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Monday, November 28, 2011
Dymystifying Corruption in the Philippines Presidency
The following is a guest article from Isabel P. Ball, a member of Marinduque International, Inc. Isabel had been a columnist since 1996, appearing in various publications. She is a published author of a book titled "Tenacious Devotion: Conquest of a Purdah Belle". She is also a poet and screenplay writer. Last but not least she is an activist who desires improvement to our mother country, the Philippines.
The content in this article is her own and do not necessarily reflect my own views or any other individual or organization. This article was published by www.americanchronicle.com dated November 23, 2011.
Dymystifying corruption in the Philippine presidency
You and I, and the world are the witnesses to the political malaise characterizing the Philippine presidency.
A stark fact is that about every change of administration since Marcos, the Philippine government has been prosecuting Presidents for corruption.
Marcos, as Philippine President, has been dubbed as the greatest theft known in world record for corruptions he committed in his 20-years in power ostensibly by way of martial rule. Billions worth of assets in dollars were pilfered from the country´s coffers in behest to his cronies and family.
That had set a trend in wanton corruption among his political peers and predecessors in the presidency.
One incident with relevance to the Marinduquenos, Marcos had showed an overwhelming hospitality and had allowed the pristine forest, discovered to be so much fecund in minerals, to be mined by foreign mining companies with so much leverage.
His true motive ultimately surfaced when he clinched the major partnership with Marcopper. Historically, we can now point our fingers to that political machination as one big cause of our island´s environmental debacle.
Moral turpitude since took an upside turn, and corruption was becoming a vogue among the succeeding presidents, save for Cory Aquino.
Ramos, a military man, supposedly honed in military discipline and values did not escape controversies. The Amari Deal topped them all, and allegedly bagged him hefty dollars in sums.
Then, Estrada, a rogue politician, having hoodwinked the poor Filipinos turned as much corrupt as his predecessor, Marcos, in a brazen attempt to enrich himself and his families and friends. While in the position, he was like filling up an empty inexhaustible vessel, he was insatiable and his seeming octopus hands were dipping in everywhere it can to siphon of funds from tax funds and on illegal gambling of hweteng. If it wasn´t for Singson, a bosom friend of Estrada, turning a traitor to him over a row on preferential treatment, he might have left the treasury efficiently drained. The incoming President Arroyo put him in jail which was another ludicrous political episode of incarceration and ending in pardon.
Just when Filipinos have thought that corruption was to end and decency in the presidency would be restored, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, her administration was similarly marred in controversies that had involved her husband Mike, alleged to be the deal maker in the purloined purchase of helicopters for the PNP and in election frauds, to more upcoming charges and anticipated legal battles. Millions and millions in estimate could sum up to billions of pesos she has reportedly gotten for herself.
Like in the time of Estrada where the trial proceedings competed with the Filipino soap operas, Arroyo´s legal proceedings would again burn in the primetime TV. The glaring reports in the newspaper have made me to wonder what mindset, attitude and values these leaders might have in dominance to do such unprincipled act while in office. A short memory seems to have made them to repeat transgressions of their predecessors with impunity. Or what other psychological makeup could have driven them to jump into the same fray with so much audacity and seeming impudence to the consequence?
I would like to see the academe take interest into studying the underlying causes behind such truly a senseless behavior. Attempt to find and identify the phenomenon and to come up with some scientific explanation, and to make the roots of such blatant disregard of these leaders of the constitution and the people to emerge? Or, in the oddest of chances, the data might validate, for all to know, about my theory that Filipinos´ apathy and forgiving nature reflects their true nature to belie that propensity to commit illegal acts; thus, they condone and propagate corruption.
Ceaucescu of Romania and his wife, Elena, during the time of Marcos, was beheaded by the indignant citizenry for corruption, and that seemed to have straightened up the politicians in the country. Should equivalent form of punishment become the resolve of the Filipinos to end corruption in the Philippines for good? And this could apply in retroaction.