Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Philippine Politics is the Problem of the Philippines

It is the summit of irony when something envisioned to be the solution is in fact the problem, when what is supposed to provide people their public welfare precisely becomes detrimental to their common good, when what is expected to bring about socio-economic development turns out to be the basic cause of poverty and misery. This is sad but true.

Martial Law is evil yet it then made the Philippines second only to Japan in financial stature. Democracy is great but it can be anything but comfortable to say what is now the economic standing of the country in Asia. There seems to be one basic causal factor for such a misfortune: The individuals in a bad governance. The dynasties in dirty politics. The favored persons in public disservice. This is a pity but a reality.

No wonder then why when someone in public office – proved to be adorned with integrity, vested with industry and gifted with simplicity – suffered from an untimely death, people mourned his passing away but celebrated his person not only in the local but also in the national level. Why? He was singular in his personal and official attributions. He was a big rarity in government. He would be hard to replace in the public office he held.

“Philippine politics, the way it has been and is still being practiced is possibly the biggest bane in our life as a nation, and the most pernicious obstacle to our achieving full human development.”

The censure was not made by neither ideologists nor pessimists. The injunction was pronounced by neither leftists nor rightists. Much less was the reproach propelled either by senseless or hopeless individuals. The above quote is nothing less than the opening salvo of the “Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics” made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1997. Today, a decade and a half after, it bears asking if anything substantial has changed in the way politics is practiced in the country.

To mention but three of the negative features of politics still gripping the life and breath of the Filipinos – as already cited by the CBCP in 1997: One, the interests of the few powerful and rich and pitied against those of many weak and poor people through political peddling and influence. Two, the equal application of the law and administration of justice are jeopardized by preferential factors on account of political considerations. Three, the constitutional principles of the separation of powers among three branches of government are set aside for politico-reciprocal advantages.

Who says that Philippine politics in not the problem of the Philippines?