Thursday, April 03, 2008

What About The Corruption In Your Administration?

Gloria Arroyo has moved her Enchanted Kingdom to Fantasy Land. Speaking before businessmen at the 11th Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong, our illegitimate queen said, "As an economist, I know that first and foremost, a strong economy is an economy that is transparent and free from corruption. We are freeing ourselves of the shackles of corruption evidenced by our growing economy which is increasingly free of corruption and inefficiency," Yowww, my ears hurt!

The torture continues. She adds that she had poured billions in the fight against corruption. She claims to have asked congress to pass a comprehensive anti-corruption law. Reminiscent of Erap's "Walang kaibigan, walang kumpare, walang kamaganak" speech, she said, "We will hold officials accountable if they are found to be corrupt. For our part, any allegations of wrongdoing go straight to the independent Ombudsman," She adds, "We will let the chips fall where they may as investigations are concluded and friend and foe alike are brought to account for their actions."

I don't know what else she can concoct, but based on recent surveys, Filipinos say their lives have worsened. Of all economists, she sure has the worst track record. As for her vaunted anti-corruption campaign, maybe the rank and file corruption has been minimized. Of course we all know that corruption now belongs exclusively to the higher ups. What her PAGC and Ombudsman have caught/convicted are the small fries. Maybe she had forgotten Jocjoc Bolante (whose extradition she now dangles to divert the attention of the people away from the ZTE scandal)or Nani Perez whom the Swiss found to have a questionable account.

Even patrimonies which were given to the Filipino people as war reparations of Japan did not escape the eagle eyes of GMA. She wants them sold without the consent of the entire Filipino nation through a referendum. The trickle down effect of her economic programs seems to have thickened that only the minute sector of the people actually claim they have become richer. I suppose these are the people around her who has benefited tremendously on her program of systemic corruption. I really don't care what her advisers say about our economic growth. All I know is that my earnings continue to drop. Thanks to her successful corruption-free economy, my sales have dropped 63% in the past two years.

My family has been living frugally and yet we feel the pinch. What more the people whose fixed income cannot even cope with the rising cost of living? She calls for transparency and yet getting information from her administration is virtually nil. What growth can you expect when an investor has to shell out a going rate of 22% in grease money? She dreams of industrialization while forgetting that agriculture is the bread and butter of our nation. Farmers are being forced to sell their land to developers because of nonexistent aid from the government, while our neighbors export their's because their governments know which sectors to prioritize.

Thanks to GMA's medical tourism, Filipinos can now readily sell their organs for a few measly dollars. Aside from trafficking our loved ones to employers abroad, our out-of-school youth are being urged to seek employment instead. How can our country flourish when the youth are being forced to work instead of learning to increase their chances of progress? What our people need are concrete solutions to plaguing problems. A few dole outs every now and then does not address the real problems our people face.

One thing is clear, the unabated corruption in the very halls of the highest office of the land has led to desperation. Gloria can claim progress all she wants. She's been eating her words more often than not. How many times have she lied only to be slapped in the face with the truth? But as the old saying goes, what are we in power for? She can do or say anything she wants and get away with it. Unless we finally get fed up and lose our patience, she and her cabal will rule with impunity. Can you still wait until 2010 and see what happens?