There is this children song about the “Ten Little Indians.” In the song, the little Indians were first but two and they successively became three little Indians. They increased in number until finally there were “Ten Little Indians.” But the little Indians were eventually gone one by one until there was none!
While the song is meant to teach a lesson in counting, its implied message however suggests that the more, the better and the merrier.
Some weeks ago, there were two governors and one mayor who met in demonstration of their solidarity for good governance. These three local officials were perceived as honest and dedicated public servants. There was then a common and urgent desire among a good number of people that other public officials would join their rank in demonstration and promotion of honesty and integrity particularly among elected public officials. But none came forward because three they were and three they remain to date.
As a phrase of endearment, the two governors and one mayor can be called the “Three Little Indians” in the abovementioned song. It is sad though that their number did not increase at all as the song goes.
It is both strange and disconcerting that no other elected public officials joined the three public officials in proclaiming that there are enough graft and corrupt practices in the government and that it is about time public servants join hands to bring back the culture of veracity and probity in governance.
This phenomenon of the “Three Little Indians” says much about the truly sorry and sick state of affairs of governance in the Country and about the moral impossibility of the present government to be really by the people, of the people and for the people.
It can be said that it is more the rule than the exception that the public officials are nothing more the people’s own misfortune and tribulation. It has become a truism in the Country that public office in fact means self-service.
If among the thousands of elected public officials in the Country, there are only “Three Little Indians” perceived as upright and honorable, then “We are Fried!”
And there is a lot of truth in this sentiment. When citizens become poorer, hungrier, more depressed, oppressed and hopeless, progressively desperate, despondent and frustrated, then there will come a time the “Social Volcano” erupts as “Hunger knows no law! Anger refuses restraint!”
If only the “Three Little Indians” become more and more in number and in spirit and if only the government still manage to show its sincerity and resolve to do better, Filipinos may continue being patient, parsimonious and creative – if still they could.
September 19, 2008