beyond gma

September 2, 2009

everytime a presidential election looms up, the scenario of a no-el always comes up. this time, it’s the automated election and the con-ass (or charter change or whatever they prefer to call it). for the automated election scenario, it may well be looked upon as sourgraping for those who are rooting for their own favored consortium or fear by some that it may change the whole electoral equation as massive cheating may now be eliminated. and if massive cheating is not prevented even with the automated counting of votes , well, so what? we’ve been so calloused and so used to it for as long as our collective memory can recall. as for the con-ass, i hope against hope that gma still has some decency, however small (pun not intended), left in her to leave malacanang at her appointed time. now that we all saw the masses of people who grieved and braved the rains to see the funeral cortege of pres aquino, we can probably bury con-ass as well.

and now that we can move on to a future without gloria, the question we might as well ask ourselves is what lies ahead after gloria. surely, there is no rosy future for our country, at least not in the short term. it still is the same bleak prospect that this nation will be facing. no alleviation of poverty. no graft-free bureaucracy. no change in the quality of our public servants. we can go on and on and quantify the ills that beset our society and, no question about it, our country will still be in the same situation it has been – a poor, graft-ridden country whose self-proclaimed public leaders equate public service to enrichment of their own selves at the expense of the taxpayers and live a life that will make caligula green with envy.

in the face of this grave situation, there is one good news. malacanang will have a new occupant come 2010. democracy is alive and the tyranny that has threatened this poor nation once again has been finally put to its rightful end. for indeed, gma is, so far, the worst president this country has ever seen since the late dictator ferdinand marcos. she is even worse than her disgraced predecessor who as we all know is a convicted plunderer. at least, erap had no intention of clinging on to power beyond his term unlike gloria who not only plunders but planned on plundering more beyond her term of office.

during gloria’s eight-year reign, we have been witnesses to her insincerities (remember her bagiuo i-won’t-run speech add to this when she appeared on tv after the garci fiasco and apologized for her indiscretion but not for the cheating), the high number of media personalities murdered, the resurgence of human rights violations (the melo commission just came short of accusing these violations as state-sponsored policy), denials of what were the obvious (garci tete-a-tete), using legalities for immoral gains, her dictatorial tendencies and unlawful executive orders (eo 464 et al) and most of all the corruption under her administration. what made all of these more galling, mind-blowing, unacceptable and insulting to the filipino people was the way gma and her people handled all these fiascos, from the massive cheating thanks to garci, the jose pidal scandal, the nbn-zte scandal to the latest P1M dinner at new york (to name a few) with flimsy and poorly thought excuses as if implying that she can get away with whatever improprieties she may or would want to commit. it is as if the words shame, decency, dignity and delicadeza are not part of the president’s vocabulary. one can only surmise what kind of upbringing and education she had in her formative years. for intelligence alone does not define what an excellent leader should be.

having a president and so-called public leaders with such low moral standards, is it then a surprise why we filipinos would go follow the example of our so-called leaders? we can see this in our midst and in our daily lives and experiences. in a traffic situation, one would see a car zooming ahead creating a counter-flow. policemen and the lowly mmda, mapsa, pasay chocolate boys accepting bribes in exchange for a ticket violation. judges fixing cases for the accused. this is also true with those tax collectors, customs and immigration officials, land transportation officials and most government bureacrats. and why not? if the highest official in the land together with her husband and their circle of immoral friends can get away with it, why not them? somehow, in our own way of thinking, it is alright to do it as long as our role models do it. perversion is truly contagious.

and what role models these people are! ever since marcos, we have seen these high officials getting rich from graft and people’s money with impunity. in fact, being a congressman, a senator (with the probable exception of juan flavier) or a president has become such a lucrative business that others have tried to become one. it is no wonder why some has-been actors and actresses, now that the local movie industry is practically non-existent, have been trying for some time to make a career change from being thespians to instant politicians. one even stated that having immersed himself with an urban poor community for a week while making a film with these people made him see the problems affecting the country. this guy is a genius! a week with an urban poor community and he already has the solutions to the problems of this country. it was such a relief that he lost his bid for the senate and is now a popular host of a singing contest where he really belongs. the senate today is a far cry from the senate of yesteryears were the likes of diokno, tanada, recto and salonga made the senate a truly respectable institution. today, we have the likes of leon guerrero, jinggoy and jamby the usurper and a few more that does not deserve the rightful respect of the people. what future as a people do we have with these people in the senate? what future do we have with all those bozos in the congress spending their pork barrels as if it is their own?

which reminds me of that fresh doctor who topped the medical board exam years ago and who opted to go to the u.s. as a nurse instead of practicing and helping his fellow countrymen as a doctor here in his own country. can we blame him for his decision to migrate to u.s. as a nurse? who are we to judge him when all he wanted to do was to improve the quality of his life and help his family in the philippines. at the rate things are going, one is tempted to ask if one needs a visa to timbuktu.

we are so proud to be a filipino when there is really nothing to be proud of. for every boxing match won, for every revered leader that passed away, for every fil-am that was elected to a state legislature, we beat our chests and declare our pinoy pride. why? how many leaders past and present can we really be proud of? how many achievements can we count on as a people that we can truly be proud of? why is it that we cling to these things as if these are the things that will bind us as a people? is it because, underneath this veneer of chest-beatingt, there is a sense of desperation within us all that there is really nothing that we can claim as our own and thus cling on these achievements as national pride however misplaced these feelings are? you don’t see an american declaring ‘i am proud to be an american’ do you? never see an american declare he or she is proud to be an american just because floyd mayweather floored a non-american. because they don’t need to! it’s all there for the world to see.

we have become a nation of migrants, of thugs and thieves, and a people who refuse to acknowledge the state that we are in. we have been in denial, as a nation, for a long time. we have chosen to be blind in the face of contiuing poverty, corruption and misgovernance .we are a nation that is politically, economically and morally bankrupt. our leaders, past and present, have denied us our potential as a people and as a nation. we, too, as a people, have denied ourselves that same potential to be a nation that is just, free and prosperous.

what this country needs now is short of a miracle. a true leader who has the political will to rid the government of corruption, implement unpopular but much needed reform in our political system and most of all, uphold the law of the land without any qualms. and more importantly, we need, as an individual and as a people, to reform ourselves if we really want this nation to move forward.

we don’t need heroes. we have enough of them to remind us of who we were. we need leaders who will remind us who we are and who we should be.

and as for gloria, senator, congresswoman or private citizen, immunity from prosecution or none, there is a time for reckoning. there always is.