The Vicious Cycle of Progress and Poverty

The Vicious Cycle of Progress and Poverty

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Poverty is a mean excuse to do things for easy money by the weak in spirit. But the strong are ready to go hungry in the name of ideals and principles. The exploiters use poverty in blackmailing the unfortunates, one result of which is the dirty election due to rampant vote buying.

 

Exploitation of the illiterates and impoverished also result to virtual land grabbing because they are made to “sell” their ancestral domains to rich real estate developers at below  the decent value level. As subdivisions, golf courses and resorts sprout, the displaced former landowners and the fortune-seekers from other parts of the country huddle in not so far depressed areas with many of them working as low-waged employees of the mentioned business institutions that sprouted.

 

Poverty is the corner where the impoverished are pushed to make a choice between death and survival. Also, when the government alleges progress, poverty trails a few steps behind. Along this line, poverty breeds animosity in a community, especially, on matters of politics. In this regard, while some members of the community are ready to sell their soul for a few pesos in exchange for their vote, others are steadfast in protecting theirs which has always been viewed as a “sacred” right. Even some of the clerics of the Catholic Church have joined the confusion by counseling their members to accept the bribe but vote according to their conscience.

 

As soon as the corrupt candidates are finally put in place, thanks to the rampant vote-buying, in no time at all, they start to engage in schemes designed to insure the “return of their investment”. Projects that involve infrastructures are conceived, supposedly to carry on the “progress”…the bigger project, the better, as assurance for fat commissions. The worst scheme is connivance with non-governmental organizations for ghost projects. While all these things are going on, the suffering constituents see around them towering manifestations of progress in the shadow of which, they cringe in poverty.

 

Progress and poverty are the two forces that push each other to create the never ending loop that goes round and round…a never-ending cycle that plagues the people of the third-world countries such as the Philippines, and the culprit are the “investors” – exploiting nations that promise comfort in exchange for “developments”. Yet, despite the prevailing realities of the time, the rest of third-world nations still bite the bait.

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Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dapat mag-ingat kahit kaunti si Duterte dahil tumitindi ang smear campaign laban sa kanya. Noon ay ang patagong banat sa kanya laban sa kanyang “pambabae” daw at “salvaging”. Mabuti at siya mismo ay nagsalita na tungkol sa mga bagay na ito at umamin pa, kaya wala nang mauukilkil tungkol sa mga ito upang hantarang ibabanat sa kanya. Isa sa mga tinitingnan ngayon ng mga naninira laban sa kanya ay ang ugali niyang pagmumura. Masama mang banggitin, may ginagamit na mga taga-media ang mga kalaban niya kaya sa isang iglap, kalat agad sa buong bansa kung may masambit man siyang pagmumura. Wala tayong magagawa dahil yan ang kalakaran ng pulitika sa Pilipinas.

 

Ang malas, “tinuka” niya ang pain na tanong tungkol sa pagdating ng santo papa, sa pagsagot subalit may kasamang pagmumura. Pinagpipiyestahan ng mga maninira ang ugali niyang pagmumura at pagiging prangka. Dahil sa ginagawa niyang pagmumura ay nagiging tactless siya.

 

May mga taong naging ugali na ang pagmumura kaya automatiko ang pagsambit ng maaanghang na salita na naging bahagi ng kanyang bokabularyo. Dapat baguhin ang ganitong pag-uugali na hindi man dinidekta ng puso ay masama ang epekto lalo sa mga taong banal kuno pero mahilig namang magbanggit ng “for Christ’s sake” o “for God’s sake” na mas matinding blasphemy at laban sa isa sa mga kautusan sa Ten Commandments. Ang mga banal na ito ay nagsa-sign of the cross pa kapag nakarinig ng masama o nakakita ng masama. Bakit hindi na lang sila maglagay ng busal sa mga tenga o di kaya ay maglagay ng pantakip sa mga mata na ginagamit ng mga kutsero sa kanilang kabayo para diretso ang kanilang tingin kapag naglalakad sa kalye? Pero kung marinig lang sila kung murahin nila ang kapitbahay at kasambahay kahit pa kararating lang nila mula sa simbahan dahil dumalo sa misa……..nakuuuu!

 

Upang maipakita ko ang katapatan sa binabahagi ko tungkol sa pagmumura at upang maging makatotohanan ang mga sinasabi ko, aaminin kong nakikita ko ang sarili ko kay Duterte dahil naging bahagi na rin ng pananalita ko ang pagmumura tulad ng “tangna” na pinaiksing “putang ina”, ang “belatibay” na pinaiksing “latibay” upang hindi masyadong maanghang pakinggan, at ang pabulong na “..hit” na sana ay “shit”, pero hindi pa rin nawawala ang “yodiputa”. Tulad ni Duterte, marami rin ang nagalit at nakadanas din ako ng panlilibak dahil sa pagmumura ko. Ang masakit lang, ang iba pala sa kanila ay matindi naman palang manira ng kapwa!

 

Sa mga naging president ng Pilipinas ang kilala sa pagmumura ay si Manuel L. Quezon na ang ginagamit na kataga ay mula sa wikang Kastila…maraming nagalit sa kanya noon lalo na ang mga kasama niya sa gobyerno na karamihan ay nakatikim ng pagmumura mula sa kanya. May dati akong boss na ang ginagamit na salita ay “Jesus Christ” or “Jessezzzz” sabay hawak sa kanyang noo…at ngayon ay malamang kasama na niya dahil namayapa na siya. Yong isang kaibigan ko naman ay paborito ang “damn you” at “go to hell”, patay na rin siya at malamang ay nandoon na rin siya. Yong isa pa ay “demonyo ka” o di kaya ay “demonyo” lang kung walang kausap pero nadapa o nauntog o may nakalimutan sa bahay.

 

Ang pagmumura ay isang paraan upang lumuwag ang naninikip na dibdib ng isang taong galit. Sa halip na lakas ang gamitin niya sa pamamagitan ng pagsuntok sa kausap o manira ng anumang gamit na mahawakan ay dinadaan na lang niya sa pagmumura.  May nasimulan naman sa Japan na pantanggal ng tension na sanhi ng paninikip ng dibdib, at ito ay ang pagsigaw kahit halos namamaos na. Subalit may paraan na ngayon upang mapalitan ang ganitong uri ng paglabas ng galit, sa pamamagitan ng paghinga ng malalim o “deep breathing”. Sa kamalasan, may isa akong kaibigan na sa sobran galit ay pinilit ang sunud-sunod na deep breathing kaya hinimatay dahil na-choke…kinapos ng hangin! Ayaw kong mahimatay tulad niya.

 

Ang problema sa kultura natin na may pagka-colonial pa rin, kapag ang pagmumura ay ginawa sa English o Kastila, parang wala lang ang epekto, pero kung ang pagmumura ay ginawa na sa Pilipino, ang nakakarinig, lalo na mga banal daw ay para nang natapunan ng ipot ng pusa sa mukha. Hindi ko sinasabing hindi masama ang pagmumura. Subalit dapat ay maghinay-hinay sa paghusga sa mga taong nagmumura. Mabuti nga lumabas ang masamang salita lang mula sa kanya, hindi tulad ng ibang nagbabanal-banalan na ang masamang ugali ay nagkakaugat sa puso nila at diwa kaya habang tumagatal ay yumayabong pa. Ang pagmumura namang inilalabas ay walang pagkakataong yumabong dahil….yon nga, ibinuga na ng bibig!

 

Narinig ang tape tungkol sa pagmumura ni Duterte sa santo papa, kaya malinaw na ginawa nga niya. Isa itong maituturing na “tactlessness” o kawalan ng pasubali o ugaling bara-bara sa salitang kanto….na talagang mali. Subalit si Duterte ay kilala sa paghalo ng mga biro sa kanyang pananalita, kaya malamang, para sa kanya ay joke ang sinabi niya….pero joke na masama o hindi nararapat dahil si Francs bilang pinakamataas na lider ng simbahang Katoliko ay tinuturing na banal kay tinawag na “santo papa”.

 

Kilalal sa pagbiro ang mga Bisaya, na kahit maanghang sa pandinig ay hindi naman bukal sa kalooban ng nagsabi, tulad ng pabirong “gi-atay ka”  o “lilinti-an ka” na ang mga kahulugan ay ayaw ko na lang sabihin. Mabuti na rin ang ginawang pagpuna kay Duterte, para hindi isipin ng santo papa na tino-tolerate ng mga Pilipino ang ganitong ugali…at baka hindi na siya magsalita ng blessing sa Pilipino tuwing mamintana upang magbasbas sa mga taong nag-aabang sa kanya.

 

Pero, sa isang banda, kung papipiliin ako sa pagitan ng isang taong nagmumura subalit ang layunin ay magkaroon ng pagbabago sa isang sistema ng gobyerno na may makapal na kulapol ng korapsyon at may napatanuyan na, at sa isang taong namang dahilan ng kagutuman at kahirapan ng buong bayan dahil sa kawalan ng malasakit, kahit hindi pa nagmumura at animo ay larawan ng pagkabanal at pagka-santo na pagkukunwari lang pala….ang pipiliin ko ay ang nagmumura!

 

Ang ginawa ni Duterte kahit pa maituturing na joke ay patunay sa binitiwan niyang babala noon na kung maging presidente siya ay wala siyang sasantuhin….kaya humanda na sila!

 

Naisahan ni Duterte ang mga Detractors sa Pag-amin ng mga Ginawa Niya…hindi siya Plastic tulad ng Iba!

Naisahan ni Duterte ang Mga Detractors niya sa Pag-amin

ng mga ginawa niya…hindi siya plastic tulad ng Iba!

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa pinakahuling sinabi ni Duterte, walang kagatul-gatol na inamin  niyang nagkaroon siya ng iba pang asawa at dinispatsa niya ang mga masasama. Ano pa ngayon ang uukilkilin sa pagkatao niya dahil ang mga bagay na ito ang mga pinag-iinitan ng mga mapagkaunwari niyang detractors na kalaban sa pulitika?

 

Sino ngayon ang asal-demonyo, si Duterte ba na ang mga babaeng naging bahagi ng kanyang buhay ay hindi niya itinuring na “kabit” kundi napamahal din sa kanya kaya hindi niya pinabayaan sa pamamagitan ng kaya niyang sustento kahit maliit lang…o ang ibang mga opisyal ng gobyernong nakaupo ngayon na maipakita lang na kunwari ay “macho” ay kung sinu-sino ang pinapalabas sa media na “kabit” nila… o lalo na yong mga walang konsiyensiyang pagkatapos buntisin ang nagsmasahe sa kanila sa massage parlor o nai-table sa beer house ay basta iiwanan, o di kaya ay makapagsustento lang ng malaki sa kerida ay nangungurakot sa kaban ng bayan?

 

Sino ngayon ang asal-demonyo, si Duterte ba na umaming nagdispatsa ng mga salot sa lipunan na maski ilang ulit nang ikinulong ay nakakalabas pa rin dahil sa piyansa ng mga big time financiers nila, kaya nakakapangholdap pa rin at nakakapagbenta ng droga na ikinasasama ng mga kabataan (take note: hindi sapat na “umamin” kaya guilty na siya, dahil legally ay wala pang napatunayang may dinispatsa siya, at malamang ay “good riddance” pa para sa mga kaanak ng mga dinispatsa na nakabistong sila ay masama talaga kaya hindi na nagreklamo pa)…o ang mga magnanakaw na mga opisyal na hindi na nakaisip na dahil sa ginagawa nila ay marami ang nagugutom at naghihirap, sa pamamagitan ng mga ghost projects at paggamit ng mga ghost NGO o di kaya ay pakikipagsabwatan sa mga ito?

 

Sino ngayon ang asal-demonyo, si Duterte ba na upang ma-monitor ang nangyayari sa lunsod na kanyang pinamumunuan (Davao City) ay nagmaneho din ng taxi sa gabi upang personal na makita ang tunay na sitwasyon…o, ang mga walanghiyang opisyal ng gobyerno na bahagi na ng pagkatao nila ang pagsisinungaling at pagmamagaling, ganoong kaya lang naman nasa katungkulan ay dahil sa dinadala nilang apelyido…o yong ni hindi nakaranas na maipit ng trapik sa EDSA…o nakatikim ng NFA rice?

 

Iba ang sitwasyon ng Davao kung ihambing sa ibang bayan o lunsod. Pinagtataguan ito ng mga taong tumatakas sa batas dahil may ginawang kasalanan sa kung saan mang lalawigan, bayan, o lunsod na nakapaligid ditong pinanggalingan nila. Pinamumugaran din ito ng mga NPA, lalo na sa Agdao isang slum area na nasa tabing- dagat, na kung tawagin noon ay “Nicaragdao”. Ang mga nakatira sa Davao ay nabibilang sa iba’t ibang kulturang Pilipino,  tulad ng Maranao, Maguindanao, Tausug, Badjao, mga tribu ng Lumad, at mga dayo galing sa Visayas at Luzon – lahat sila ay dapat pakisamahan at asikasuhin ng patas. Hindi din nalalayo ang sitwasyon ng Davao sa iba pang lugar na may mga drug pusher. Ngayon, hindi man 100% na tahimik o crime-free ay masasabing kontrolado na nang umupo si Duterte bilang mayor. Ang dating magulong Agdao ngayon ay tahimik na…panatag na ang kalooban ng mga naglalakad sa lunsod kahit hatinggabi…walang manlolokong taxi driver.

 

Walang mawawala kay Duterte kung ipilit ng administrasyon na i-disqualify siya na halata naman kahit pa sabihin ng Malakanyang na hindi sila nakikialam sa desisyon ng COMELEC. Hindi na tanga ang taong-bayan upang hindi masakyan ang mga sinasabi ng grupo ni Pnoy. Ayaw lang ng taong bayan na magkaroon uli ng mga marahas na pagkontra dahil wala din namang magandang mangyayari, tulad ng nakakahiyang resulta ng “EDSA People Power”, na bandang huli ay halos isumpa ng mga taong nagising sa katotohanan. Hindi bulag ang taong-bayan upang hindi makita ang mga nilangaw na selebrayson ng people power kuno na ito, dahil ang mga dumalo ay mga kamag-anak ng mga Aquino at mga crony nila na lumipat lang mula sa kampo ni Ferdinand Marcos noon, kaya hanggang Ayala lang sila tuwing mag-celebrate.

 

Natataranta ngayon lahat ng nasa oposisyon dahil biglang sumirit ang popularidad ni Duterte at naungusan niya ng milya-milya si Poe, isang araw lang pagkatapos niyang magdeklarang tatakbo sa pagka-pangulo. Malas na lang ng mga huling nag-over the bakod dahil mismong si Duterte ang umayaw sa kanila. Natataranta sila dahil inamin ni Duterte na walang problema kung si Bongbong Marcos ang ka-tandem niya, na alam ng lahat, na ang hatak ay “solid north”, at malaki-laki ring bahagi ng Visayas at Mindanao. Hindi maikakaila na marami pa ring namamayagpag na Marcos loyalist groups.

 

Baka sabihin ng mga detractor ni Duterte na hindi siya maka-Diyos. Tamaan na ng kidlat ang magsabi niyan, lalo na ang mga nakaupo ngayon sa puwesto! Sila ang hindi maka-Diyos na dapat ay tusukin ng kidlat dahil nasilaw sa perang ninakaw nila sa kaban ng bayan at hindi na nagsawa sa mga oportunidad na halos wala na yatang katapusan sa pagdaloy at tinatamasa nila habang sila ay nasa kapangyarihan!

 

Bilang huling hirit, baka naman sabihin ng mga desperadong mapanira na hindi macho si Duterte o di kaya ay anak ito ng pari o di kaya ay anak sa pagkakasala ng isang artista, o ng isang na-rape na madre o di kaya ay kapatid sa labas ni Ferdinand Marcos sa labandera nila, para lang may mabanggit. Ang pinakamagandang gawin sana ng mga nagmamagaling pero kuwestiyonable din naman ang pagkatao ay magpaka-disente na lang sa pangangampanya…huwag ipaling ang mga sinasabi sa mga personal na bagay. Sa halip, sana ang gawin ng mga nangangampanya ay magpaliwanag tungkol sa mga plano nilang gagawin kung sakaling manalo, tulad ng sinasabi palagi ni Duterte kung ano ang gagawin niya sa mga drug lords, mga nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, etc! Huwag silang magpakita ng mala-demonyong ugali at pagkagahaman sa puwestong inaasam ngayon pa lang, kahit hindi pa tapos ang 2015!

A Question on COMELEC’s Credibility

A Question on COMELEC’s Credibility

by Apolinario Villalobos

In the Philippines, it is disheartening to note that offenses are seemed tolerated or allowed to circumvent laws. Also, despite the strong indications of misdeeds, these are let pass due to the absence of laws, but no effort is being made for their formulation.

For instance, the obvious and early campaigning of those who are interested to run during the 2016 election is not considered an offense against electioneering because they have not filed their respective candidacy, yet, and what they are doing is not within the campaign period. How can the Commission on Election be so naïve not to understand what is happening, when even an ordinary Filipino knows that what these people are doing is plain and simple campaigning?

If COMELEC has to maintain its image as “guardian” of honest elections in the country, why can’t it come up with a policy or enhance its already existing ones to put a stop to the mentioned fraudulent practice which is making a fool of the Filipino people? How can COMELEC maintain obsolete rules that tolerate unbecoming practices that smack of deception?

The Filipinos also cannot understand why the COMELEC fail to come up with their judgments against erring overspending candidates immediately after every election when all that its people need to do is tabulate the expenses of candidates to check the total against what is allowed. To say that they are undermanned is foolishness, as this kind of hectic activity is anticipated, hence, budget for such is supposed to be appropriated for contracting auditors which is necessary. What is irritating is that their findings are released as the questioned officials are nearing the end of their term!…or when another election is forthcoming! Worst, COMELEC waits for an interested party to lodge a complaint before conducting an investigation, when it is holding on to the basis for election frauds! If that is the rule, why not change it?

Finally, while the COMELEC as an agency has a mandate, the big question is if the people who are administering it are capable and trustworthy!

The Philippines needs a Strongman as President…could it be Duterte?

The Philippines needs a Strongman as President

…could it be Duterte?

By Apolinario Villalobos

With threats from within and outside, the Philippines needs a strongman. By strongman, it means that such a guy should be respectable and with a tested conviction.

From within, the country reels from the overpowering and pestering corruption since the first day of its self-governance. From outside, the country is perceived as lame because of its equally weak leadership. That is the sad state of the country today. No amount of made up report about its “progress” printed in bold black figures has been able to lend an impressive image of the country, as the objective of such report is obviously to encourage the government to borrow more money from lending countries that are salivating at the prospect of its continued indebtedness.

Illegal drug business is having a grand time in the country and crime is steadily on the rise. Illegal mining financed by foreigners in cahoots with corrupt local officials is left unchecked. Poverty and unemployment are practically gnawing up the economic foundation of the country. The educational system is so unreliable, that instead of alleviating the lot of the youth, it has contributed to their shock and confusion due to exploitive schemes of educational institutions resulting from redundant course offerings.

Juveniles are left out on the streets, harassing unsuspecting citizens, and while enjoying sniffs of rugby from bottles and small plastic pouches. On the other hand, the agencies that are supposed to be overflowing with programs for this segment of the population just look the other way. They remove these urchins from the streets only when foreign visitors are coming.

I mentioned in my earlier blogs, Duterte who practically, gave Davao City a 24-degree turnaround with his conviction in implementing the law. Agdao which was known before his time as “Nicaragdao” due to heinous crimes even at daytime, now sports a new genteel image. For a big and veritable tourist destination in Mindanao, curfew is being strictly observed with much respect, together with the non-smoking in public places. Literally, Davao is the only city in the country that celebrates Christmas silently, albeit, with much solemnity, due to the strictly imposed firecracker ban until the eve of New Year.

Some quarters are wary that, although, Duterte has proved his worth as Mayor of Davao City, its scope is just a minuscule compared to that of the Philippines as a nation on matters of “control”, especially, on the personages that comprise the administration. It should be noted that corruption is not limited to heads of offices but subordinates, as well. Add to this the two halls of lawmakers – Congress and Senate, whose support is very necessary. Will the two houses which are immensely enjoying their “benefits” cooperate with a “straight” President in the person of Duterte, just in case? Will the well-entrenched corrupt personalities exchange their monetary benefits for “idealism”?

As dictated by dirty Philippine political tradition, in case Duterte wins, lawmakers will surely change their color again so that they can meld with him. If this happens, will Duterte maintain his steadfastness as a no-nonsense leader, thereby, prove himself as really, a strongman? Personally, I know, he will.

Duterte is the person who qualifies as a leader at the right moment which is 2016, a decisive and tumultuous year for the country. He may not have an experience as a governor, a congressman, a senator, or even as vice-president, but any person on the street knows that most of those who filled those positions are corrupt and even naïve. Of what use then, is having an experience in those positions, before one can become president?

The Binay Camp has ran out of gimmicks against Poe…so it resorted to the adoption issue

The Binay Camp has ran out of gimmicks against Poe

….so it resorted to the adoption issue

By Apolinario Villalobos

Desperate is how the Binay camp can be described in its effort to disintegrate the persona of Grace Poe as the formidable opponent of Jejomar Binay in his quest for the presidential post. With nothing else to throw to her face, they used the adoption issue…and the technicalities, yet! The spokesperson of the Binay camp sounded dolefully as its spokesperson, read a litany of technical errors on the adoption process, especially, on the date that Grace Poe was adopted by a yet-to-be-married Susan Roces and Fernando Poe, hence, a question on their “capability” to adopt as “unmarried persons” which shows their lack of “parental personality”.

Whoever thought of such strategy clearly is out of his mind, as it just drives voters to the side of Poe because of the Filipino culture that makes them love the underdog and the oppress. Not even the issue on “inexperience” can be used against Poe, as not all presidents of the Philippines or any country for that matter did not become vice-presidents first. The primary issues on the forthcoming 2016 election are “cleanliness” and “integrity”.

In the Philippines, the experience of the president who held several elected positions in the past, especially, vice-presidency, clearly show that it did not help in improving the situation of the country. On the contrary, because of the experience which is heavily tainted with learned corruption, the situation of the country just got worse. How much more if a guy has decades of such kind of “experience”?

What Osmena, Roxas and Pnoy should Do to Help the Country at this Time

What Osmeῆa, Roxas and Pnoy

Should Do to Help the Country at this Time

By Apolinario Villalobos

On Osmeῆa….he should stop analyzing the presidential capability of Grace Poe, even declaring that she is just good for the vice-presidency. Osmeῆa, himself, has proved nothing as a lawmaker so he is not in the position to judge his fellow politicians. It is a good thing that Grace Poe fought back by saying that many so-called seasoned politicians assumed responsible positions but proved to be just disappointments due to their misdoings. Osmeῆa should open his eyes and ears to understand the message of Poe.

On Roxas….he should stop talking like a puppet echoing the “tuwid na daan” and “reforms” that are the daily mumblings of Pnoy, his boss, to whom he kowtows with all loyalty and sincerity. Roxas is just showing his lack of backbone in all his statements and actions. He should come up with his own platform that may be related to what his boss promised but did not accomplish, if that is what he wants to do – at least he can be original somehow. He should prove that he has his own will power, and not a copycat.

On Pnoy….he should stop talking about his “tuwid na daan” and “reforms” because Filipinos have not seen anything yet that can give substance to those promises. All he showed was insensitivity to the popular clamor of the populace to remove from their positions his inept and questionably performing buddies. Because of his inaction, the country slid miserably more into helplessness. The guy’s promises have been proven to be shams that just became butts of joke. Corruption under his administration got worse, and even assumed a somewhat legal image. He may not be corrupt, himself, but his tolerance of such misdoing makes him one, as he is aware and even becomes a party. If he is not aware of this, it just proves that he is not really listening to his “bosses” as he promised. Unsavory stories about his attitude never fail to fill to pages of tabloid and broadsheets, even the airwaves.

Of late, it has been discovered that the much and perpetually questioned pork barrel is again inserted in the 2016 budget. Is this what Pnoy is saying about his “reforms”? What reform is he talking about when he is obviously tolerating the commission of corruption? He must stop talking about his two trademarks to give relief to the Filipinos who are getting tired of his mumblings!