A rising tide of anger

Being critical of the President’s decisions and leadership style doesn’t translate to being “anti-PNoy”. But the President must realize that this rising tide of anger is not being orchestrated or instigated by political forces. it is a legitimate expression of the people’s grievances. If he fails to comprehend that, this sentiment could shift and become a strong “anti-PNoy” movement.

It’s not enough to be angry, again

We are missing a point in debates about which way the anti-pork rallies are headed. We should not even be having those debates — whether it’s just anti-pork, or it’s straying into “anti-PNoy”.
The people are angry, period. But wait! We need to bring perspective into what is happening.
Is it enough to be angry? Do we just go through another cycle of protests?
I think the turn of events should jolt the Filipino people into wakefulness. The problem is that we easily get lulled into letting our vigilance down. After EDSA, we rode on the crest of a belief that evil has been booted out, and decency will be restored. We put down our guard until Erap’s abuses became intolerable. Then came Gloria. it took so long before we found our collective voice again and propelled PNoy to the Palace in 2010.
Again we went back to sleep, thinking “matuwid” will take us to our destination quickly. And now this.
We must realize that we have civic duties as citizens. We can’t trust government, no matter who leads it, to carry out its work with utmost sincerity and devotion without us constantly riding on its back. The temptations for abuse abound. It is our duty to keep a round-the-clock watch. The people can’t delegate that role to the bureaucracy.

‘Shock and awe” to disguise corruption

I woke up at 3 o’ clock a.m. I check the iPad screen, and the date glows Sept 1, 2013. Unable to go back to sleep. So many things bothering the mind. The last few days revealed disturbing facts about how corruption has devoured Iloilo. It unmasks a strategy of “shock and awe” to mesmerize an unsuspecting public with a plethora of infrastructure projects, completely aware that it is one giant delivery van for plunder. I wonder: is there hope for this nation? Will the people awaken to the truth?
What I have disclosed so far is only the tip of the iceberg. But already, I can hear remarks like, “can’t this Boy Mejorada appreciate the deluge of projects that have come our way?” In a big way, quite a number of Ilonggos will look at me as villain. The officials behind these projects are painted as heroes. Indeed, Iloilo City hasn’t experienced the kind of infrastructure development before. On the surface, we have a lot to be grateful about.
Still, there’s a gnawing question at the back of the mind: do we just cast a blind eye at the corruption and embrace the good about it? Is corruption an inevitable evil that forms part of the cost for development? Do we keep quiet over the knowledge that tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of pesos are being pocketed as kickbacks?
It is a lonely battle — this expedition in investigative journalism. Fear grips a lot of people and effectively shuts their mouths. Most prefer to suffer in silence. But even as I navigate this minefield, I know I am on the right path, and I will not retreat. I will not stop.

Priest: ‘Napoles is our common name’

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino wrote an interesting column piece in the Manila Standard Today entitled, “Napoles names us all“.

Dean Tony La Vina reposted the item on his Facebook wall where it drew criticism from some of his friends. Basically, Fr. Aquino told us that Janet Lim Napoles isn’t the sole culprit here. The Filipino people is as guilty as everybody else in this mess. That’s because we did nothing to prevent this from happening.

Fr. Aquino is right. By our apathy, by our prolonged silence, By our inability to express disgust early on, we allowed this situation to build up. We nurtured it. We cultivated it. As a people, we made it easy for politicians to pull this off.

We are guilty of the sin of indifference, of apathy. As a people we have embraced silence as default reaction to the things that happen around us. We witness corruption and we look the other way. We don’t even utter a single word of condemnation. And when somebody brings it up, we look at that person with disdain, with suspicion.

Now an outraged nation wants to gather at the Luneta on Aug. 26 to ventilate their grievances. We just might be able to pressure government to abolish the pork barrel. But then again, things will momentarily quiet down, and it won’t be too long before evil forces pick up from where they left.

Our biggest enemy is ourselves. We are fond of self-flagellation. We are mortally hurt from self-inflicted wounds. Indifference is what led us to where we are today.