(Lamentable elements of Philippine Culture)
The usual thinking and pursuant behaving, the common value system and consequent way of living, the standard perception and pursuant action and reaction patterns – this, in general, is the meaning of culture. And considering the strong and lasting impact of politics in the country, it is not surprising that there was then a given political culture in the Philippines. Hereto previous, the above cited the 1997 CBCP Pastoral Exhortation dwelt on “The Political Scene” then obtaining in the country. In appears logical that the same document thereafter dwelt on the consequent “Political Culture” in the Philippines – to be followed hereafter by “The Signs of Hope.”
The Political Culture
In 1997, the CBCP noticed and noted the following more significant and deplorable seven negative aspects of the then political culture obtaining in the Philippines:
1. In today’s political mentality, a public office supposedly a public trust for public service has degenerated into self-service for personal/family gains.
2. In the period of elections, political transactions are made such as when voted are sold and when the poor and the ignorant are exploited.
3. There is practical amorality in Philippines elections that provoke graft and corrupt practices before, during, and even after said political exercise.
4. Philippine elections make popularity not competence count, opportunism not nationalism matter, promises not integrity relevant.
5. Elections in the Philippines are nonchalantly associated with the infamous trio of “guns, goons, and gold” that stand for violence, crime, and avarice.
6. The triumph of falsity over truth, of injustice over equity, of despair over hope is practically guaranteed on the occasion of Philippine elections.
7. So it is that a big number of elected public officials behave as individuals above ethical standards and moral norms.
This is year 2014 – some 17 years after the CBCP Exhortation was made. Yet, substantially the same political culture continues to be lived and practiced in the Philippines. Next time, it would be good for a chance, to look into the Signs of Hope in conjunction with Philippine politics.