If it weren’t for all the “positive thinkers” that inhabit social media, one would see the reality for what it is: the Philippines is on the verge of anarchy. Perhaps it already is in a state of anarchy. But it is a strange kind of anarchy — one where the peace (by Third World standards that is) is held together by an ancient tribal padrino code rather than a modern state-level approach to governance.Back in 2013 I wrote how there now is just nobody to turn to for solutions. I was, at the time, referring to the vast institutionalised thievery perpetrated by the mutual-backscratching tandem of the Philippine government’s Executive and Legislative branches. The Executive branch headed by the President coughs up and distributes the loot while the Legislative branch (Philippine Congress) provides a virtual blanket of immunity to protect their gravy train. Cut out of the loop is, as always, the average Filipino schmoe who can only stand back and watch as farcical “investigations” and “inquiries” into these shenanigans are staged and beamed into their living rooms.
I further wrote back then…
The scale of the thievery, the adeptness with which politicians verbally sidestep the inquiries, the political debt owed by auditors and police agencies to the very thieves they are supposedly investigating, and the maddeningly disparate levels of comprehension different cliques of Filipinos apply in the way they regard the issues makes it very difficult to pin down a common rallying point around which the Filipino public might move forward with resolving this crisis.
As our old-timers have observed, this time walang masumbungan. Everybody who has the power to do something is complicit or on the Mob payroll.
That was 2013. Fast forward to today and I could (as I just did) simply copy and paste the above snippet onto an article (which I now write) that describes the comfy space that Philippine Police chief Alan Purisima now occupies. We recall back in 2013 that no less than Philippine Congress struck fear and loathing in the hearts of every Filipino as it came to light that it was the country’s biggest criminal syndicate. Now, 2014, we see that the Philippine Police itself is just as crooked. The really bad thing about this is that, unlike our fat porky senators and House representatives, police officers are armed, dangerous, and present a direct physical threat to the safety and wellbeing of ordinary Filipinos.
Look no further than the plight of seemingly ordinary businessmen that were kidnapped and robbed in a planned attack perpetrated by a crooked La Loma police team (yes, an entire precinct) in early September. That single incident makes it clearly evident that no Filipino is safe from their own police force.From the bad, it turned hilarious with the recent “Please Assist” Scandal involving “Police Director for Plans” Alexander Ignacio which erupted after FHM “100% hottie” Alyzza Agustin bragged on Facebook about being let off from a traffic violation thanks to one of them get-out-of-jail passes that ranking police officers routinely issue to their extrang asawas. Allegedly.
We need not mention, of course, what got Purisima in hot water to begin with — his discounted SUV and his freeby “mansion”, among others. That stuff’s got enough media coverage as it is. But like police criminality and “Please Assist” traditions, thievin’ generals and police chiefs are nothing new to Filipinos either.
Thus Purisima remains clearly delusional despite the reality of the profound dysfunction and incompetence of the Philippine National Police (PNP) staring him in the face. A tweet he fielded today proved his sad mental condition…
Kung may alam po kayong iba pang katiwalian sa inyong PNP, isumbong nyo po sa akin. Patutunayan ko sa inyo na hindi ako puro salita lamang.
“If any of you are aware of any other indiscretions in your PNP, let me know. I will prove to you all that I am not just all talk.”
Well, Mister Police “director” (with a small “d”), a 2-year stint as the top police guy that started in 2012 should have been enough time to prove yourself. So this tweet is just so sad. You can talk all you want about proving yourself in the coming months. But the fact remains that you did no such thing over the past two years.
Interestingly, we have social media to thank for the “exposure” of the worst-kept secrets about the Philippines’ national police force — that police officers routinely steal from the people they are supposed to protect and coddle those who they love to snuggle (hopefully without a struggle). But like pork barrel thievery, police criminality has been an accepted fact of life in the Philippines since time immemorial. So equally funny (more like eyesroll-inducing) is the way Filipinos today recoil in horror about all this. Filipinos also need to be reminded that tolerance for crooked politicians and police officers ultimately originates from the very underbelly of the very society they constitute. As such, everyone is guilty of these national crimes.
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