The Philippines cannot progress while public servants are distracted by personal vendetta

One major problem in Philippine society is not so much the flawed system like what some have claimed. It is actually the fact that most Filipinos don’t have foresight or are unable to see problems that might arise in the future as a result of their actions. It most likely has something to do with our “come what may” attitude or in the Filipino vernacular bahala na mentality. This is especially true with Filipino public servants.

Jinggoy: 'Why only me??'

Jinggoy: ‘Why only me??’

Most of the senators who convicted former Chief Justice Renato Corona for instance, exhibited bahala na mentality during his impeachment trial. Despite the human rights violations committed by the prosecution and some agencies who gathered damning but false “evidence” against Corona, the men and women of the senate who acted as “judges” turned a blind eye to these. Obviously, in their haste to provide a “guilty” verdict, they did not think their decision would create a problem for them or anyone in the future. But now we see that it is, of course, creating a problem.

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Unfortunately, it is not only the senators who will suffer the consequences of their actions. The rest of Philippine society will have to bear the cost of the damage to the country’s institutions as a result of Corona’s unfair and undignified removal from office. If the laws of the land could not protect the country’s Chief Magistrate, then ordinary citizens do not have a chance if they get in trouble with any of the powerful people in the country who can manipulate the system.

To be sure, the Philippine lawmakers’ total disregard for the rule of law and disrespect for the country’s institutions then had set a precedent for the continued mockery of the country’s democracy in the years to come, because they had shown that the system in place failed to protect an individual from abuse of power. Since Corona’s impeachment trial was a very historical event in Philippine society, a lot of Filipinos saw how the system could be corrupted and are probably thinking that it is acceptable. That gives people a license to emulate the behavior of the characters involved in that event.

Vindicated: Corona's defense team

Vindicated: Corona’s defense team

Over a year after Corona’s removal from office, the senators have admitted as true Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s claim that those who convicted Corona received Php50 million extra priority development assistance funds (PDAF) or pork barrel funds from the office of the Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino. Now we know why lead prosecutor, Congressman Niel Tupas could not wipe the silly smile off his face even when he received regular berating from Senator Miriam Santiago. He knew that Corona’s conviction was already in the bag and it was just a matter of going through the motion of the trial.

While Senator Estrada in his recent privilege speech may have given us some “explosive” revelations, one still gets the feeling that he and the rest of his colleagues are still telling half-truths. He may have confirmed that the Senators received extra funds for convicting Corona but he still insisted that he voted “guilty” independently from what he said was a cash “incentive”. It was as if he was incriminating himself and others in the scam but also absolving himself and others from their decision to remove Corona. Evidently, he is another one of those who think that the Filipino people are stupid. Estrada’s disclosure says a lot about his lack of remorse, indeed. He didn’t even have a defense; he probably thought that since he is going down anyway, he might as well bring every body else down with him.

Drilon: How do people like him get elected?

Drilon: How do people like him get elected?

Even Senator Franklin Drilon maintains that Senators voted according to their conscience. One wonders though if the senators do have a conscience at all. Where does someone like Drilon get his credibility even when he has a face and an arrogant attitude that’s hard to trust? How did someone like him make it to the Senate in the first place? His pork barrel funds must be quite the voters’ magnet.

Since Estrada claims that members of Congress need cash incentives or bonuses to do their jobs, one wonders as well if some of the senators in the Blue Ribbon Committee investigating the P10 billion scam likewise received additional bonus or “incentives” for crucifying the senators who have been implicated in the scam – those who happen to be from the political opposition. It seemed so strange the way Senators Teofisto Guingona III and Allan Cayetano acted like mad dogs during the hearing. It’s as if they are exaggerating their disgust over revelations made by whistleblowers involving some of their colleagues in the Senate. It’s as if they do not receive pork barrel funds themselves.

Senator Guingona also felt outraged by Senator Drilon’s decision not to “invite” alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, Janet Lim-Napoles herself to the hearing. While it’s understandable that some people might consider Drilon’s decision as quite suspect considering he has been seen partying with Napoles on several occasions and also allegedly received a Mont Blanc pen from her, one can agree with the notion that calling Napoles to the Senate hearing “would prejudice her investigation into plunder charges against the alleged brains of a P10-billion pork barrel scam.”

If there is anything we can learn from the appearances of “persons of interest” in the past in front of senators is that it is never a good idea to accept their invitation in the first place. For one thing, many senators ask silly questions that will make you look guilty in the eyes of the public. Who can forget the way Senator Antonio Trillanes humiliated Angelo Reyes during one of those senate hearings, which compelled the latter to commit suicide? Trillanes was a disgrace, indeed.

Second, whatever you say in the Senate hearings can likely be used against you in a court of law and since people who get invited to senate hearings are not actually on trial, they shouldn’t have to answer any questions. Most of these senators don’t know how to conduct themselves, specially when in front of a camera. They just act like braggarts and show-offs trying to outdo each other. Their worst behavior was when the then senator-judges acted like prosecutors during the impeachment trial of Corona. When the prosecutors were failing in their “duties”, the senators took over.

Third, Senate hearings hardly result in prosecution and jail time for alleged criminals. It’s just another opportunity for Senators to earn points with the viewing public. They can’t even claim these hearings are in aid of legislation because no new legislation of consequence comes out after every hearing. This again lends credence to some calls for the Senate to be abolished for wasting the people’s time and money.

Some people think that we should move on from Corona’s impeachment trial. They don’t seem to understand that the violations committed against Corona’s right to due process is a slap in the face of true democracy – that Filipinos will never achieve success as a society if they don’t regard their laws as sacred. Unfortunately, that concept is just too difficult for most Filipinos to understand. They simply shrug off the cycle of retribution as part of the system or what they refer to as pana-panahon lang because that’s what they have come to accept as part of Philippine society’s dysfunctional culture.

Where will it all go?

Where will it all go?

So what would it take for the Philippines to move forward? The country’s political leaders need to rise above the bickering and put the needs of the people first before their own. The grandstanding and posturing in front of the camera needs to stop along with the padrino system that favors only allies of those in power.

Sadly, the incumbent President BS Aquino does not want to put an end to the cycle of retribution. He reinforces it instead with the way he uses all his available resources, which includes giving away people’s funds as “incentives” to help crucify his enemies. In the proposed 2014 budget, he reportedly allocated an estimated presidential pork barrel of P964 billion to dangle in front of the people he wants to control. But if there ever was a person with lack of foresight, his name would be BS Aquino.

54 Replies to “The Philippines cannot progress while public servants are distracted by personal vendetta”

  1. Why do you write as if “Bahala Na” is a negative thing?

    Bahala Na, translated into english is “Come What May”, which is a positive thing.

    Hollywood even made a good song about it:

    Link to video.

    1. Obvious positive pusher is indeed obvious especially from that name of yours. The dysfunctional pinoys are doing the bahala na mentality too much and the result is this country being a sick man of Asia.

      1. We’re really still the sick man of Asia, C4, no matter which way you look at it. Don’t believe everything you hear in the news. Remember, Aquino has a full-blown, well-funded Communications Team (spending millions of taxpayers’ money for mobile phone calls, it has been reported and admitted), not to mention ABS-CBN and PDI, both part of the Yellow Brigade, on his side.

    2. Hi Optimist Club

      You are such a romantic. You are using “bahala na” attitude in a different context. You can’t let your heart rule your life all the time. You might end up being poor like Ewan McGregor’s character in the film. 😉

      You have to use your brain too. BTW, just because Hollywood said so doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s called make believe.

    3. “Bahala Na” seems more like “who cares” in the Filipino context. Because Filipinos don’t want to do anything about a problem even if it bit them in the crotch.

  2. Our people are so nice, forgetful, bahala-na-mentality lead our country to have crooked lawmakers. On the other hand these crooked lawmakers intentionally deprive millions of poor filipinos to education so that they can rule their own respective provinces longer than usual and reap our moneys left and right! In short, our very own are treating us just like how the spaniards treated us for 300 years whom our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, fought for. This is betrayal for country to the maximum level. Kaso lang, everyone is nice. Everyone wants a good ending for someone since they also helped a few people. Example: GMA who is accused of plunder and graft and corruption still won a congressional seat while in jail, congress man jalosjos also won a reelection after being convicted of rape. Only in the Philippines…

  3. We have to remember that Estrada voted not for PDAF, but according to his will in the impeachment trial. That said, Corona is still guilty even with Estrada’s revelation.

    Let us move on because that is so 2012.

    1. @cobra

      LOL…you once said that we shouldn’t believe Estrada. Now you’re saying we should believe him when he said he voted according to his “will” during the impeachment trial. Was that the same “will” that accepted the 50million?

      You might have missed reading this part of the article:

      “Some people think that we should move on from Corona’s impeachment trial. They don’t seem to understand that the violations committed against Corona’s right to due process is a slap in the face of true democracy – that Filipinos will never achieve success as a society if they don’t regard their laws as sacred. Unfortunately, that concept is just too difficult for most Filipinos to understand. They simply shrug off the cycle of retribution as part of the system or what they refer to as pana-panahon lang because that’s what they have come to accept as part of Philippine society’s dysfunctional culture.

      So what would it take for the Philippines to move forward? The country’s political leaders need to rise above the bickering and put the needs of the people first before their own. The grandstanding and posturing in front of the camera needs to stop along with the padrino system that favors only allies of those in power.

      Sadly, the incumbent President BS Aquino does not want to put an end to the cycle of retribution. He reinforces it instead with the way he uses all his available resources, which includes giving away people’s funds as “incentives” to help crucify his enemies. Now that Congress has approved the 2014 budget, he’s got an estimated presidential pork barrel of P964 billion to dangle in front of the people he wants to control. But if there ever was a person with lack of foresight, his name would be BS Aquino.”

      1. What kind of troll doesn’t miss the point? It is part of their charm. Not sure about you there are a whole lotta things BS Aquino is lacking besides foresight.

    2. Cobra,

      This is what I find fascinating.

      50 million per Senator

      Yet The Malacanang Communication Group which employs you maybe spends 200 pesos per month in terms of thought going into arguing with people who do not drink the yellow Kool Aid.

      “Corona is still guilty even with Estrada’s revelation.”

      If you have to lie to make your point, how good is your point?
      If you have to cheat to win the game how good really is your game?
      If you have to pay 50 million per Senator / Judge how guilty is your defendant?

      Troll harder! A 5 year old watching Barney can see through you.

    3. Again we’re not born yesterday you dummkopf! Nakakahalata na iyang inutil mong presidente. Move on kamo? Bakit mo pa rin tinuturing demonyo sina arroyo’t Corona hanggang ngayon ipokritong bobo?

    4. (Double standards BS.)

      (I tell you the truth: Moving forward doesn’t really mean forgetting the past then repeating it all over again. Fact is that Corona’s impeach is a stupid mistake.)

    1. Cobra, You do know Noynoy Aquino is the most unaccomplished person ever elected to be president correct? Suddenly you are making him and his dress up partner to be George Patton and Omar Bradley. How dumb are you?

    2. (The soldiers should give credit because war is won by soldiers, not politicians)

      (Two words: VIETNAM WAR)

      (Of course you won’t reply back because what I told you is 100% true)

    3. – Article is about the ongoing pork barrel drama
      – This ‘person’ suddenly blurts about the Zamboanga crisis

      … damn. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

      1. Was it ever about trying? Imagine if you were hired to Truth Minister Ricky’s Mac Book Brigade. Your job is to sprout poorly written lies. Where is your life at if you find yourself accepting that. Cyanide would be a smarter alternative. Problem is, these guys are dumb.

    4. The real reason why Misuari committed that crisis is because Pnoy did not respected the agreement made by his predecessors with MILF/MNLF. Another proof that he always think he is above the law. Why should we thank him if he is the one who ignited the fire? Sc73w him and Misuari

  4. Cobra, nanggugulo ka lang ba? Kung oo, pwede bang sa iba ka na lang manggulo? I still have to read an intelligent blog from you, one that’s obviously a product of deep thinking. Sorry, ha, I don’t want to humiliate you, but the reason I’m reading the GetReal blogs and comments is that when I read the comments on the regular online newsbits, I get a headache, and my blood boils. Generally mas matalino ang comments dito, except sa yo and a few others (SacreBleu?).

    1. @Chrissie, HA , you mention me as if I am not intelligent and then you spout that horse-dung ‘theory of abundance’ crap at all of us and have the nerve to act as if you are somehow intelligent! What a pile of hot steaminess!

      You have crossed the wrong guy, I shall show no mercy to your idiotic posts now (I was actually going to let you go on thinking you somehow got one up, but now? HA, you gonna get toasted for every idiotic comment that comes out of that idiotic head of yours from now on!). So go run to the admin and tell them your getting picked on, coz this is where the fun begins you retard!

      1. It’s people like you and your fellow noytards who give a very bad name to social media. No longer want to participate in this…it’s crazy! You’re crazy!!!

      2. By the way, never did I say anywhere, or even intimated, suggested, or implied, that I’m intelligent, but if you think I am because I share what little I know rather just go around cyberbullying people as you do (just because they can’t punch you in the face), then thank you very much.

      3. By the way, never did I say anywhere, or even intimated, suggested, or implied, that I’m intelligent, but if you think I am because I share what little I know rather than just go around cyberbullying people as you do (just because they can’t punch you in the face), then thank you very much.

  5. Have you heard of the “paradox of abundance”? It’s a theory stating that countries that are very rich in natural resources tend to be the least developed, and vice versa, because they don’t feel the need to use their minds optimally to procure what they need as everything that they need is there for the taking? Singapore, Japan, even South Korea have very limited resources so they used their minds optimally to make their country progress. Look at them now. I think this theory applies to the Philippines because as early as when the Spaniards came, the people they saw (according to Pigafetta, Magellan’s chronicler) were happy-go-lucky (not a care in the world!). Now, of course, even if we still have a lot of natural resources, many Filipinos no longer have access to these, but unfortunately, our come-what-may attitude has already become part of our national character. My point? Not that we can’t do anything about who we are and have been since time immemorial but that we need a major character overhaul as a people or our country will never go anywhere.

    1. Paradox of Abundance. Now that’s an interesting thing you brought up. This explains why countries with four seasons are still more progressive than those without. If Philippines had winter things would be different.

      1. Of course, in the final analysis, it’s we who determine our fate regardless of our seasons and amount of natural resources. That’s the challenge to us Filipinos.

    2. @Chrissie

      Well said and I can agree with the theory. We do take for granted the resources that can propel us from third world to first. Meanwhile, some societies manage to harness energy from what little they have.

      We certainly can do something about who we are. It’s just a matter of upholding the rule of law. It’s not perfect, which is why the legislators need to do their job in plugging the holes in the system. Unfortunately, they are busy bickering about their bruised egos.

      1. Or busy pocketing their pork barrel? Even corruption’s centuries-old in the Philippines, dating back to our Spanish colonizers. We really are a troubled nation.

    3. @ Chrissie:Oh that’s a price-less theory, HA! YOU said ur not going to comment on me any more? I said nothing of that sort!
      Make something up, even an idiotic theory like the one you just mentioned, and then believe it as if it is the truth, LOL!!!!!!OMG, UR Brain-less, but, maybe, are well-intended. This is one reason why Filipino’s do not progress. You live in a fantasy land where the world becomes what you want it to be, not what it actually is. Case in point? Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil-rich country. According to your ding-a-ling theory that is why they are not a developed country? RIGHT, Sure! OMG, I am not even making this up, YOU ARE! I just have to sit here and ROTFLMAO at you!

      1. FYI, I did not invent that theory. I just came across it. As for Saudi Arabia, their only resource is oil. By “rich in natural resources” I suppose is meant a variety of natural resources, especially food. Saudi Arabia? They have to import even food and water! SacreBleu, are you sick in the head? The words you use, and your unbelievable sarcasm, give me that impression. That’s the problem with the Internet. You don’t know if you’re talking with a dog.

      2. Paradox of abundance: Also called “paradox of plenty” or “resource curse,” a term coined by Richard Auty in 1993. The idea emerged in the 1980s. Check it out.

    4. Make no mistake, the country is past the point of saving. Its every man for himself, abandon ship!
      Seriously, take heed…go elsewhere as if you think that anything is going to change in the Republic of the Philippines you will be a long time in your grave before that happens.

  6. Si Noynoy at ang mga mambabatas na bumoto upang iimpeach si CJ Corona at dambungin ang kaban ng bayan ay walang konsensiya dahil wala silang kaluluwa o may kaluluwa sila pero napakasama. Dapat silang patalsikin sa puwesto nila na dapat ay mga kagalang-galang na tao ang nakapuwesto.Dahil sa tindi ng kanilang kasalanan ay dapat maparusahan sila.

  7. What a laugh, The Corona impeachment did not have anything to do with the fact that the average Filipino has virtually ‘No Chance’ at all. BWAH HA HA HA ! it has been like that since 1948, at least, and it sure isn’t going to change any time soon!

  8. Our problem is: we have officials and public servants; who are interested in promoting their own agendas….now they are playing politics again. I’m not surprised , some of them are movie stars. magaling silang mag-act….

    1. That is VERY correct. PUBLIC servants who are only interested in serving themselves at the ‘pork’ table. A den of thieves is what they are, one and all. It is surprising to a foreigner to see these things in ‘full view’ or more clearly, plain sight. In other countries the politicians are all thieves too, but it is very hush-hush, done out of site and often times the favors done while in office are not re-paid until the politician leaves office and is rewarded with a cushy corporate job. Tony Blair, Bill Clinton are very good examples of this type of behavior. But in the Philippines it is thievery/scumbaggery/lying/cheating corruption 24/7 starting on the very 1st day the scumbag takes office.

  9. Hi, I agree with this article. They are public servants, they should prioritize the needs of the people instead of other agenda. I really hope that there will be a great change in the next administration. For now, we cannot expect that would listen to us.

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