Fear of God and love of neighbor. Generosity and charity. Honesty and honor. Decency and integrity. Sincerity and fidelity. Veracity and probity. Industry and parsimony. Respect for law and order, harmony, unity and peace. Such were some of the “old Art Forms” in the then dear and endearing Philippines. These were some of the lovely and lovable attitudinal postures and consequent behavioral patterns of Filipinos in general. People were poor but they did not steal. Neighborhoods had no electricity yet kidnapping and murders were non-existent as a rule.
There were not much to have but the little they had was enough. True, there were already certain naughty or even devious individuals but these were relatively few – with most of them landing in jail as the law then respected neither person nor status. “Those were the good old days!” – as elderly people relish saying. And they are definitely not altogether wrong. After all, there were no massacres, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Even Mindanao was then peaceful and orderly.
Padlocks of all sizes and makes are new inventions. Steel gates, steel fences, steel window grills are recent arrivals. Massive safes, bank deposits, speculative investments are “modern” realities. Guns of all sizes and uses, ammunitions with more or less killing power are now a matter of fact. Policemen armed to the teeth plus security guards with impressive weapons and communications gear are recent social accompaniments. And needless to say, high-walled and much wired subdivisions with well placed CCTVs plus a host of serious looking if not mean gate guards, are now common societal phenomena.
In a special way and through distinct means, it is definitely much more under the present government that vicious and predatory, treacherous and abominable, base and shocking unlawful serial acts, have become fearful and devastating new art forms.
Self-serving invocations of Divinity. Lewd cheating and obscene lying. Fraud and deception. Crime and reward. Injustice and award. Buying allies and discarding over-used ones. Dictatorial executive department with subordinate legislative and judicial sections.
Transactional politics. Public funds spent for private interests and personal gains. Promotion of insatiable greed. Exercise of power and greed unlimited.
Graft and corruption. Political dynasty par excellence.
June 19, 2009