After but six years of the glorious reign of the present administration, it won the gold medal in corruption all over Asia. The Philippines has eventually received the distinct ignominious title of the very first in corrupt practices in no less than the whole Asian region.
This is a shameful feat in public mismanagement and an odious triumph of bad governance. In the recent years, the country jumped with pride and joy over certain achievements such as in boxing, billiards and mountain climbing where the government fortunately has done nothing in their promotion. Otherwise, there would have been no such national distinctions earned on account of its corrupt and corrupting interventions.
People are already prepared for the worst the moment the present administration has a hand in both private and public ventures. For the moment, no need to mention the long ignominious litany of systematic corruption by and in government. It is enough to think of but the lampposts bought for the ASEAN Summit in Cebu. It ushered in the Summit as well of corruption that closely accompanied their purchase and installation. Their enormous over-pricing is enough to make one cry in shame and boil in anger.
The national leadership is certainly not wanting in many and loud praise-releases on the matter of so many anti-corruption plans, programs and projects. In fact, last year it announced with much pomp and delight that no less than 2 billion pesos were earmarked to counter corruption in government. The amount was a big part taken away from the total of national public fund meant to directly improve public welfare.
Now come the questions—honest and right answers to which are not really expected. What happened since then? Where has the money gone? How come the country has been lamentably proclaimed ever more corrupt than before? Has the money been used precisely to sustain and even promote more corruption in government? Has the administration no more shame nor remorse of any kind? Has its many and big pockets eventually become bottomless and its greed for power already limitless?
No wonder that the present administration long since continues to lose public credibility and moral authority. That is why in this time of practical referendum on the present national leadership, as the pro-administration candidates consistently rate low in survey approval, the opposition electoral bets go consistently high in public esteem and acceptance.
And this is precisely why it would rather be hard for the administration itself to work for and promote honest and credible elections in May this year. And this predicament is well understandable—although markedly lamentable!
March 21, 2007