A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups
By Apolinario Villalobos
Even during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, there were already problems with China as regards the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, separatist movements and kidnapping in Mindanao, as well as, with Malaysia as regards Sabah, and most especially, corruption in the government. The same problems were inherited by subsequent administrations. But the “nationalistic” groups were more concerned in shouting invectives against America in front of the US Embassy and in burning effigies of American and Filipino presidents. They did not lift a finger in helping the government in its effort to recover Sabah, and not a single rally was held in front of the Chinese Embassy to express their revulsion over the issue on West Philippine Sea. Not even a question was raised as regards the effectiveness of the military against the separatist movement and kidnappings in Mindanao because of its inadequate facilities due to misused funds intended for its modernization. These groups cannot even lay claim on the success in deposing Marcos, because the religious groups and ordinary citizens were the ones responsible for such success.
Despite the open reclamations of China in the West Philippine Sea, these groups were silent, although, belatedly, they somehow held a lightning rally or two, after such, nothing was heard from them again. Despite the ongoing activities of the Abu Sayyaf and separatist groups in Mindanao, they remained silent. The overly grisly Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres did not entice them a bit to make a move to show their support to the victims. Despite the moving of justice system at a snail’s pace and unabated proliferation of foreign “investors” who are exploiting the natural resources around the country, nothing is heard from them, too. And despite the blatant control of domestic medium-scale trading in the country by these foreign “investors”, still nothing is heard from these groups.
After the announcement of the Supreme Court’ decision favoring the legality of the US military presence in the country, these groups suddenly came to life. They maintain their claim that such decision shall lead to the construction of the permanent US bases in the country when in fact, nothing of that sort is mentioned in the agreement.
They claim that the continued presence of the American soldiers in the country will lead to the revival of sex- related industry which is not true. Even without the presence of US bases, there is uncontrolled proliferation of the sex trade via the internet, bars and massage parlors, even in the decent districts of Metro Manila. But still, if they want, they can knock at the doors of Congress and Senate for laws that shall control this kind of industry, and which should be appropriate for the time. On the other hand, they are supposed to know that even the local government can control such industry. And, just what have they done on the issue of poverty that contributed to the fast growth of such industry in the country? They should caution the sex workers if they are really bent on helping their countrymen involved in sex trade which needs to be treated as a separate issue, instead of using this alibi in pursuing their “nationalistic” objective. They seem to be blind to the fact that various sex deals are flourishing even without the issue on the US military presence in the Philippines due to weak national laws and LGU regulations that reek with corrupt motives.
What dedication to advocacy are they talking about when some of them are even holding passports stamped with US visa? If these groups are really serious in their advocacy, why don’t they hold rallies against the ongoing corruption in the country and the vote-buying, a political tradition that got deeply-entrenched in the Filipino culture? Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of department secretaries who are being questioned on the issues of smuggling, ghost NGOs, drug trafficking, illegal recruitment, and deplorable state of mass transit facilities such as LRT and MRT, etc. Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of the president, if they find him to be ineffective just like what was done during the time of Marcos? Why don’t they hold rallies against the unfulfilled promise of the government to modernize the military facilities after prime public properties were sold to foreign investors? Why don’t they picket outside the detention facilities where the Ampatuans are, to show their disgust over the hideous crime that they purportedly committed? These are what the Filipinos want to see and expect from them, as they claim to be “nationalistic” and pro-Filipino.
Obviously, the Philippines has been under a long-tested democracy which unfortunately proved ineffective due to its loop-holed system that led to the propagation of various forms of corruption. And, this is what the left-wing groups want to be changed to a more “nationalistic” system. But what do they mean by “nationalistic”?…a communism-inspired system?
By the way, I just want to make myself clear that not all nationalistic Filipinos have a communistic mentality.
“Maliit na bagay…”: bagong kasabihan ng Presidente ng Pilipinas
(tungkol sa mga isyu ng “tanim-bala” at “Maguindanao Massacre”)
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Ayon sa matalinong presidente ng Pilipinas, maliit na bagay lang daw ang isyu tungkol sa tanim-bala sa airport at pinalaki lang ng media. Para sa kanya, maliit palang bagay ang mga sumusunod na ilan lang sa mga nangyari dahil sa eskandalong ito:
Ang mawalan ng trabaho sa ibang bansa ang isang pasaherong hindi nagbigay ng suhol kaya pinigilang sumakay sa kanyang flight.
Ang halos ikamatay ng isang matandang pasahero ang ginawang pagbintang na nagbibitbit siya ng bala.
Ang kahihiyang idinulot ng pagposas agad sa isang may katandaan nang pasaherong babae dahil lang sa iisang balang nakita daw sa kanyang bagahe.
Ang mapagtawanan ang Pilipinas ng buong mundo dahil pati ang inosenteng bala ay ginawang kasangkapan sa pangingikil, kaya ang kahihiyang ito ay ginawan pa ng isang TV show sa Japan.
Ang maalipusta ng mga banyaga na ang tingin sa Pilipino ay hindi mapapagkatiwalaan.
Ang masira ang imahe ng bansa pagdating sa turismo dahil pati mga banyagang turista ay hindi pinatawad ng mga nangingikil sa airport.
Ang maungkat uli ang literal na mabahong amoy sa mga airport dahil sa mga sirang gripo, baradong inuduro at tadtad ng mantsang mga lavatory o lababo, kaya hindi na nawala ang black eye ng tourism industry ng bansa na hindi na nga nakakasabay kahit lang sa mga kapit-bansa na kasapi sa ASEAN.
Pinsan ng pangulo ang nakaupong General Manager ng MIAA, na tahasang nagsasabing wala siyang pakialam sa pangkabuuhang operasyon ng airport sa kabila ng ipinakita na sa kanyang responsibilidad na nakapaloob sa isang kauutusan. Bakit hindi na lang siya mag-resign upang mapalitan ng talagang may kaalaman sa pagpapatakbo ng airport? Kung may pagmamahal siya sa pinsan niyang matalinong president, dapat umalis na siya upang mabawasan naman ang bigat na nakapatong sa balikat nito – mga problemang siya rin ang may gawa.
Ang Maguindanao Massacre na ilang araw lang ang nakaraan ay umabot na sa ika-anim na taon ay malamang “maliit na bagay” lang din para sa matalinong pangulo. Nakalimutan yata niyang isa ito sa mga pinangako niyang matutuldukan noong siya ay nangangampanya pa lang. Nakakatawa pa sila sa Malakanyang dahil ngayong araw na ito lang, November 24, nagbigay ng “reminder” sa Department of Justice na “bilisan” kuno ang pagpausad sa gulong ng hustisya para sa mga namatayan!
Maliit din sigurong bagay ang pag-appoint niya ng mga kakilala, kaeskwela, at kung ano pang kakakahan sa mga sensitibong puwesto sa iba’t ibang ahensiya. Mabuti na lang at kahit paano ay nabistong ang palagi niyang sinusumbat na cronyism kay Gloria Arroyo ay ginagawa din pala niya – mas matindi pa! Bumaba man siya sa puwesto, hindi siya makakalimutan ng mga Pilipino dahil sa pagduduro niya ng isang daliri kay Gloria, samantalang ang tatlo pa ay nakaturo naman sa kanya!
Para sa isang taong hindi nakadanas ng kahirapan, lahat ng bagay sa mundo ay maliit dahil malamang, iniisip niyang lahat ito may katumbas na pera!…o hindi kaya dahil lang sa talagang ugali niyang walang pakialam sa kanyang kapwa?
A Call to De-politicize Government Agencies
And Dissolve Non-performing Ones
By Apolinario Villalobos
A monumental accomplishment of the Philippine government could be the de-politicizing of agencies and dissolving non-performing ones. There is a need to gauge the performance of all government agencies, to check their relevance and duplication of functions. But first, priority should be given to the de-politicizing of all agencies by putting a stop to Presidential appointments. What is the use of having civil service eligibilities and career service program if worthy government employees are bypassed by Presidential appointees?
The Career Service Officers who are spending the best years of their life in agencies deserve promotions when there are opportunities. They have the necessary expertise and knowledge of the jobs for the smooth operation of agencies, unlike the neophyte appointees whose credential for the job to which they are appointed is only the friendship with the President. To put it bluntly, I am referring to the agency “heads” with category of Secretary, and their assistants with the category of Undersecretary, as well as, the lesser agencies headed by Commissioners.
This traditional practice of “accommodating” Presidential friends in sensitive positions in the government gives nothing to the overall administration of the highest executive of the country but disaster. The latest glaring manifestation of this bad side of Filipino culture due to “gratitude” system, is the Benigno Aquino III administration. From the first day of his stay in Malacaῆan palace to the present, all that he gained for accommodating friends in his administration are headaches.
Worth mentioning in this regard is the Commission on Human Rights which others say deserves to be dissolved outright for not only being a non-performer but, contributes as well, in embarrassing the administration no end, with its out-of-tune pronouncements, the latest of which is its “report” about Mamasapano massacre. Aside from the non-performing Commission on Human Rights which most often is overshadowed by mere human rights NGOs, there are other agencies which have been created to accommodate “friends” despite their irrelevance and duplication of function of the already existing ones.
De-politicizing government agencies will free them from the influence of any political party, especially, the sitting President responsible for the appointment of their heads, aside from their being used as part of the machinery during campaign and election.
The only question now is what branch of the government has the mandate to take the initiative in making the move….shall it be the Executive, Legislative, or Judiciary? With the seemingly dysfunctional government of the Philippines, such that it cannot even resolve the issue on mayoralty in Makati City, can we expect something, at least….good enough?