to society in their underlying cause-and-effect chains.

(3) Sux to be you — NOT.

And third, the Napoleses’ (allegedly) pork-funded lifestyles are a bit easier on the eyes than squatters’ vote-farming-induced proliferation. To indulge in a bit of unscientific off-the-cuff statistical analysis, I’d say the cake of indignation Filipinos would like to be seen throwing at the Napoleses is baked with two cups of curiosity and one cup of envy for every three cups of genuine “outrage”. But as life in AckAck Manila becomes more Blade Runner-esque, the small pinch of sympathy in the cake of sentiment Filipinos feel for the “illegal settlers” they grudgingly share their metropolis with is increasingly rarefying.

Squatters. Charming.
Squatters. Charming.

Same beast — sinkholes for vast sums of taxpayers’ money — yet different animals. The Napoleses and squatters embody the bizarre framework of deep cultural damage that is Philippine society, where the most obvious solutions yield to the moronic “ideas” of the self-styled righteous.

[Photo of squatters courtesy The National.]

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47 Comments on “Three reasons why Filipinos are not as outraged by Jeane Lim Napoles’s lifestyle as they are by squatters”

  1. If filipinos should be enraged about anything, it should be inferior electrical service. I live in Lapu Lapu. The local electric company, MECO, is incapable of providing reliable power. The power outages are frequent. Most of these outages are inexcusable.

    1. blame it to my fellow negrenses…the second geothermal plants should be build but because of the forest concern citizen the project didnt push thru, but i bet who attend the rallies didnt make an effort to plant more trees around kanlaon and nearby mount talisay….and hell they can not even stop the illegal loggers of negros…if that project push through atleast we have a stable electric supply….and to some accounts all the deforested area use for the project, it will be replace and continue to plant more trees and protect the area will be shouldered by the plant…

  2. I would’ve agreed to this if only that the author did not attempt to put words into “Filipino’s” mouth as to what should be his personal opinion regarding the issues.

    The contrast extremes doesn’t make either of the “crimes” any better or easier to swallow than the other.

    I’m just curious as to how many people were sampled to make these generalizations.

    1. I agree with you. I was enraged while reading the article as it seems to be glorifying the crimes of the Napoleses. What is recurring and exceedingly obvious throughout the entire article was the subtle messages that side with the Napoleses and seem directed to increase opposition to squatters. I generally agree with Mr. benign0’s political opinions, but this one disappoints me.

  3. benign0 you know that tralala kids grow up to be pork barrel politicians and yet are not different from from those who live at the other end (the anti fashionista), both live despite the governments bloviating of how they are working against such outrage but turn a blind eye to both. It is a desensitizing of the public to the outrageous which allows those in power to sway public opinion. Divide and conquer from Sal Alinski, bottom up, top down and crush the middle.

  4. It is because our countrymen have not seen yet the other side of Napoles. Maybe wait some days to know. That is what differentiates them from the past admin because all the Filipinos were witnesses in their crimes.

    1. If you are saying that then why is corruption still rampant under your president’s regime? Why are poor people still multiplying like crazy?

      Don’t even think that your propaganda will change our minds about your precious president. It is already clear that he is the WORST president that we had. No amount of propaganda will ever change that FACT
      I know that you will not reply with something smart because what I’m saying is the TRUTH
      Troll Harder,Bobong Kapamilya

  5. I think what makes people flinch at the younger Napoles’ lifestyle is the same thing that would make them react the same way at Robbie Antonio of Century Properties (check out my article on it in Money Talks). But to me, it’s all a distraction, perhaps to place all attention on Napoles, and away from the others who are also benefiting from pork barrel, perhaps a lot more of it too. We need to watch out for that. The investigation on PDAF should cover everyone.

  6. even puppy dog trillanes has called pnoy out and said that he should start doing something about corruption and stop issuing conflicting messages.
    malacanan won’t like that.

    pnoy back in noynoying mode

  7. Contrary to the author’s apparent intention, I find myself siding with squatters on this one. Squatters are a misguided bunch. They do these things because they did not have the luxury of education and comfortable lifestyle the Napoleses had.
    If the allegations are true, then the Napoleses have no excuse. They fully understand what dire circumstances the nation is in yet CHOOSE to turn away. They have the power to change schemes with barely a lift of their fingers, instead they smother themselves with pleasures and do not mind flaunting it to the needy. Di ako nagmamalinis, but I find their wealth and lifestyle stinkier and more disgusting than squatters. Seriously!

    1. Well, both can be considered as aberrations of society. The main difference is that the Napoleses and their ilk, if they are indeed guilty of the allegations, choose to do it because THEY CAN. While on the other hand, many of the squatters decide based on survival. Ultimately, both can end up as parasites, and interestingly, both of their fates are intertwined as they live off each other to propagate their neuroses.

  8. So do I….I find it very disturbing that squatters and plunderers are weighed in the bloggers mind on on the same scale.

    1. Its because both squatters and supposed plunderers are self-serving opportunists, that’s the problem in this country, those people with wrong sense of entitlement and self righteousness (madami rin dyan sa CBCP)..

    2. Its because both the squatters and supposed plunderers are self serving opportunists like some collaborators during the Japanese occupation. That’s the problem with this country, people with the wrong sense of self entitlement and self-styled righteousness(CBCP, anyone?)…

  9. the BIG DIFFERENCE of the two in question IS: the amount of peso’s going into the hands of the few(Napoles) is 40 Billion times greater than the amount going into the hands of the Squatters. the sheer magnitude of the theft by this miscreant (she is not THAT hot either!) should be enough for the two to completely differentiated between. ONE as thief of treasury funds, the other as un-fortunate, and yet somehow ingratiated, small potato hand outs.
    this chick is surely not a ‘poor little rich girl’ a la Amy Van DerBilt, no. Not by a long shot, a thieving bitch is more like it.

    1. The trouble with that sort of thinking is that you place a value on the gravity of dishonesty which opens doors for making excuses for dishonesty.

      For me, being dishonest about P5 is the same as being dishonest about P10b. I like to keep my personal ethics simple and not complicate it much with numbers. 😉

      1. I do not think the squatters are thieves at all.
        Unlike the theft of funds from the treasury by the elites the squatters are being given hand-outs from the government. Receiving a handout is not stealing.
        I do think you have misunderstood me. I call a thief a thief regardless of the amount stolen.

  10. stupid blog. speak for youself. don’t generaluze filipinos.

    squatters are forced into their circumstances. plunderers on the other hand act on grave callousness and immorality.

    don’t call me self righteous. you are, for being so judgmental of squatters.

    1. You people have to put things in perspective. Do you think that if people had some means to buy a small home that is legitimately theirs without fear of eviction and with proper sanitation they would still choose to squat in squalid unhygienic conditions living a hand to mouth existence ? Napoles had a comfortable life. She deliberately chose to take the funds for those who have nothing to acquire much much more than she needed. Even the rich Filipinos who have acquired their wealth through generations of hard work and good business sense do not have such flagrant and wasteful lifestyles.

  11. It’s still the same demon — just different side of the same face that disguises better the putrid, foul stench of its nature. The claimed *preferred* stench (as suggested by the article’s title) is much worse, because it is more deceptive in nature. This privileged class has had the advantage and opportunities (through education, etc.) but have chosen to misuse their resources. The underprivileged class did not choose the conditions into which they were born, thus their repulsive behavior, though still unjustified.

    Both groups are foul.

  12. The Filipinos should excel in pure and applied sciences, and social sciences. Not on partying and squatting.

    1. But you have to admit, the Filipinos are near experts at partying and squatting.

      Party squat, Manila style! (Sung to the tune of “Gangnam Style”.)

      1. I am not a filipino. But if I were, I doubt that I would be outraged by someones lifestyle. After seeing photos of Ms. Napoles, she appears to be an attractive, happy young lady. Whatever she does, is her business.

        1. Jack,

          As you are not a Filipino, perhaps you may not appreciate why there is a public outcry over her lavish lifestyle. It isn’t as singular a reaction as you might think. In the Philippines, government officials go out of their way to find any excuse to throw extravagant parties not only for themselves but also for every member of their immediate family, their close friends and colleagues, business associates, even for high-profile mistresses. Janet Napoles and her family (including daughter Jeane) have been identified with that political elite. In Japan or South Korea, if the public discovered that a government official were involved in some lavish personal celebration or indulged in conspicuous consumption, the public outrage would be tremendous. That kind of indignation might even force the official to resign. Certain European countries have very strict rules about how their public servants behave in foreign countries. Awards or honors given to departing ambassadors, for example, have to be declared and scrupulously accounted for.

          It isn’t simply about the fact that the Napoleses are members of the wealthy political elite who can afford to party. The issue is that those ostentatious displays of profligate spending are disconcerting in a poor, developing nation. Furthermore, there should be public indignation from taxpayers and the poor when we hear about shady government deals funding 80-Million Peso condos, and Porsches, and Louis Vuitton purses. We should get mad if we see public funds being stolen or misspent. Especially when that profligacy is being flaunted on Facebook and Instagram. Public outrage means we have a stake in ensuring good governance and competent service from our officials. We should be more disturbed if the Napoles affair is shrugged off and ignored.

        2. Mr. Saint, you have made some interesting points. If taxpayers money is used to fund this lifestyle, then an outrage should be expected.

  13. What I find so interesting is how the authors of this website seem to detach themselves with the use of pronouns and adjectives?

    When they refer to Filipinos, as if it excludes them? This is most observed when the flaws are highlighted to the point of having some sort of delusion of grandeur that they are a better flock than everybody else.

    Remember you can only choose your citizenship, but never change your nationality.

    These writings are autoimmune.

    1. “We” or “they”. As you said, they’re only pronouns. Perhaps you feel slighted by my arbitrary use of the first or third person in my choice of pronouns. Well, if that’s what is bugging you, too bad. As you yourself said, one can “never change [their] nationality”. So why be fussed about what sort of pronouns the authors use?

      1. Am I lost in a tabloid or pedestrian article to even care?

        How can one quantify substance when the article speaks ill about:

        Filipinos not as outraged
        Ms. Napoles is Filipino
        Filipino squatters
        The Filipino author

        Can’t play with mud without smearing yourself as well. Shame.

    2. “Remember you can only choose your citizenship, but never change your nationality.”

      Perhaps you mean ethnicity and not nationality?

      1. ETHNIC – of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background

        ex: Negrito, Mangyan

        CITIZENSHIP – relationship between an individual and a state in which the individual owes allegiance to the state and in turn is entitled to its protection. In general, full political rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office, are predicated on citizenship. Citizenship entails obligations, usually including allegiance, payment of taxes, and military service.

        ex. Applying for a Green card entitles one to become a US citizen.

        In simple words, nationality can be applied to the country where an individual was born. Then what does citizenship stands for? It is a legal status, which means that an individual has been registered with the government in some country.

        An individual is a national of a particular country by birth. Nationality is got through inheritance from his parents or it be called a natural phenomenon. On the other hand an individual becomes a citizen of a country only when he is accepted into that country’s political framework through legal terms.

        Elaborating the two words, an individual born in India, will be having Indian Nationality. But he may have an American citizenship once he has registered with that country.

        Well, No one will be able to change his nationality but one can have different citizenship.

        Read more: Difference Between Nationality and Citizenship | Difference Between | Nationality vs Citizenship http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-nationality-and-citizenship/#ixzz2bAQU1unS

        Libre lang po Google. Tinuro din po ito nung highschool.

        Define mo din auto immune teh? Go on, try it out.

  14. all i can say is this article is discreetly biased. And that if we want to help each other in getting rid of the people like ms. jeane napoles then maybe we should stop voting for the wrong people, so they won’t start giving positions to the wrong people. if ms. napoles is not guilty then she shouldn’t have taken down her social networks, because she knows that the money used for it is honest money.
    i do not like ms. jeane napoles because i’m partly, a bit jealous (i admit it)and because i am tired of seeing us step on each other, of filipinos cheating on filipinos. i’m tired of seeing another supposedly unclean politician who never seems to arrive at justice. i’m tired of trying to find something good about my people and i’m running out of stuff to defend our name too. people are all the same, they want change but don’t start with themselves. maybe i should stop hating those officials,commenting on these biased articles and start fixing my misgivings.

  15. BIG TIME scammers. Super thieves. If she is a Cum Laude from her school she knows her parents are thieves. Guess she has deep seated anger against her parents and herself for flaunting her conspicuous consumption. She wanted to be caught through social media for her self aggrandizement . Keep your parents company in jail bitch

  16. The analogy is so weak. The Napoles have superpower through their center of influence. Involves the whole nation’s fund , defying laws, committing fraud, malversation, laundering; squatters need to live and survive but they have limited capabilities and resources. Everywhere in the world the government helps the poor. Even in China and other communist countries. The Napoles and those involves are likened to a syndicate like mafia.

  17. “the perverse notions of “humanism” taught by Philippine churches and schools.”

    Oh Benigno, then what should we teach them then? A decent notion of “animalism.” That would probably be more appropriate to your taste and nature, don’t you agree and to your style of “democracy.”

  18. To your 3 Points raised:-
    1. I would lietrally puke right on napoleses’ faces because they are the ones that truly stink. They are truly a filth in our society.
    2. Their parties, their trips, their dwellings, their every luxury in life were the very “parasitical activities” they exhibited without shame
    3. Curiosity, yes but envy….no siree! Who envies one who stinks and then rots and then burns in hell?

  19. This is a ridiculous assumption. Scum is scum and perfume wont change this. The root of the problems in the Philippines is the extreme corruption- motivation to get into politics is to steal the country’s money for self enrichment plain and simple. And they will get every single cent that they can. Not a shred of thought to achieve any public good and improve the lives of those who have nothing. The Philippines will regress into the plight of Bangladesh while Indo Malaysia Thailand move ahead. And it will be the fault of politicians and their accomplices like Napoles. Gullible people who are mesmerized by thieves who “smell nice” are also at fault. Filipinos have to stop delegating to God and start taking responsibility for their lives starting with holding politicians accountable

  20. The squatters, are as we “writers” here say, orphans. They are children in their hearts, regardless of their age. They are victims, not of the government, entirely, but of generations of misguidance. While we, the collective of whiny assholes in this ego-booster “getreal” site, embraced by the warm cloak of comfort, ignorance, hypocrisy, and fear, not only refuse to help guide and nourish these lost children, but also bash them for their “self-inflicted” situation. We harass squatters ,corrupt politicians, and anyone who doesn’t agree with us with our harmless words, thinking we’re the better man. We talk and talk, never realizing that the corruption is us, that it’s all of us. We tolerate the injustices for we do not care enough. The squatters remain as they are for no one wants to adopt nor love them. The corruption runs deep within the system and deeper in our hearts, that it has become the system.

    What are we gonna do about it?
    Nothing.

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