The situation regarding the controversial “pork barrel” scam is fast becoming confused and adumbrated. What started out as a hope filled brilliant light at the end of the tunnel has now been shrouded in sooty smog. What a big majority of us thought was a major headway in P’noy’s mission to eradicate corruption in government has been blunted by frenetic efforts of those who were most threatened by prosecution, together with their allies and those who benefit from status quo. A lot of us well meaning citizens were in ecstatic joy when the “pork scandal” first surfaced. But what is it now?...the whole event has turned into a temple of Babel, a confused plaza of shouting matches, misdirection with false leads, broad gauge shots of accusations and the creation of opportunistic alliances with groups that have no relevance to the issues except for a common contrarian stance against the government of P’noy. All these have been cleverly orchestrated to delay the prosecution of the major protagonists (JPE, Bong, Jinggoy and some congressmen).
The opposition has succeeded in no mean way. The popularity rating of P’noy has gone down significantly and quite a few who earlier supported Pnoy are now a befuddled lot, playing into the hands of the other side by joining marches that included the agenda of the left and being convinced of the clever ploy of making “pork barrel” per se as an evil thing, the president’s budget included. They have managed to convince a lot of people that the budget, even that of the president’s, is evil. By attaching the emotional term “pork” on the chief executive’s budget they, with the help of the mercenary army of hacks in broadcast and print media, have been successful in staining the president’s reputation. The ploy is not so much to hamstring the president’s ability to make the government function, but, to besmirch his name as a “pork” user himself to the point of calling him “Pork King”. At some juncture in time, the focus to get things done urgently was lost as there were those of us who joined in raising the number count and the noise level to several decibels higher, thus helping the cause of the other side.
For us who want P’noy to succeed, all we want to happen is to have a quick prosecution of the main suspects. The successful prosecution of the big time perpetrators will pave the way for reforms in government and its bureaucracy; this will spell the end of institutionalised corruption. The wheel of justice in our country grinds exceedingly slow and if we let this run at its usual pace we would have given the perpetrators a chance to be pardoned by P’noy’s successor, a somebody who may be as “friendly” as PGMA, who in her tenure pardoned the most obnoxious miscreants. When this happens, we are back to square one, and the evil powers have saved “happy days” once more.
Through all these years, what has transpired in the last few months would be the only real opportunity to cleanse government of graft and corruption. Without the expose’ of the PDAF scam involving our senators, congressmen and other government position holders, the country was traversing a moribund path towards an inextricable quagmire that will condemn generations of Filipinos into lives of deprivation, illiteracy and anomie. A sharp contrast to “daang matuwid” which promises the long sought redemption of the Filipino from the entrenched graft and corrupt way of life which only benefits the 1%.
Realistically, some of us in this forum may no longer see the changes come about in our lifetime, but, all we want is to be assured that systemic corruption has been halted and that this insidious cancer would not continue to metastasize and crush all hopes we have for our children and grandchildren.
The efforts of the other side have been fierce and relentless. The people behind the effort to blunt the resonance of the “pork barrel” scam are experts at managing and creating events. With the aid of spin doctors and incredible hacks in media they were able to confuse the issues through disinformation and misinformation. Desperate and vicious counterattacks have been fast and furious and have managed to succeed in shattering the conviction of some who were supportive of Pnoy’s initiatives earlier. Rallies started with honest intentions and were real expressions of outrage against the excesses of the legislators. Succeeding rallies became opportunities for the other side to obfuscate issues. Teaming up with parties with other agendas, but with common hostility towards Pnoy, they were able to distract and cause some of the pro Pnoy groups to lose their focus. In the meantime, the henchmen of the other side are busy at work creating all sorts of distractions designed to delay the prosecution of the perpetrators.
For those who continue to go against Pnoy and his mission, I urge you to examine your motives for siding with the other side. I refuse to believe that the reasons could be ideological, or a difference in program of governance or patriotism. I don’t think anyone will disagree that the system we have lived with all these years has been a patently corrupt one and that reforms have long been needed and neither is it arguable that our government officials; senators, congressmen and some members of the bureaucracy have committed heinous and unconscionable crimes against the Filipino people and this travesty need to be redressed.
What are the reasons why there are still people who support the other side despite their obvious evil intentions? Why don’t they support Pnoy?
Let me hazard a few guesses:
1. they believe that “pork barrel” is inherently evil
2. they now believe that P’noy is equally guilty because he himself has “pork”
3. they believe that P’noy’s sincerity is not enough to create positive change
4. they believe that everybody in the COA report should be charged immediately
5. they are part of the group of politicians who benefit from status quo,
6. they are among those threatened by prosecution for involvement or are complicit to defraud the government,
7. they have familial relationships with the those on the other side,
8. they have existing businesses and undertakings that will be adversely affected by the reforms,
9. they have close friends and associates who are enmeshed in the scandal,
10. they have an axe to grind against P’noy,
11. they owe a debt of gratitude with the suspects in the “pork barrel” scam
12. they are of the conviction that we need to have a change of government or ideology (against Pnoy or any other president),
13. they have a mercenary relationship with the opposition and the suspects
14. they entertain the hope that the “well” has not yet dried up when they get elected in the future
15. they don’t really care because they have a weak allegiance to the country,
16. they have a sense of loyalty for being with them for a long time etc. etc.
17. They are employed in businesses, institutions and professional offices owned by the other side
Well, if it is not any of the above, we can easily manufacture one. The human mind is so resilient that it can rationalize readily an opinion even if it is blatantly indefensible. Going through the list help us identify real motives from the rationalized ones.
No matter how much rationalisation is done to assuage and hide the guilt, the spectre of mendicant children of our future...maybe of our own grandchildren, weighs heavy on the mind and will haunt us because a sea change in the country was happening but we let it go with the tide.