Poor Kim Henares. The beleaguered Commissioner of the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is caught between a rock and a hard place — her ass is being kicked by President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III to bleed more legal revenue from the Filipino people. Trouble is, Filipino politicians derive illegal revenue from all that to bring home the bacon to their broods of spoilt brats and social climbing wives.
Why would Filipino doctors be offended by the new BIR ad portraying them as tax cheats, then? They’re in good company. Just about every Filipino who can avoids or evades tax — “consulting” firms like SGV have made fortunes providing “advise” to would-be tax pinchers. How can any Filipino, for that matter, be motivated to pay the right taxes when we all know how much of that goes to their politicians’ pockets and off-shore accounts?
Filipino doctors should grow an extra layer of skin and quit the emo talk about their “sacrifices” for the common health of their compatriots. The Philippines ain’t exactly brimming with doctors, so if the BIR starts rounding up tax cheats in the medical profession, they’d likely be shooting themselves in the foot. The last thing the Philippines needs is to have precious scarce doctors languishing in jail.
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Then again, do such white collar crimes actually land their perpetrators in jail? Henares’s approach of shaming alleged tax cheats like Filipino doctors is all bark and no bite anyway. Shaming is the Filipino’s preferred moronic approach to enforcing the law. Back in the late eighties and early 90’s they had this traffic decongestion program where traffic enforcers manning key intersections in Metro Manila would use a public address system to call out traffic violators and jaywalkers. So interesections had loudspeakers blaring admonitions to motorists guilty of queueing across interesections or getting caught at a stop in between lane changes. Suffice to say, we motorists soon got over that “shaming” after we worked out there were no consequences to being called out by these DJ-wannabes. As for results, well, the evidence speaks for itself — there have been none. Metro Manila traffic continued worsening since then.
This preferred approach to controlling traffic law offenders is also evident in the way we are trying to curb pork barrel thievery. The on-going Senate “Blue Ribbon Committee” inquiries are, in principle, that same driven-by-hiya approach to law enforcement. These Senate “probes” are actually nothing more than shaming exercises. But in terms of an actual roadmap that leads to a conviction? Don’t hold your breath. Most idiots would by now have still failed to realise that not a single case has been filed in any Philippine court despite an army of “whistleblowers” already lined up as politicians’ media mileage fodder.
The cluey pork horders are the ones keeping their mouths shut and just keeping their heads down. Like all of the other pakitang tao dog-and-pony shows that pass off as “crusades against crime”, this too will pass. And then everybody calls it a day and laughs all the way to the bank. Just like before. In the Philippines, the ones with the thickest skins win. Even as this circus unravels, we can see that it is all just another day at the office for Philippine politicians — many of whom are already gearing up for the various roles they will play in the coming elections. What? Me worry?
Filipino doctors shouldn’t get themselves all worked up about some dumb BIR ad. Pana-panahon lang yan. Just look back at what a bumbling fool Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas made of himself during the Philippine government’s Typhoon Haiyan epic fail. And yet here he is still planning to run for President in 2016. Amazingly, there are lessons to be learned from bozos like Roxas — and that is, you just need to have thick skin to succeed in the Philippines.
Being a crybaby about perceived slights won’t do you any good — specially in a society as inherently unjust as that of the Philippines’. You just need to keep your eye on the ball and ignore the noise — just like what Kim Henares is doing in the aftermath of all those “indignation” campaigns being mounted against her.
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other dumb bastard die for his country.
…with thanks to the late United States General George S Patton.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.