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I’m not surprised that more and more public officials are being tagged in massive corruption cases. To most Filipinos, I guess, it’s an open secret politicians steal public funds. However, I’m glad that this open secret is now being revealed through the media, and being discussed openly by our society. The mounting calls for the perpetrators to pay for their misdeeds are increasing, and thanks to social media, spreading rapidly like wildfire. I’m quite wary, though, of how this all ends. Many of the accused politicians exert considerable clout even across the varying branches of the judiciary and I don’t see them going to jail without putting up a legal (regardless if it’s a moral) fight. It would be vindicating to see these senators and congressmen in jail, though, with the rest of society’s crooks. Although come to think of it, most of them are worst than the petty thieves and snatchers who fill up our detentions cells. These greedy public officials are in the same rank as the rapists and drug users – they’ve raped the country’s resources and taken away our dignity (personal gain first before the public’s interest), and have in turn, become addicted to their crack – money.

Allies of the president, who are also involved in the scandals, have yet to be scrutinized, thanks to P-Noy’s massive ego and frustrating stubbornness. It’s clear to me what a disappointment he’s turned out to be. Not only has he failed to guarantee the people’s interest – expand their freedoms by bringing to justice the greedy – he’s also missed out on his earlier claim that Filipino people – us – are his boss(es). P-Noy seems to be more interested in hearing out what his cabinet has to say. He keeps talking about things he already knows about, and his incompetent and rather combative communications team, simply regurgitate P-Noy’s opinions disguised as defense. If the President would only take the time to listen to the people, he would probably know something new, including how the progress he will certainly claim in tomorrow’s SONA have yet to improve the lives of Filipinos in the lowest socio-economic classes. Maybe if he’s only more invested in transparency, rather than deciding on his own or with Abad, where the billions of pesos in savings would go, our resources would have been well-spent rather than appropriated to the unreliable public officials.

Our country’s misery is far from over, although it looks like we’re making forward steps despite the ills afflicting society. Yes, we’re still stuck with useless politicians with selfish loyalties; we’re stuck with a judiciary who cannot conceal their biases; we’re stuck with a hard-headed president who cannot swallow his ego; we’re stuck with ourselves: middle-class and defeatist and confused and all. But considering the challenges, it’s nice to know most of us are standing up and getting angry. I wish there is a heightened desire to continue the fight, not just for people making up the formal economy but also those who labour the land and fish the seas. They’ve been worst-hit by both man-made and natural calamities. They’ve been the victims of anomalous NGOs supposedly created to help. They’ve been forgotten with the non-sense squabbling between one greedy public official to another. In tomorrow’s SONA, let us remember them, so that if our government once again forgets to highlight and respect the crucial role our men in the provinces and the coasts, we make sure they are reminded, the way we’ve shown them we won’t be used any longer for personal gain.

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