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Budol-Budol Governance (Part 3): The True State of the False State

We see it every time election season kicks off. Aspiring leaders talk about the nation, each conveying their own perspective. Each with his own “take” on what ails the country, they go about asserting their own solution as the best cure.

Decoy Dilemmas

Some say the problem is a flawed Constitution, and changing it would be the answer. Some believe the problem is the unequal distribution of wealth caused by the ethnocentricity of "Imperial Manila", the remedy to which is a dramatic shift to a federal form of government. Some are convinced that allowing 100% foreign ownership of Philippine real estate will spur a big enough economic boom to sustain a progressive momentum. Some contend that democracy only aggrandizes chaos, laziness and entitlement, for which a stern dictatorship, even Martial Law, would be the answer. Some point to the problem of narco-politics, and the need to eliminate drug dealers and addicts from Philippine streets, even if it requires killing millions of them. Some claim that communist insurgents and Islamic extremists are relentlessly sabotaging Philippine progress and thus must be stopped at all cost. Some maintain that student activists, government critics, the political opposition and free media––all contribute to an incessant cancel culture that conjures up a negative image of the Philippines and repels foreign investors. Others believe the problem is the amalgamation of all the aforementioned, and only a veteran politician with toughness, smarts and savvy can see it through. But the observant and those who truly understand Philippine society know that all these supposed problems are just the misconstrued ramifications of what has long endured as the Philippines' foremost predicament. They are but phantoms made to obscure the awful truth.

​Land of the Corrupt

If we look beyond the labyrinth of debates, we'll see that the Philippine dilemma is actually a no-brainer. Corruption is the Philippines' problem. It's as plain as that. For several decades now, corruption has been this country's principal stumbling block. Unaddressed for so long, it has worsened to a point that is probably already beyond redemption.

"In a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves, bankruptcy of the nation is the inevitable result."

It isn't a case of just a few bad apples. It isn't even a case of a lot of bad apples. The apple tree itself is already festering to the roots...with all sorts of vermin exacerbating the rot by the day.

It’s quite apparent that the Philippine government is not anymore a functioning democracy, and might already be a failing state. What is in place is a sham, a fake government pretending to be a democracy but is, in actuality, a kleptocracy, a government of thieves. Whatever made it a democracy before is today almost non-existent. It's been overran by a band of plunderers and traitors out for their own gain and not for the people's. What remains is but a semblance of democracy, which is maintained by kleptocrats so they could legitimize their power over the people. Many Filipinos are not aware of this. But a quick Google search on “examples of countries that are a kleptocracy” and the Philippines will turn up on several results.

Kleptocrats rule the Philippines. That’s the sad reality. These people are not really into public service or advancing national interests. Their main concerns are to enrich themselves with the people’s money, and then perpetuate their power through political dynasties. They do this by embezzling the public with various scams, ignoring constitutional safeguards, disenfranchising the people's rights, and using government authority for personal ends. They conspire to insulate each other from prosecution. They are united as thieves. What they hate are people with integrity. They will use all their combined power to prevent an honorable government from ascending, for this will be their doom. Anything that might bring about good government is denied, terminated or utilized pretentiously as a facade. Hence, an extensive culture of corruption is established.

Plunderer-friendly by Design

The need for accountability in public service has been thrashed. That goes for all branches of government. Shameless crooks now lord over the country as “untouchables”. They’ve retrofitted our laws to accommodate thievery in high offices, promote cover up, and persecute anyone who criticizes or exposes official malfeasance. The nation's security forces, the police and military, mostly act now as mercenaries for the kleptocratic dynasties, whether as willing conspirators or as subordinates beholden via the chain of command.

The handful of honest government officials are vastly overwhelmed. Their hands are tied...outvoted, outweighed, and summarily disempowered. The conspiracy against good governance has grown so broad, the situation can no longer be corrected by lawsuits, impeachments or elections. This is no democracy, but complete mob rule.

Presidents linked to multi-billion-peso plunder scams are exonerated rather easily. Senators caught red-handed won't return their loot, even if the courts order them to. Congressmen concoct laws that mandate huge sums of public funds to be disbursed to their offices, exempt from transparency regulations. Judges commonly decide cases in favor of who can pay the highest bribe. Cabinet members freely plunder through kickback schemes and, if ever exposed, don't even feel the need to explain to the public, much less apologize for any misappropriations. Graft practices in government run across the board, and yet anti-corruption agencies act like there's nothing going on. The biggest and most nefarious rackets are often found to be either masterminded or aided by government officials...often without punishment.

In a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves, bankruptcy of the nation is the inevitable result. The country will remain poor even if it is among the richest in gold, copper and nickel resources. Quadrillions of dollars may be secured in loans for development or to increase the national budget, but these will only be lost to corruption, while the majority of Filipinos wallow in debt, poverty and neglect, deprived of any state-sponsored welfare.

To downplay this problem or dismiss it as just politics is to damn the Philippines to further ruination. It’s sheer lunacy to think that a country can progress under plunderers. Corrupt people cannot and will not stop corruption. Criminals will not enforce the principles of truth and transparency, nor of justice and the rule of law. Neither will they have genuine regard for human rights and the common good. They cannot be expected to compete fairly in elections or concede to any successor who is not party to their conspiracy. Oddly, many still believe these thieves should rule. Why?

Decaying to the Roots

The corruption doesn’t stop with the government. There is the corrupt electorate: the cronies, the allied pseudo-religious groups and their block votes, the sycophant families, the professional trolls and even those who sell their votes for a few hundred bucks. These people knowingly support governance by the corrupt. They are thieves as well, stealing from the Filipino nation the chance to have a good government and a brighter future.

One would normally think it as inconceivable to have one-half of the electorate exhaust themselves in an epic struggle to convince the other half of a simple truth––that it is bad to elect such despicable people to the leadership. Yet, here we are. ​


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