On one hand, there is factual and living poverty in the Country, viz., a negative socio-economic condition whereby the people concerned either barely have enough to buy their basic necessities, to finance their simple and bare living, to sincerely look forward for a better future. In the plain understanding of poverty specifically in the context of the Philippine garbage dumps, taking shelter under bridges, sleeping in cartoons laid down on streets. Most of their children are practically naked. This is not to mention those engaged in mendicancy as a matter of course – using either newly born babies or small children to beg for some coins from pedestrians, braving even the danger of following one car after another, just to get some centavos every now and then – if ever.
The over-all result of such serious socio-economic condition is not hard to say and understand. The poor people are shackled to earning if not smooching some things in kind and/or cash with the over-all primary intention of being able to live for the day - - with the hope of somehow getting through the uncertain days ahead with such an overall situation, the poor in this Country can be anything but free – free to get an education for themselves, free to know the attributes and liabilities of the Country free to make the right and proper choice of the local and national political leaders who have the integrity and competence to govern their Country. The living contrary reality is that their votes are for sale, their allegiance has a cost, their understanding of national realities is usually below par.
On the other hand, there are the few elite – the wealthy and influential – Filipino dynasties that aspire for public offices, specially in the Legislative and Executive Department. They have the needed money to stage big and expensive political campaigns. They have the proper connections for the support their political ambitions. More than anything else, they know too well the practically limitless funds; use fringe benefits that political positions in this Country give back to their winners. This is why it is practically an impossibility to find poor individuals among the so called “Public Servants” in the Philippines. Much they spent for their political campaigns. But very much more do they spent for their triumphant electoral drive.
The fundamental law of the land – text and context – among other sublime and inspiring proclamations affirm the following in so many words and phrases: The Filipino people are not only independent but also sovereign. They have in possession and exercise their freedom. Theirs is a democratic form of government that is of the people and for the people. Really? Precisely: POVERTY and DEMOCRACY make a ridiculous pairing!
2 FEBRUARY 2011