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Dirty Dozen: People/Entities Who Screwed (still screwing) the Philippines

This is not arranged according to rank.

1.            Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – Probably the most infamous post-Marcos president. She received the lowest net satisfaction rating in history at -32 .  The country was actually euphoric when she replaced Erap but questionable decisions marred her leadership. She earned the ire of some soldiers thus the Oakwood mutiny. She was involved in the infamous “Gloriagate” (Hello Garci) controversy which, until now has no closure. She played the Filipinos well by acting out her “I’m Sorry” speech (though we know she’s not really sorry). She declared a de facto Martial Law via PP 1017. Her administration is hounded by political killings ala Marcos style. She issued EO 464 to cover some of her acts from Senate inquiry. She pardoned Erap which opened a lot of cans of worms. Because of her, the essence of People Power is gone. And now, she’s going to be a Congresswoman with yet another chance to screw this country. How ‘bout that?

2.            Ferdinand Marcos – Declared martial law, worked around the Constitution to have the cloak of legality, he was into political killings and human rights violation, stashed a lot of wealth, opened the Philippine debt scheme as an ATM for Philippine politicians, he was ranked by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt leader of all time. Oh and he was married to Imelda Marcos who was also infamously known because of her shoes.

3.            Henry Sy – This is a man whom you could place in either list: Men who helped the country big or this list – depending on how you look at him. Sure he made the country’s economy better by investing his money in it. This contribution is not being discounted. He is one of the world’s dollar billionaires. But with the way he’s monopolizing the competition is of course a setback. He could just easily buy out any nearby mall. Also, the way he is manning his corporation is not at all ideal. Imagine, an employee cannot be regularized if he/she is not an INC. The logic behind this is that under the INC, one is not supposed to be joining any labor union. Labor unions are against the INC doctrine. And of course Henry Sy himself is not INC. So why is he afraid of Labor Unions? Because he’s stiffing his employees. SM Prime Holdings employs about tens of thousands of workers all over the country. That’s a huge workforce and you always want to make sure you’re in control. So on the facade it looks like he’s Asia’s CEO of the decade but he’s doing it in a sleazy way. But it’s a good thing DOLE took notice of SM’s very low regularization rate, this should cause some stir in the management.

4.            Iglesia Ni Cristo – Just a disclaimer, this is not to meddle with all of INC’s doctrines. But one of them tenets screwed this country big. Why in the world would God dictate who to vote for when He gave us freedom of choice? Nor why would he choose via the people. Wouldn’t He just appoint one without using INC as a medium? INC said bloc voting is a sign of religious unity. Because of its endorsement a lot of ineffective leaders won. The biggest of which could be PGMA’s victory. INC has about 2 million voting members and it has been proven that INC members vote whoever their supremo endorses. When PGMA won over FPJ, she has about 2 million worth of votes lead. That 2 million is the INC. (but of course we are not discounting the possibility that PGMA may have won by some other sinister means). INC also supported Marcos until his ouster in 1986. Oh and of course, why not let members join Union groups? Because INC says you should only belong to INC and no other factions whatsoever. So why support candidates belonging to political parties/factions?

5.            Supreme Court – Law students should not be questioning duly constituted authorities in the Philippines. But while I am not yet enrolled, might as well take this chance. Ok, the SC promulgated some controversial decisions. They sure made learning Philippine laws complicated and may have misused some key statutory construction principles. The SC earned the ire of some constitutionalists and even the ire of the people who drafted the Constitution. So they allowed Erap to run, which may have derailed the candidacy of other presidentiables; the SC allowed Gloria to run for Congress, the SC allowed the appointing of a new SC justice within the forbidden period and as one noted lawyer said, the SC  based its decision on the President’s (Gloria’s [discretion]) and not on precedents (In Re Valenzuela And Vallarta).

6.            San Miguel Corporation – Beer anyone? Drinking has been part of the Filipino culture, thanks to San Miguel and La Tondena. Not that they started it, hell, the Katipuneros drank homemade tuba before they did the uprising. Could be the reason why they lost. But come to think of it, every time you see the news, you’ll hear or read someone being robbed, raped, killed, mobbed because someone was drunk. Domestic violence is so rampant in the Philippines because husband has to be drunk all the time. Alcoholism is so common because someone’s selling gin cheaper than a kilo of rice. There’s no hope in the Filipino youth because they learn to drink alcohol first before they could master their trades. Just imagine how many dysfunctional families are there because of San Miguel. San Miguel is one of Asia’s biggest liquor distributors and is maintaining its monopoly here in the Philippines. I hope someone pushes through with the sin taxes.

7.            Communist Party of the Philippines – The idealism is there. But it is lost in practice. Surely, the brand of Communism being endorsed by the CPP is not what Karl Marx has envisioned. Marred with terrorism style tactics, the CPP has not lived up to its ideals. Forcefully taxing the working farmers is not a good idea at all – this only resulted to economic sabotage. Putting up kangaroo courts to summarily execute detractors and other alleged bourgeoisie had made CPP unlikely the people’s champ. Hell, its leaders could be elsewhere living a bourgeois lifestyle. This would have irked  Che Guevara.

8.            Media Giants GMA and ABS CBN – Again, depending on how you look at it, the media could be your friend or your enemy. In the movie Training Day, Alonzo (played by Denzel Washington) mentioned that if you read the news, you’d notice that it is 5% substance and 95% crap. That’s how it is with these media giants. Public service is about 5% and all the rest is money making and brainwashing. You turn on the TV and all you see are ads after ads after ads. Sure they’ll show you useful information but they’ll show you more crap about how white your teeth can be if you buy this or that, or how “in” you are if you tune in to their stations. They’ll fill the masses with their fantaseryes and blind them even more their ads. Well, happy viewing Kapamilya at Kapuso.

9.            Erap Estrada – The leading icon of the opposition for a decade. Won as the only majority president in Philippine history. Self proclaimed champion of the masses. What happened? Well, he faltered. He was beleaguered by jueteng scandals, gambling issues, he lost control over his men, people got restless, a major rally, he stepped down (though he said it was power grabbing), got convicted for plunder, served “some” jail time and was granted pardon. Ran for president again and it showed that he is still fooling millions of Filipinos. One of his epic failures was his failure to unite the opposition (noticed there are about 6 oppositions in the country?). If only all of them were able to get their acts together PGMA’s reign may not have lasted that long.

10.          Chavit Singson – This guy’s truly a character. Who knows how much he benefited from the Jueteng operation up north. He could have earned millions as much as Erap earned. But just because he turned “hero” by copping out on Erap, the State did not prosecute him. Now he even got richer, thanks to Manny Pacquiao. He put one on Erap, put one on all of us and he continues to score.

11.          Petroleum Giants – Shell, Caltex, Petron (now Chevron?) – All these giants have something in common – the drive to earn more money! Who does not believe that there is not an existing cartel between these three? Every time they’d like to increase their rate they could always do so almost at will. Then if the people would complain, they’d threaten us by saying that they will close out their business.

12.          Willie Revillame – One of the reasons why novelty songs are filling the airwaves. The culture he espoused screwed the viewers’ point of view. His usually tactless, discriminating comments earn him the ire of a lot of people. The way he treats his guests, co-hosts, and co-workers also raises eyebrows. And of course, who’d forget the Ultra stampede in which about 78 people died? Though he’s got a lot of critics, he still has a lot of followers who are willing to defend him. Just shows how well he played the people.  Love him or hate him, he’s still in this list.

I tried to write this one objectively, but I may not have. Of course this is just my point of view. One could add or remove anyone from the list. One could add the Senate into the list for passing ineffective laws such as the EVAT Law or the Oil Deregulation Law. One could add the Americans for introducing American Pop culture which was patterned wrongly by the Filipinos. There are a lot of factors that can be added to determine why this country is so screwed. The Filipino people is a vulnerable culture. Introduce something to it and the general public may accept it blindly. I wish to get your opinions and invite a  discussion on this one and hopefully we could think of a viable solution. (^_^)

About the author

Howard Chan (The Student)

Howard considers himself as an armchair activist. Though his street rally days are in a slumber he still advocates changes via social media. He is a strong believer that awareness of various social issues is a good starting point in order to break out from the stranglehold of an oppressive system which only benefits the few. He is also a full time student and a part time blogger, part time web designer, part time web manager/designer for various clients. (Note: Howard Chan passed the 2014 Bar Exams and was admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 29, 2015. That being, all posts after April 29, 2015 authored by him are now under the name Howard Chan for the purpose of distinguishing posts he made as a non-lawyer from posts he made after admission to the bar).

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