Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dirty Politics As Usual

From Oklahoma, I found the account of Governor Father Ed Panlilio concerning the 500,000 pesos ($11,000) stuffed in a sack that was routinely handed to him after a meeting with GMA as a reminder of how utterly corrupt politics is in our country. Only one other politician verified this transaction while another traditional politician claimed it was “standard procedure” to be given assistance money for various community activities.

I hope the good priest keeps up the fight to expose these shenanigans that no longer repel most of us. We have become so jaded and so accustomed to this shameful system. Shameful because there are people who do not have the means to eat more than once a day and shameful because we seem to give more care to the palay seeds that farmers strew in the fields over the educational investments we need to be making so that the next generation will become more competitive.

David Brooks wrote “Politics, as you know, is a tainted profession. Professional politicians cannot serve their country if they do not win their races, and to do that they must grapple with a vast array of forces that try to remold and destroy who they are. No normal person can withstand the onslaught of egotism and come out unscathed. And so there are two kinds of politicians: those who become creatures of the process, and those who resist and retain the capacity to be appalled by what they must do.”

We need to support Father Panlilio. We need to thwart any attempt to unseat him in the ongoing recount of votes from last May. We need to fight for these increasingly rare politicians who fight for us all.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dr Bautista. I'm a correspondent for Medical Observer. For our year-end issue, we're featuring doctors in public service. My editor, Ding Generoso, has chosen you for this cover story. Are you free for a face-to-face interview when you return to Manila? Your father told me that you're in the US and might be back before the month ends. My deadline is Oct. 31. Please reply to my email, sunly_coo@yahoo.com Thanks,
Sunly

rglacsamana, m.d. said...

I have never met Fr. Ed Panlilio, though I found out that he comes from my hometown, Minalin, and that a first cousin of mine is married to his older sister.

Though it is too soon to judge his governorship, it appears that most of my province mates have been quite pleased with his performance so far. For one thing, he has instilled honesty in his administration, which has been lacking for sometime and which impelled him to seek that candidacy to begin with. Then, in striking contrast to his predecessor, he had vastly increased government revenues from the mining of those lahar deposits, again made possible by
restoring honesty in dealings with
businessmen and other private parties.

Having said this, I feel disturbed like others that the good Padre took that money not knowing what it was for, and that it was given apparently for other than public benefit. Most political observers back home feel the money amounts to a "bribe." Just recall there is another move to impeach President Arroyo, and rumors are thick she gave away all that money to gain support from leaders who can support her against that impeachment. All this is speculation, but why was this deal with all kinds of leaders and politicians done in secrecy?

Yes, the secrecy has been punctured by Fr. Panlilio's public statement of that money being doled out by the president. But Ate Glo has a lot of explaining to do, mainly to tell us the truth. If she does not, that suspicion of bribery to thwart off that impeachment move will get more and more credible, with yet another scandal likely to rock the remaining two years of her term.

pian said...

TO RGLACSAMANA
Gov. Panlilio did say he didn’t expect it to be bribe money. But whatever, the fact remains that he could have just kept it a secret, so there’s nothing that should disturb you. It just shows that Philippine politics could be so dirty.

Anonymous said...

My comments are : what illegality or immorality is there ....if the money is something that the Office of the President had and the authority to dispose to the constituents of the governors ? That is the system of the "Pork barrel" in practice !
..PG

peedro said...

Dunno anything about "porks" but if an office allocates money shouldn't they ask for a receipt for accounting?

Anonymous said...

....to Peedro...my understanding of the Philippine "pork barrel " system is : money is given directly to Congressmen, 120 million php each , senators, 200 million each, annually for the needs of their constituents. This a law passed by themselves and in present practice.
Allegedly of course the needs of the people refer to infrastracture and other public projects. But as they say between the purpose and the accomplishment is the devil and the deep blue sea..
P.G