Politics, Greed and Misery…sad picture of Filipino Society

Politics, Greed, and Misery

…Sad Picture of the Filipino Society

By Apolinario Villalobos


A big chunk of humanity that prefers freedom should have been enjoying the best organizational principle or system – democracy. With it, every member of the group is given the opportunity to bring out what is in his mind. What is good for the majority is chosen, and everybody has a fair chance of participation. The role of making policies are given to the members chosen by the majority, and those chosen are supposed to be worthy of their job. That is supposed to be the clean politics under democracy…under the shadow of freedom.


Before the arrival of the Europeans, the archipelagic makeup of the Philippines was effectively ruled by chieftains or datus – by cluster of islands which was effective. It was our kind of “democracy”, although, fraternal of sort. When foreign powers such as those of Spain and America tried to subdue these islands and islets to become one country, their kind of “democracy” was introduced. Spain even made use of the cross to do it. The Americans, on the other hand, made use of their educational system to “educate” the Filipinos on how to live under their own kind of democracy.


The Filipinos wanted freedom, but what the democratic government that the early leaders copied was that of America’s, a country which is geographically cohesive. The system calls for a central governing body which in the case of the Philippines, unfortunately, got based at its northern part. The Philippines as a country of more than seven thousand islands and islets is regionalized and for convenient governance, it is divided into provinces. Expanding provinces are subdivided and the same is done with the regions. The greatest set back of this setup is the lack of unifying structures and communication system. Coordination among agencies and local government modules is not smooth, hence, ineffective, and worse as found out most often – absent! The total system is seen with loopholes and weak points. There is no cohesive system in the governance of the country. It seems that the media is more knowledgeable of what are happening through interviews of officials that they conduct and concerned agencies know about them only from their printed broadsheets and tabloids. On TV, even lawmakers are caught saying that they only know of important matters from newspapers!


The feeling of being neglected developed among the Filipinos in the far-flung southern islands of Mindanao, as well as, those in the Visayas regions. This animosity bred the desire among the Muslim Filipinos to have their own governing body, albeit, still “within” the scope of the existing Constitution. Differences in religion and culture are made as alibis. Those in the Visayas are beginning to develop the same line of thinking, although, religion and culture are far from their mind as reasons.


Unfortunately for the Filipinos, the loop-holed government system has bred abuse and greed among the representatives, the lawmakers, the policy makers that they chose to represent their ideals. Some of these people’s representatives wisely thought that they can propose projects for their far-flung provinces, far from the prying eyes of the central offices of the concerned agencies located in the far north of the country. Without the regular checks, ghost projects proliferated. The local branches of the agencies are themselves weak, hence, the poor implementation of policies. Policing has practically become inutile. Worst, the people who are supposed to be monitoring projects, are themselves, involved in anomalies. The “opportunity” of making money, bred the idea of coming up with NGOs and Foundations. And, because of the laxity in securing the government coffer, a free-for-all exploits ensued. Investigations are ongoing. But will justice be achieved, when those investigating, are themselves accused of involvement? Both Congress and Senate have practically lost face and dignity in view of the surmounting anomalies. The Filipinos in general have lost their respect to the aforementioned institutions.


Simply put, the misery of the Filipinos today, grew out of the abuse of lawmakers, and politicians, nurtured by their boundless greed for money. Their abuse on the other hand, developed from the knowledge that the country is not effectively welded by the so-called democracy copied from the by-laws of America, so they seem to see loopholes just in every provisions of the copied system that gave them the opportunity to exploit their fellowmen!


Families of politicians just do not have the heart to let go of their hold on the reins of power, so that, after the father, the wife takes over, then the son, then the daughter, and so forth. These greedy families invest millions of pesos that they were able to stash away for coming election days, to be used as “compliments”. There is no letup in how they spend the money that is actually people’s money stolen from the government coffer. The popular consolation among these greedy politicians is the thought of a much bigger “return” for such “investment”.


Finally, with the sickening system, the poor Filipinos are left gasping for breath while exerting much effort to survive in the deepening muck of misery.



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