(Negative Features of Philippine Politics)
Officially released and formally published, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued the above-cited document some 17 years ago. The basic rationale or fundamental intention of the said Exhortation is to call the attention and submit an invitation to all men and women of good will in the Philippines to please take into serious account the three following political phenomena noted by the CBCP: 1st, The Political Scene. 2nd, The Political Culture. 3rd, The Signs of Hope.
The Political Scene
In 1997, the CBCP noted and took into account the following rather glaring seven negative features of the then political scene in the country:
1. The interests of the powerful and a few wealthy individuals are pitied against the many weak and poor people through political peddling.
2. The equal applications of the law and the administration of justice are jeopardized by preferential considerations due to political affiliations.
3. The constitutional principles of separation of powers among the three branches of government are set aside for politico-reciprocal advantages.
4. Political debts are paid by elected public officials by the appointment of their supporters to juicy government positions.
5. The Executive Department collaborate with Congress in padding the government budget with many conceivable “pork barrel” items.
6. A costly political propaganda machine accompanies all wealthy and influential candidates for public offices.
7. The electoral process is systematically subverted by public officials to favor their own selves, their families and/or special friends.
It is now 2014. The above cited sick and sickening political syndrome in the country have been duly noticed. Now, some 17 years after, the same – if not really worse – political liabilities are still around, still alive, still undermining Philippine politics. Next time, it would be worth looking into the Political Culture in the country also in 1997.
Would it be different now?