The Philippines has long had a love affair with self-imposed tragedies. Whether it’s sinking ships, buses flying off cliffs, hostage-taking, and continuously voting for rogues as their leaders. Everything was fine and dandy – until the Internet came along.
And so on that eventful day of 8/23, a microcosm of Philippine society was placed under the glaring clinical lights of the Internet. To me, 8/23 is to the Philippines what 9/11 is to America. Post 9/11 America has been in a state of flux as it still recovers to the aftershocks of the tragedy. It wasn’t only the US, the UK had its share in the train bombing, as did Spain, and India. Certainly, 8/23 will not match the direct damage that 9/11 caused on property, lives, and the snowball effect it had on the global stage. The damage on national self-esteem however, was the same. Delusions were shattered, outrage ensued, and a period of soul-searching followed.
Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube provided an on-demand platform for distributing information. The commentaries on the stream of reports and videos were happening in real time – for all the world to see. Without the Internet – it would have been so easy to impose a gag order – the presses stop rolling, the TV stations don’t mention the story, case closed. Those days are gone.
The Internet and social media networks have provided more opportunities for transparency and validating “facts” dished out by mainstream media and hold it more accountable.
8/23 however is a nexus, a crystallization of Philippine society’s total breakdown, ineptitude, and misguided national compass. It exemplifies the disastrous effects of flawed thinking from the point of inception to point of execution in the entire value chain. Whether it is the MPD, the PNP, the DILG, the entire Philippine government machinery is so stacked in favor of incompetents!
“When the people lead the leaders will follow”
P. Noy was stating a fact that he “inherited” the problems of the PNP from the previous administration. But, that’s only a half-truth. The other truth being that the previous administrations’ can also claim that these problems were “inherited” from the previous administrations.
In September 2008, GMA News reported that Improved PNP performance negated by lack of personnel, equipment
“MANILA, Philippines – The performance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) posted improvements over the last few years but these remain largely unfelt as they are overshadowed by bigger problems of lack of personnel and equipment.
This is among the primary findings of the September 2008 agency budget notes of the House of Representatives’ Congressional Planning and Budget Department released Tuesday.
According to the report, the PNP’s efficiency rate or rate of crimes solved against crimes reported from January to June 2008 posted a high 89.2 percent, a 3.1 percent improvement from 2007.
Similarly, the index and non-index crime rate went down from 7.2 in 2006 to 6.6 in 2007.
The study, however, noted that undermanning and ill-equipage of police forces have hindered in its “optimum performance.”
It noted that the 2007 ratio of police officers to the population was one officer for every 500 people – already an improvement from the 1:700 police-to-civilian ratio in 2005. This is a far cry from the ratio of one police officer for every 300 civilians which is the standard maintained in developed countries.
The House report also said that out of 125,893 police officers, only 38 percent are armed with pistols.
It added that while the PNP receives the biggest share in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) budget, 88 to 90 percent of the PNP budget goes to personal services, leaving “a very small portion” for maintenance and other operating expenditures (MOOE) and capital outlays.”
So, yes, Aquino “inherited” a police force that is perenially lacking personnel and equipment. But so have all the administrations before him. Aquino is solving this problem like his predecessors – just throw money at the problem – money we don’t have. This complicates things further – we dig ourselves deeper into a grave of debt when we could have just as easily dug ourselves out of it by improving the economy. But I digress.
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”
– Benjamin Franklin
How exactly will doing the same thing all over again- throwing more money and hiring more people – achieve different results? What the Filipinos and the Philippine government are glaringly missing out on is – PROCESS. Putting in more money and people to execute FLAWED PROCESSES is throwing good money after bad. At a personal level, that is akin to the Pinoy’s penchant for electing rogue dumbass incompetent celebrity figures – and then wonder why the Philippine government is in deeper shit than ever.
The Philippines was seen as corrupt during Arroyo’s time. After Aquino, the Philippines is still corrupt, and worse it is full of BUMBLING BABOONS, LECHEROUS DONKEYS, headed by a SMILING DOG. No thanks to the 15 million retards who voted for Aquino – shame on you, the blood of the HK tourists are in your hands – as are the blood of the farmers who died in Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Please spare us of your victim mentality crap – you are frakking retards who need one hell of an ass whooping. You have done enough embarrassment to the country, and you all – starting with P. Noy Aquino, to his lieutenants Lacierda, Coloma — his sycophants Esposo, de Quiros, ABS-CBN, and the Inquirer – and the 15 million Filipinos who voted for Aquino and brought him to the Presidency – are a monumental SHAME and PERPETUAL SOURCE OF EMBARRASSMENT to Filipinos from Aparri to Jolo, from Tokyo to Riyadh, to London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York, Sydney.
The rest of the 35 million Filipinos who did not vote for Aquino ARE VINDICATED!
Alas, there is no glory in achieving payback through the blood of innocents. Nor is there an assurance that 8/23 will not be repeated in the future – not while Aquino is around.
“Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?”
– Edgar Allan Poe
Aquino will do what he has to do to survive politically. That the Philippine press has recently ramped up the noise about P. Noy’s visit to the US is an indicator that the Philippines is playing the US card against China. And the US of course – is very much eager to get allies in a region that is more and more becoming friendly to “the Middle Kingdom”. Countries of course will negotiate based on their national interests.
This early, Aquino’s US visit gives the impression that Aquino will be going to advance the interests of his political survival and tie it to the Philippines national stability. It will not be beneath Aquino’s team to raise the specter of “people power” if Aquino is ousted. The US, of course, being more interested in regional stability will shore up Aquino, provide him with assistance, and Obama will have a speech endorsing the Philippines.
This will be material that will played up by ABS-CBN and Inquirer on the TV screens till you forget 8/23 and puke to death as ABS/CBN replays scenes from Aquino’s visit 24/7.
Mark my words – it will be a PR event that Aquino will milk for all its worth – and the Filipinos shall forget and fall into a stupor once more. Where does that leave the Philippines – and the Filipinos?
The truth shall set you free, but first it shall piss you off.
Just to get a sense of where the Philippines is possibly headed, I didn’t have to look further than Facebook where the Filipinos reactions to the hostage-taking. What I found ranged the gamut from Trixie’s Hallmark-ish feel good statements about an imagined grand past. Another was Lacson’s 12 Little Things Filipinos can do. I need not cover Esposo’s piece of crap that was sliced and diced by The Australian.
Then there’s that thing about “the Filipino race”. The Human Genome Project has already proven beyond reasonable doubt that “race” is a fallacy with no scientific basis. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program,
DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.
The concept of sub-species within Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e. Homo sapiens philippinensis) called “races” came about four centuries ago. It was a time when supremacists and slave traders were rationalizing slavery and bigotry. However, the most comprehensive, most well funded, well equipped research on the Human Genome has shown – RACE DOES NOT EXIST – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE FILIPINO RACE, YOU FRAKKING IGNORANT OAF!!!!
New and sophisticated methods for studying the relationship between human genetic differences, the environment, health and behavior, all made possible by the completion of the Human Genome Project, have made traditional race-based measurements of human differences obsolete, according to numerous authors writing in a special issue of the American Psychologist devoted to Genes, Race, and Psychology in the Genome Era (January, 2005).
At the rate I am reading comments about the Filipino race, it feels like reading a Bizarro Nazi comedy of errors. I REPEAT – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FILIPINO RACE – YOU FRAKKIN RACIST. STOP THE IGNORANCE!!!
Understanding the Filipinos’ Response
The botched hostage taking’s effect on the Filipino psyche is just starting to be felt. The public cries of outrage are the easy part. It’s the economic impact to an already impacted stubbornly protectionist economy in the horizon that will be felt hardest – canceled bookings and reduced sales – it’s your wallet people.
Having said that, allow me to take it this further to the edge. I noted that if Aquino is caught lying about the hours where he went missing, hours which led to the shame and embarrassment of 90 million Filipinos – I believe I am within reason to allege that LYING is a betrayal of the public trust – an impeachable offense. It’s not going to fly, not when Filipinos have lowered the bar for honesty. It’s not like Filipinos in the Philippines don’t lie everyday – you will get a look that says “you are so naive”. So much so that when Bill Clinton was on impeachment for lying about his steamy indiscretions with Monica Lewinski a Philippine head of state joked that he can teach Bill a thing or two – and we, Filipinos even enjoyed the joke. Hahahaha – stupid talaga, they will impeach a President who lied about oral sex. A great majority, Filipinos can’t relate to it – that’s how LOW our standards have become.
For discussion’s sake, say Aquino is indeed impeached – a lot disagreed with having Binay take over. Hello, that’s the Vice-President’s job remember? Kung hindi ba naman tanga ang mga Pilipino. The VP and the President are supposed to have an element of continuity. Where can you find a country where you have a President from one party and a Vice-President from another party? Results of the election are valid for the Presidency but not for the Vice-Presidency? What next? Mislabeled coffins shipped to HK – that’s next 🙂 The Philippines just never runs out of stupidity.
8/23 is indeed a watershed moment. In a manner of speaking 8/23 has brought Filipinos together and split them apart as well.
It has brought Filipinos together to come to the following conclusions:
1. The Philippines is still in deep shit – and it can get deeper.
2. Someone better do something fast.
3. Incompetence is dangerous, incompetence kills.
4. The leaders who claim to be “matuwid” and “honest” are lying bastards.
It has also divided Filipinos on how the nation should move forward. The general categories of the existing sentiments can be:
1 – We are the victim. We should not be condemned, rather we need more help.
2 – We made a mistake, but so does everyone else, get off our back, mind your own business.
3 – We made a mistake, we need to ensure this does not happen again.
4 – The mistake is but a manifestation of our cultural malaise, we need a revolution from within – and without.
Beware the Ides of March have come but they are not gone.
Get your sh*t together, Philippines.