The Evolution of the Deeply-rooted Elitist Political and Economic Dominion that Controls the Philippines

The Evolution of the Deeply-rooted Elitist

Political and Economic Dominion that Controls the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

When the Americans took over the reins of authority over the Philippines from the Spaniards, they saw the convenience in using the existing peasant-tenant relationship. This approach was used by Jacob Schurman who was appointed by the then, President McKinley, to head the Schurman Commission which subtly used the Filipino elite in laying down the groundwork for an effective control of the population in 1899.

In Negros, however, the job of the Americans was made easier by the local elite and landlords who did not wait to be prodded. They took the initiative of organizing a provisional government with the obvious objective of protecting their vast holdings and interests. Among them were Juan Araneta, Jose Luzuriaga, Leandro Locsin, Demetrio Larena, ang Agustin Montilla. They took the effort of contacting the Americans who were busy in their subjugation operations in Luzon and Visayas regions. Finally, on February 1899, representatives of the elite Negrenses succeeded in touching base with the military government under Gen. E. Otis, who eventually, created the Visayan Military district with Gen. James F. Smith at the helm, as the island’s Governor.

As pockets of the Aguinaldo-led resistance movement under the Malolos Revolutionary government were still present in Negros, open hostilities eventually ensued between them and the American-supported Negros elite and landlords, with the latter eventually prevailing.

The same pattern of partnership or collaboration between the elite/landowners and the Americans was also employed in Luzon with Baliuag (Bulacan) as the starting point. The successful takeover of towns by Americans, finally led to the capture of Aguinaldo in 1901, in Isabela. Unfortunately, the effort of the Americans using the mentioned strategy did not succeed in Mindanao. Meanwhile, the organizational plan for the subjugated towns was prepared by a Committee headed by the American-appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cayetano Arellano.

For the central government’s Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, the American-controlled Philippine Commission, appointed prominent personalities, still from the elite stratum of the population. Very prominent was the Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano, a law professor of the University of Santo Tomas, practicing lawyer and with strong inclination and conviction about the belief in the “sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.” Other renowned members of the elite society who took political center stage were: Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel  Roxas, Gregorio Araneta, Benito Legarda, Osmeῆa, Jose Laurel, Jose Abad Santos, Elpidio Quirino, Benigno Aquino Sr., Claro M. Recto, Camilo Osias, Emilio Tirona, Juan Sumulong, Pedro Gil, and Ruperto Montinola, among many others.

The Americans were wise in using the elite for their orchestrated control of the Luzon and Visayas regions, and parts of Mindanao. The said group had the fear of losing their privileges and security of their interests, in view of the growing clamor of the masses for the redistribution of land since the later part of the Spanish regime, and they saw an opportunity in cooperating with the Americans in exchange for such objective. They also had an historical distrust of the masses, whom they viewed with disgust, being uneducated and whom they alleged to be dwelling on dubious moral values. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera and Cayetano Arellano were specially, vocal about these views.

The hideous strategy of the Americans with the strong cooperation of the elite not only widened the gap between the peasants and the landlords in the Visayas and Luzon regions. The landlords became richer as they broadened the extent of their haciendas while the peasants became more impoverished as they suffered the same fate under the Spanish landlords that included the friars.

Meanwhile, the control of the three branches of the central government by the elite families, resulted to the “blooming” of political dynasties. The already securely- entrenched political families were joined later on by their financially- struggling allies who became rich when they also, entered the political arena.

Today, the economic and political dominion that controls the country is distributed among the historic political families and landlords, native and mestizo business tycoons who have tract records in supporting the political dynasties that move heaven and earth to perpetuate their hold on political reins of the country, and the new breed of rags-to-riches political “geniuses”. It is an inhuman conspiracy that not even hell can equal!

Nobody is Free from Corruption…but there is a difference in the degree of guilt

Nobody is Free from Corruption

..but there is a difference in the degree of guilt

By Apolinario Villalobos

To corrupt the mind is to pollute it, an act which is a deviation from what is universally accepted as good. In other words, such act is not only about stealing money from the government coffer or people’s money. It is also about influence-peddling, showing of pornographic films to minors, etc. In this view, practically, everybody is guilty of corruption. However, the degree of guilt differs as regards the situation, environment and objective. That is the reason why Mr. Webster came up with such comparatives as, “bad, worse, and worst”.

An ordinary government clerk who stole a petty cash worth Php200.00 cannot be fairly compared with his boss who accepted “grease money” worth Php1million. Simply put, ordinary Filipinos who are guilty of stealing groceries because of hunger, cannot be fairly compared with rich politicians who are habitually accepting commissions from projects at 30-60 percent, instead of the tolerable and traditional 5 to 10 percent. What they are pocketing are people’s money, yet. Although, the acts of theft are the same, the degree of guilt and objectives are different. In this regard, ordinary Filipinos who themselves, are also guilty of corruption should not be viewed with culpability or hypocrites when they are accusing their fraudulent congressmen and senators, or anybody in the high hierarchy of the government of such act.

It is wrong for others to insist that since nobody is “clean”, no one has the right to accuse a corrupt politician. If that kind of reasoning is followed, then mankind might as well, do away with the “justice system” in any form. Instead, every man should be allowed to apply justice as he sees fit, and the norm, “innocent unless proven guilty” should be done away with, too. Justice should be done on the spot, soon as the culprit is caught without the benefit of a trial.

Today, the world is bereft with greed, and corruption in the government is one of the clear manifestations. Those who sit on the fence and view the happenings around them, one of which is the hurling of accusations to suspected government officials, should not get “hurt” and insist on the familiar and already mentioned line, “innocent unless proven guilty”. They should open their mind and be analytical to understand the situation, instead of bringing out narrow contentions that tend to be one-sided.

Those who are courageous enough to even mentally admit that they are corrupt, should be thankful if their commission is in a lesser degree compared to others, especially, those in the government. But it should not stop them from telling the latter to change their ways or vacate their position…and in bringing out what are in their mind about the matter so that others may know.

Corruption shall never End for as long as Political Appointment Prevails

Corruption shall never End

For as long as Political Appointment Prevails

By Apolinario Villalobos

Political appointments are made for the obvious reason of ensuring support for the appointing official, from the agencies to which the appointees are assigned…nothing else. Such hideous practice is what the Filipinos inherited from the Americans. This historical bit is hinged on the question why the federalism system of government was not included in what the Americans allowed the Filipinos to copy from them. Despite the almost photo-copied Constitution of the Americans, the “centralized” system prevailed – obviously, for tight control via appointment of trusted early political leaders, foremost of whom was the late Manuel A. Roxas, who became the First President of the Republic under the shadow of MacArthur. Roxas was the original pro-American Filipino who praised his mentors to high heavens in his speeches, although other politicians viewed him as a “collaborator” during the WWII.

On March 11, 1947, Philippine Congress with an obvious blessing of the then, President Roxas, amended the Constitution with the following provision, as approved by the people in a plebiscite: “…the disposition, exploitation, development, and utilization of all agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, mineral, coal, petroleum, and other natural resources of the Philippines, and the operation of public utilities, shall, if open to any person, be open to citizens of the United States and to all forms of business enterprises owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by citizens of the United States….”- parity rights of the Americans well-defined in the Philippine Constitution, thanks to Roxas!

Roxas considered American exploitation of the country’s natural resources as “blessings”, out of which he dreamed of “wealth, contentment, peace, and prosperity….” He followed this up with a speech in Plaza Miranda in March 17, 1947, in which he intoned: “We have today our one big chance to convert our native land into an ideal of democracy. Our one chance is to grow and industrialize to reach the firs rank of the nations of the world. We have this chance because of the heroism we displayed in the war (WWII); we have this chance because we have demonstrated by deed our love for freedom. We have earned the gratitude of mankind. We can and will show tomorrow that we deserve that gratitude by plunging courageously ahead in the great tasks we face.” That “tomorrow” in his speech is today where we are now.

Just before he died, Roxas emphasized his pro-American color with a speech at Kelly Theater in the United States in April 15, 1948, in which he said, “…But if war should come, if God in His Supreme Wisdom shall will it that the scourge of war again visit the bewildered peoples of the earth. I am certain of one thing…and it is this, that in case of a new war waged by the aggressor against the forces of freedom and liberty, the American and Filipino soldiers will again fight side by side in the same trenches or in the air in defense of justice, of freedom, and the other principles which we both love and cherish.” In the evening of the day he delivered the speech, he died – alone, as he gasped his last.

Political appointments from then on, proliferated in the government, understandably, to ensure support from the already “awakening” consciousness of Filipinos who were involved in the different affairs of the country. Unfortunately, the tradition was maintained, so that in time, it became part of the country’s “democratic” transformation. Despite the creation of the agencies later, that were concerned with civil service eligibilities, and lately, the development of career path of civil servants, the obviously selfish-tainted practice prevailed. The poor Career Service Officers are left with the “assistant” positions in agencies!

Last days of the President are heydays of appointees as there is a double-timed effort for what many suspect as money making ventures in their agencies where such are possible. Appointees prepare themselves as if they are baggage of the President that he will carry out with him as he steps out of the door of Malacaῆan Palace…they practically become baggage heavy with goodies! Meanwhile, the agencies they abandon are again left to start from scratch. What is worse is the loss of “continuity” in projects and programs as new appointees of the new administration tend to entertain different schemes and views, resulting to abandoned projects because they do not jive with their agenda. This practice results to repainting or dismantling of structures, or abandoning of half-finished ones, to give way to new ones – “new projects” to be financed by new and “bigger” budgets.

Such is the malevolent cycle, and being a cycle, has no end, unless political appointment is stopped.

Kaya pala “Nagsisipag” noon si MMDA Chairman Tolentino at DOJ Secretary de Lima…may ambisyon sila

Kaya Pala “Nagsisipag” Noon si MMDA Chairman Tolentino

At DOJ Secretary de Lima…may ambisyon sila

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Malinaw na ang dahilan kung bakit noon ay kapansin-pansin ang pagsisipag nina Tolentino at de Lima – ang ambisyon nilang pumasok sa pulitika. Akala ko noon, normal lang na palagi silang iniinterbyu ng media, yaon pala ay talagang sinadya nila for media mileage.

Si de Lima ay “eager beaver” o sobrang maliksi kaya plano pa lang ang mga gagawin kahit maselan o dapat ay confidential dahil hindi dapat malaman ng “kalaban”, nagpapatawag na siya ng presscon kung saan ay nagbibitaw pa ng banta na pananagutin niya ang mga tiwali. Dahil sa ginagawa niya, ang mga dapat hulihin ay nakakatakas. Ang plano niya noong pagbisita sa Bilibid Prison upang mag-inspection dahil pumutok ang bentahan ng droga ay ibinrodkast kaya pagdating niya sa “loob”, halos wala nang nadatnang ebidensiya maliban sa mga ginawang mga kubol na aircon. Wala mang resulta, natanim naman sa isip ng mga tao na aktibo siya, masipag. Dinagdagan pa ng ibang broadcasts na lalong nagpahaba ng mileage. Yun pala, may ambisyong maging senadora!

Nadulas pa sa pagsabi noon si de Lima na ipapasa niya sa papalit sa kanya ang susunod na batch ng mga may kaso na may kinalaman kay Napoles, dahil siguro sa planong pag-resign dahil sa kandidatura niya. Subalit maraming pumalag, lalo na ang mga naunang sina Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada at Juan Ponce Enrile, kaya napilitan din siyang ihain na ang kaso. Ganoon pa man, marami pa ring kaso ang hindi nabigyan ng malinaw na direksiyon tulad ng SAF 44 Massacre o Mamasapano Case, at Maguindanao Massacre na kinasasangkutan ng mag-aamang Ampatuan. Takot kaya siyang sagasaan ang mga supporter ng mga Ampatuan na namamayagpag pa sa Mindanao? Mga boto din nga naman silang mabibilang kung sakali. Ngayon naman ay sumawsaw sa kaso ng Iglesia ni Cristo ganoong ang daming mahahalagang kasong nakapila!

Si Tolentino naman noon, halos araw-araw noon ay may interbyu, nagpapakita pa na nagmamando ng trapiko….lahat na ng mga gawain tungkol sa pag-ayos ng trapik ay ginawa na, kahit umuulan. Dahil sa mga nakita ng mga tao, inakalang bukod-tangi ang kanyang kasipagan, kaya may mga nagsabi pang mas magaling siya kaysa pinalitan niya. Subalit bandang huli ay hindi na nakita at nagkagulatan na lang ng malamang kasama pala siya ni Pnoy, Roxas at de Lima sa Cebu, samantalanag nagmumurahan ang mga morista at MMDA traffic constables sa Manila. Nang bumandera ang retrato ng isang Obispo na nagtatrapik, malakas ang loob ni Tolentinong mag-imbinta ng media dahil magtatrapik din daw siya! Matindi siya…maaga pa lang ay nagpapakita na ng pagka-trapo. Kung sabagay, bago siya naging Traffic Czar ay galing naman talaga siya sa larangan ng pulitika sa Tagaytay.

Walang masama sa pagkaroon ng ambisyon upang umangat sa larangan ng pulitika, subalit huwag naman sa paraang garapal…dahil nalalagay sa alanganin ang kapakanan ng sambayanan!

Kaya Pala “Nagsisipag” noon si MMDA Chariman Tolentino at DOJ Secretary de Lima…may ambisyon sila

Kaya Pala “Nagsisipag” Noon si MMDA Chairman Tolentino

At DOJ Secretary de Lima…may ambisyon sila

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Malinaw na ang dahilan kung bakit noon ay kapansin-pansin ang pagsisipag nina Tolentino at de Lima – ang ambisyon nilang pumasok sa pulitika. Akala ko noon, normal lang na palagi silang iniinterbyu ng media, yaon pala ay talagang sinadya nila for media mileage.

Si de Lima ay “eager beaver” o sobrang maliksi kaya plano pa lang ang mga gagawin kahit maselan o dapat ay confidential dahil hindi dapat malaman ng “kalaban”, nagpapatawag na siya ng presscon kung saan ay nagbibitaw pa ng banta na pananagutin niya ang mga tiwali. Dahil sa ginagawa niya, ang mga dapat hulihin ay nakakatakas. Ang plano niya noong pagbisita sa Bilibid Prison upang mag-inspection dahil pumutok ang bentahan ng droga ay ibinrodkast kaya pagdating niya sa “loob”, halos wala nang nadatnang ebidensiya maliban sa mga ginawang mga kubol na aircon. Wala mang resulta, natanim naman sa isip ng mga tao na aktibo siya, masipag. Dinagdagan pa ng ibang broadcasts na lalong nagpahaba ng mileage. Yun pala, may ambisyong maging senadora!

Nadulas pa sa pagsabi noon si de Lima na ipapasa niya sa papalit sa kanya ang susunod na batch ng mga may kaso na may kinalaman kay Napoles, dahil siguro sa planong pag-resign dahil sa kandidatura niya. Subalit maraming pumalag, lalo na ang mga naunang sina Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada at Juan Ponce Enrile, kaya napilitan din siyang ihain na ang kaso. Ganoon pa man, marami pa ring kaso ang hindi nabigyan ng malinaw na direksiyon tulad ng SAF 44 Massacre o Mamasapano Case, at Maguindanao Massacre na kinasasangkutan ng mag-aamang Ampatuan. Takot kaya siyang sagasaan ang mga supporter ng mga Ampatuan na namamayagpag pa sa Mindanao? Mga boto din nga naman silang mabibilang kung sakali. Ngayon naman ay sumawsaw sa kaso ng Iglesia ni Cristo ganoong ang daming mahahalagang kasong nakapila!

Si Tolentino naman noon, halos araw-araw noon ay may interbyu, nagpapakita pa na nagmamando ng trapiko….lahat na ng mga gawain tungkol sa pag-ayos ng trapik ay ginawa na, kahit umuulan. Dahil sa mga nakita ng mga tao, inakalang bukod-tangi ang kanyang kasipagan, kaya may mga nagsabi pang mas magaling siya kaysa pinalitan niya. Subalit bandang huli ay hindi na nakita at nagkagulatan na lang ng malamang kasama pala siya ni Pnoy, Roxas at de Lima sa Cebu, samantalanag nagmumurahan ang mga morista at MMDA traffic constables sa Manila. Nang bumandera ang retrato ng isang Obispo na nagtatrapik, malakas ang loob ni Tolentinong mag-imbinta ng media dahil magtatrapik din daw siya! Matindi siya…maaga pa lang ay nagpapakita na ng pagka-trapo. Kung sabagay, bago siya naging Traffic Czar ay galing naman talaga siya sa larangan ng pulitika sa Tagaytay.

Walang masama sa pagkaroon ng ambisyon upang umangat sa larangan ng pulitika, subalit huwag naman sa paraang garapal…dahil nalalagay sa alanganin ang kapakanan ng sambayanan!

Mabuhay ang IGLESIA POWER!…tanda na kaya ito na maaaring magkaisa ang mga simbahan sa Pilipinas?

MABUHAY ang IGLESIA POWER!

…tanda kaya ito na maaaring magkaisa

ang mga simbahan sa Pilipinas?

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Na-“ay mali!” si DOJ Secretary, de Lima nang nagpa-istaring dahil sa personal na paghawak sa kaso ng Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). Akala niya, dahil ang kinilingan niya ay ang sinasabing “original” faction, in the bag na ang suporta para sa kanya at Mar Roxas sa darating na eleksiyon. Hindi niya akalain ang resulta na pagdagsa ng mga supporter ng kasalukuyang nakaupo sa pamunuan ng INC. Ang tawag sa nangyari sa kanya ay “supalpal to the max”…sagad todong kahihiyan!

Bakit ba naman hindi maituturing na kahihiyan, eh malinaw naman talagang “selective justice” ang pinakita niya sa pag-aksiyon agad sa kaso, ganoong napakarami pang nakapila na mas mahalaga, lalo na ang SAF 44 Massacre at Maguindanao Massacre, pati ang dapat na isusunod pang kaso na may kinalaman sa pork barrel.

Sa ginagawa ng INC, pinapakita nito na pagdating sa pagkilos laban sa katiwalian, hindi rin sila napapag-iwananan. Noon kasi, ang EDSA People Power na ikinahihiya na ng maraming sumapi, ay pinangunahan ng mga kasapi sa simbahang Katoliko.

Maganda sana kung magsanib ang dalawang simbahan – Katoliko at INC upang labanan ang katiwalian sa gobyerno…lalong maganda kung sumama na rin ang grupo ng mga Muslim, at charismatic groups. Ang ganitong pagkilos ay pagpapakita ng tunay na kaisahan ng mga Pilipino sa kabila ng pagkakaiba sa pananampalataya. Iisa lang naman ang nilalabanan nila kaya walang dahilan upang hindi sila magkaisa sa puntong ito.

Kung mangyayari ang inaasam na ito…maaari sigurong tawagin itong FILIPINO POWER na talaga!

Hindi lang Dapat sa Passport Ibatay ang Isyu sa Nasyonalismo

Hindi Lang Dapat sa Passport Ibatay

Ang Isyu sa Nasyonalismo

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Walang kapalit ang damdamin at puso sa pagpapatunay ng saloobin ng isang tao pagdating sa isyu ng nasyonalismo. Sa panahon ngayong talamak ang kagutuman sa buong mundo, lahat ng naghihirap na tao ay nakatutok sa ano mang bansa na makakatulong sa kanila, kahit  pa umabot sa puntong isuko nila ang nakagisnang pagkamamayan o citizenship kapalit ng sa bansang kasasadlakan, na kalimitan ay Amerika. Isang malaking sakripisyo para sa isang tao ang magpalit ng citizenship dahil ang nakasalalay ay pangangailangan ng pamilyang naghihirap. Nakakadanas pa siya ng kantiyaw na “mukhang pera” at “mababaw ang kaligayahan”. Subalit lahat ay tinitiis niya sa ngalan ng kanyang mga mahal sa buhay.

Nailabas ko ang ganitong pananaw dahil sa komento ng isang nakabasa ng isinulat ko, na nagsabing kahit nasa ibang bansa daw siya at ang hawak ay hindi na passport ng Pilipinas, nasa puso, damdamin, at isip pa rin daw niya ang pagiging Pilipino. At, ano man daw ang mangyari o nangyayari sa Pilipinas ay handa siyang tumugon. Kahit pa raw sabihing korap ang gobyerno, naniniwala siya na may mangyayaring pagbabago, dahil tao lang naman ang papalitan. Ganoon katindi ang kanyang pagka-Pilipino! Naramdaman ko ang kalagayan niya kaya hindi siya nagkukulang sa pagpahiwatig ng kanyang pagka-Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag-ugnayan niya sa facebook at pagko-comment tungkol sa mga usaping may kinalaman sa mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas. Talo pa niya ang mga nasa Pilipinas na hanggang tanaw lang ang ginagawa, hindi nagpapahiwatig ng kanilang nararamdaman at iniisip – ugaling “parang wala lang”.

Nais ko lamang ipabatid na ang mga sinusulat ko ay tungkol sa korapsyon ng mga taong nagpapatakbo ng gobyerno. Ang kinakalaban ko ay ang sistemang ginawa nila at ang mga batas na pinanukala nila na sinadyang lagyan ng mga butas upang maikutan nila sa paggawa ng mga kaaliwaswasan upang sila ay makapagpayaman. Pinapalabas ko sa mga isinusulat ko na biktima ang Pilipinas kasama na ang mga mahihirap at ordinaryong Pilipino. Hindi nangangahulugang anti-Pilipino ako dahil galit ako sa mga Pilipinong korap. Nagpapasalamat ako at may mga taong nasa ibang bansa na nagpahiwatig din ng kaparehong damdamin, kahit pa ibang passport ang hawak nila ngayon.

Para sa akin, ang passport ay libreta lamang na maaari namang palitan sa anumang pagkakataon, at ito ay gawa lang ng tao….subalit ang pagmamahal sa bayan na nakaukit sa puso, damdamin, at isip ay hindi mawawala hanggang  kamatayan, dahil gawa ito ng Diyos!