The way Philippine society is responding to the political crisis unfolding today is not too different from the campaign months leading to the 2010 presidential elections. Despite mounting evidence that the administration of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III is moving heaven and earth to go into damage control over the fire they started around allegations of pork barrel thievery in Congress, it seems the Yellow mob remain beholden to the hollow pedigree of the Aquinos and Cojuangcos.
Similarly, even back during the earliest days of the last presidential campaign, BS Aquino and his campaign team had already exhibited an astounding dishonesty too blatant for smart people to ignore but, unfortunately, too subtle for the sensibilities of ordinary Filipinos to look past. From an empty but song-and-dance-filled campaign rhetoric that effectively shrouded a lack of any substantial platform underwriting his bid for the presidency, to a shameless use of Goebbelian mass persuasion techniques to appeal to the taste for melodrama of the typical Filipino mind, as well as a penchant for liberally drawing from the political capital of his parents’ pedigrees, BS Aquino did it all. He was the “Reluctant” One and, thus supposedly lacking a traditional politician’s agenda. He was the “Prayerful” One and, as such, infallible to the Filipino eye. The presidency was seen by many as his birthright on account of the notion that his father Ninoy was the president Filipinos never had and his mother the president every Filipino prayed for.
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The Aquino administration’s talent for teflon politics is as potent as ever. Perhaps, it is because there are many business interests at stake. For his bid for the presidency, there was the reportedly insolvent Hacienda Luisita Inc (HLI) estate and, presumably, its vast network of crony creditors who are loath to write off what could be billions of pesos of HLI debt from their balance sheets. Indeed, as we speculated a while back, an HLI collapse could potentially drag down many businesses and possibly cause a mini economic collapse — which is probably why the business community, led by the pompously-named Makati Business Club rallied behind the Reluctant One’s campaign.
Now as BS Aquino takes efforts to sweep the pork barrel scam swirling around alleged ringleader Janet Lim Napoles under the rug, the Philippine business community seems to be noticeably cooperative as well — no longer stepping up to the plate as stalwart of “social justice” within the circles of the Philippines’ so-called “civil society”. Just like HLI, the pork barrel gravy pot is likely to be already a key component of this year’s financial forecasts in many Philippine businesses. As such, there just has to be some form of pork barrel in the Philippine Government. Businesses need it. Social parasites sit around with their mouths agape at the heavens chirping for it. Politicians’ mistresses salivate over it.
The Philippines simply won’t be the Philippines without the pork barrel. Indeed, if there is one sentence that could summarise Philippine history, it would be this:
A fool and his gold are soon parted.
For what other people supposedly “blessed” with an abundance of natural resources, a treasure trove of physical, cultural, and social infrastructure left by its former colonial masters, and, more recently, a “freedom” that was “won” in what was once a globally-admired non-violent “revolution” would remain so wretchedly poor nonetheless? Who else but the Filipino people.
Perhaps it is simply Filipinos’ lot in life to be stolen from. The world, after all, wouldn’t have any thieves if there was nobody to steal from. Filipinos seem to have a talent for filling that role in the scheme of things. They’ve had their natural resources, chiseled away from under their feet as they danced the years away in their colourful fiestas and paid their taxes to kleptocrats they themselves elected to office with glee.
By all accounts, even as the obvious outrage of vast and profound thievery unfold before their eyes on national television and even as evidence of how no less than President BS Aquino himself dangled pork before these thieves to achieve the goals leading to the securing of the family jewels of his larger clan, Filipinos remain a picture of tragic gullibility. Just like many other instances of obvious mass deceit perpetrated by duly-elected officials, this is but the most recent case that goes to further proving that Filipinos deserve their government.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.