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The Soapbox Filipina | November 20, 2019

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The Poor, The Taxpayers and The Thieves

Pier Angeli B. Ang Sen

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All our lives, we were made to believe that our country is poor because Filipinos are lazy.

“Kaya mahirap ang Pilipinas, dahil tamad ang Pilipino.”

We were made to think that we are poor because of our own doing.

We, The Filipino people believed all that.

Then, The Commission on Audit released a special report that a staggering amount of 6.156 BILLION PESOS was poured into 82 non-government organizations that never existed.
SOURCE:
http://www.rappler.com/nation/36609-coa-special-report-pdaf-misused

( all those money unaccounted for, just like that. )

While corrupt lawmakers of this country shamelessly believed that this monstrous amount of money was all theirs to spend.

When every single centavo of this pork barrel, ( euphemistically referred to as, The Priority Development Assistance Funds or PDAF) was contributed through taxes, by every single hardworking Filipino.

We Filipinos, seemed to have been under mass hypnosis of sorts, for too long.

( Naniniwala ka pa rin bang mahirap tayo dahil tayo ay tamad? )

Let us wake up from that fallacious belief.

We are not poor because we are lazy. We are anything but lazy.

We are the most hardworking group of people in the world.

Haven’t you seen our kababayans from call centers, who braved flood waters during the habagat, just to get to work?

It was all because they had to be of service to clients, calling from all around the globe.

How about our industrious countrymen abroad, who are highly praised by other nationalities?

What do the world say about us?

” What will the world do without Filipinos.”

They have nothing but words of admiration for our Overseas Filipino Workers (O.F.W.s) :

Our domestic helpers.
Our hotel workers.
Our I.T.s
Our sailors.
Our nurses.
Our caregivers.
Our teachers.
Our engineers.
Our entertainers.

My country is poor because of our corrupt officials, no more, no less.

No matter how much hard work we put into our jobs and how much taxes we pay, we still remain poor.

It is because we have been betrayed by these corrupt government officials.

Do not even dare call these corrupt officials, Filipinos.

They had long renounced their right to be Filipinos, the day they pinched that single centavo from the people’s money.

They are traitors to the country.

Do our corrupt officials, actually know the faces of the Filipino poor?

Most of them happen to be children.

image( image :stock photo –www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-street-children-image20502010)

THE CHILDREN who scavenged through mountains of trash, while deprived of that right to food, shelter, health care and education.

THE CHILDREN whom they should have provided with more school buildings, better health programs, housing and nutrition.

THE CHILDREN who now live on streets and are exposed to of abuses that one could only imagine.

THE CHILDREN whom they should have fed, clothed and given a bright future to look forward to, through the P200 million ( for senators ) and P70 million ( for congressmen ) worth of P.D.A.F., they received.

Yes, my country is rich in natural resources but filled with really poor people.

What else is my country filled with, aside from the poor and the working class taxpayers?

– Senators who think that it is not their main concern if the recipient-NGO was a bogus one or not.

( If they really protected the interest of the people and for ’round and about one million pesos worth of money involved, they could have made it their main concern.)

– Congressmen who created NGOs that are funded and spearheaded by their own families.

( which is why, they do not know or need not to know, Janet Lim Napoles.)

– Generals and military men whose pocket money when leaving for abroad, could have paid for the tuition fees of hundreds of students.

And so that students, like sixteen year old Kristel Tejada, would not contemplate in taking their own lives.

– Government officials with dollar accounts that would put royalty to shame.

– Congressional spouses who appeared during the President’s SONA in designer clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry.

– Various houses owned by our officials in Ayala Alabang, which would be enough to accommodate twenty homeless people.

And they don’t even have goosebumps, the least ?

What again was it they said were the reasons, that devastating tragedies like HABAGAT, ONDOY and SENDONG happened?

Aside from the rainfall values of the monsoon and the strength of the storm itself, we are told these:

Overpopulated metropolis,
Informal settlers,
Professional squatters and
People residing on flood plains.

But why were those people there in the first place?

They have no place to go. While corrupt officials in my country own various mansions, villas and rest houses that could accommodate those people.

All those floods that killed our countrymen were caused by:

Encroachment of the river banks,
Insufficient drainage systems,
Inadequate garbage disposal system,
Silted rivers,
Blocked tributaries
and Illegal loggers/miners.

And all of which could have been addressed by those corrupt lawmakers.

I was there the day after SENDONG happened.
I was stuck in the house while HABAGAT and ONDOY arrived.

A few days later after each of those tragedies, I would find myself in front of the
television set, CRYING my heart out.

I saw bodies of my dead countrymen pulled out of the debris -in a heart wrenching state.

And even until now, I cannot get over those images of helpless and heart broken parents, hugging the small DEAD BODIES of their children!
I was crying my heart out, as a parent.
But I was crying most especially because I knew, I could not do anything for them.

BUT THOSE CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND SIX BILLION PESOS, COULD HAVE MADE A GREAT DIFFERENCE.

The large amount of money in PORK BARRELS that our newspapers are talking about, could have changed everything.

How many housing projects could it have actually build for our so called informal settlers?

How many hi-tech gadgets and instruments could it have bought for P.A.G.A.S.A.?
How much would have it meant, for the waste management and garbage disposal system?
How much could it have made, in fixing our drainage systems?
How much of that large amount of money, could have helped in preventing encroachment of the rivers and unblocking useless tributaries?

Thousands of our countrymen would have not perished.
Lives would not have been even sacrificed.
Even before those tragedies occurred, many of our kababayans did not even, have food on their tables and houses to call their own.

They were already part of a bigger and devastating tragedy.

The tragedy of corruption.

These corrupt officials did not just steal money from the poor, they killed many of our countrymen by starving them and leaving them to die.

These corrupt officials should not only be tried for corruption, but for murder too.

I used to be forgiving when I hear my corrupt government officials say,

” WAG NAMAN I-ASA SA GOBYERNO ANG LAHAT. “

And you hear of these large amount of money floating around, like our country is not one of the poorest country in the world.
We are a country that boasts of beautiful islands and people.
We are talented, passionate, loving, industrious, hardworking, intelligent and TAXPAYING working individuals.
Other nationalities are amazed at our endearing traits and even our artistic talents.

THEREFORE, from now on, I am blaming corruption and these corrupt officials for anything and everything that had happened to my country.
1. The lack of funding for promising athletes.

2. The lack of funds for schools, for teachers, for books for everything that would
have made many poor Filipinos, literate.

3. The lack of housing, food and jobs.

4. The floods that drowned many of our countrymen.

5. The tragedies that were made even more difficult, by congressmen and mayors
who pocketed calamity funds.

6. The tragedies at sea, that were made even worse, by corrupt personnel who had
allowed overloaded ships to embark.

7. Those ships that collided at sea, because uneducated skippers were employed.
While OUR BEST SAILORS had been left no choice but to go abroad.

8. The young and courageous soldiers who were killed in battle because of under
par
armaments and sub-standard equipments.

9. Our muslim brothers who were forgotten by these corrupt politicians.

10. Our OFWs who were raped and treated like animals abroad.

11. The babies with shaken baby syndrome who were left to the care of crazy nannies who maltreat them, in the absence of government day care centers and mothers who had to earn a living.

12. Our poor countrymen who chose to be massacred in SABAH, rather than come
home. ( -where nothing awaits them.)

13. The number of families who are divided by continents because family members had to work in other countries.

14. The homesickness that our kababayans who are striving abroad, had to endure.

15. The country’s brilliant minds who are serving other nations when they could have
taught our children.

16. The innocent children, who may turn into hardened criminals someday, because of lack of basic needs, education and proper guidance from parents, who were always away, looking for ways to feed them.

Today as a Filipino, I am broken-hearted because I may have something to do with the plight of my poor countrymen, I voted for those thieves.

I was once led to believe that they love my country, in the same way that I do.

I am angered and enraged by these corrupt politicians who lived glamorous lives,
while many of the children in my country are dying and starving.

How can one even think of robbing from the poorest of poor?

image( image :stock photo dreamstime.com)

While many of us, hardworking taxpayers shared some of our hard-earned money through taxes.
We thought that our taxes had at least helped alleviate, the living conditions of our country’s poor deprived families.
These corrupt officials and their crimes must not be left unpunished.
Let this not be one of those plunder cases, all forgotten, five years down the road.
Let our Ombudsman and Department of Justice prosecute them.
They have to answer to every Filipino -to every enraged Filipino like myself!

PUSO, PILIPINAS!

Comments

  1. Corruption of this magnitude is nothing new, it’s deeply entrenched in the country’s system since time immemorial.The nation suffers when elected officials use their power for personal gain. Public corruption at any level, corrodes and undermines the government and the economic system that is suppose to alleviate the helpless people from poverty.

    It is very detestable that the public officials trusted with the oversight, blatantly conspired to plunder this beautiful nation, at a time when taxpayer resources should have been used to help those who could not help themselves: the needy and poor people of the country.

    May God save the country from these criminal elements.

  2. Kaya pala kinaya ng mga Ampatuans na pumatay ng mga tao, dahil ayaw nilang maalis sa pwesto dahil mawawalan sila ng pork barrel. Nung una inisip ko siguro dahil talagang gahaman sila sa kapangyarihan, pero ngayon, hindi pala, ang dahilan pala nito ay ang milyong milyong pork barrel ng kanilang angkan, na nakapwesto sa gobyerno. Sa dami ng nakaupong Ampatuan noon, ibig sabihin, sa kanila na halos lahat napunta ang malaking bahagi ng pork barrel. Kaya nga nilang pumatay ng mga tao. Nakakasuka ang mga dimonyong ito. Sila ang mga kampon ni Satanas na nabuhay sa mundong ito.

  3. These politicians dont love our country and very unpatriotic.. they should be hanged in the public for what they did is a disservice to the people.. walang pagmamahal sa Inang Bayan! mas masahol pa sila sa mga drug pusher dahil inaalisan nila ng hinaharap ang kababayan natin..

  4. though I am from India, your words resonate with me.

    I have some really close friends in the Philippines, and have heard this from them as well.

    The plight in India is pretty much the same. I guess corrupt politicians are the same across the globe

  5. I am basically just a tourist who visited philippines a few times so i may not know enough about this country and its people to justify acomment. Yet i will leave a personal observation, i have had while travelling in philippines (and i did not just go to boracay).

    A lot of people i met in philippines did not show much interest in politics or the ability to change the country. To me it seemed like filipinos are very good at accepting the status quo and make the best of it or trying to leave the country instead of rallying or tryingto change. But what happends to a country whose most successful and intelligent people all wantto leave ?

    Someone once said a country has the politicians it deserves. I know that sounds harsh especially considering that many filipinos are hard working and honest people. But i am really missing a major outcry and will to change the government or even an imterest in politics in a lot of people i met during my travels. While this sample of people may not be statistically relevant to give an accurate statement, it did give me the above impression.

    Where are the protests that shocked part of the arabic world lately?

    Maybe and hopefully this scandal will make people much more aware of their powers to change their political representatives and thereforetheir country and make them more focused on improving their country than just leaving it.

  6. Let’s be pro-active… dapat na tayong maki-alam!!!

  7. Where are the people who organised the PEOPLE POWER we need them now. It is time to give notice to these Politkos that the people will not tolerate anymore the status quo. They are not Leaders but Misleaders. They mislead voters with their lies, false promises and what’s worse they buy votes with the aid of funds obtained through their corrupt practices. It is time mga kababayan, it is time to stand up and make known our anger. IT IS TIME!!!

  8. The graft and corruption is what set back the country for decades now. We used to be the envy of Asian countries but now we are the laughing stock. It’s time that the citizenry goes up in arms against corruption similar to the EDSA revolution. Everyone should unite for the good of the country and future generations. Thus far and embarrassing to the world, corrupt officials are reelected and admired. WHY? Don’t you think they should be punished, jailed for life, or even beheaded to set an example to all those guilty?

  9. lilia only

    So where do we go from here? – the Janet Lim Napoles the pork barrel queen in cahoots with corrupt greedy evil government officials? There’s got to be concrete, transparent solutions to this our country’s cancer problem. If we cannot trust anymore our elected government officials to properly manage, administer our country’s funds I would suggest 1) that all the educated masang pilipino gets privy to the yearly collected taxes, budget and funds 2) thru a transparent proper monthly accounting of collected taxes, income and expenditures. This can properly be done probably thru the Commission on Audit in coordination with private audit accounting firms deployed in each town, 3) publishing monthly FOR THE PILIPINO PEOPLE’S PRIVY the towns’ income and expenditures, and audited and published on a nationwide basis for the information of the President and the Filipino people. 4) This suggestion might sound crazy, but it is time to realize that the only solution to the disgraceful corruption of our country is TOTAL TRANSPARENCY. Evil government officials stay in the dark. They are afraid to come to the light because their evil, embarrassing looks will be revealed in the LIGHT. So the only way to expose them is thru TRANSPARENCY of monthly reports per town in our country for all Filipino and the President to see. We have done and witnessed Coup de etats, people power, demonstrations, referendums, senate trials for plunderers . The pork barrel corruption needs a new approach, new strategic problem solution. AND THE ONLY WAY I SEE IT IS THRU TOTAL TRANSPARENCY THRU MONTHLY PUBLICATION FOR THE PILIPINO PUBLIC TO SEE, THE INCOME AND EXPENDITURE OF EACH TOWN OF OUR COUNTRY. WE CAN GATHER SOLUTION TO OUR COUNTRY’S PROBLEM TO WHAT OUR GOD FATHER IN HEAVEN HAVE THOUGHT US – AND THAT IS – TO COME TO THE LIGHT. So with the Janet Lim Napoles pork barrel scam, the only way to help the Philippines and its Filipino people from the evil deeds of corrupt, greedy government officials …..is to this kind of transparency. So help us, our God Father in Heaven.

  10. ray natividad

    thanks for all your coments its really inspiring but big ?????? this is our life something will happen kaya? sa europe you cannot go back to work in your unual leave unless you spend your leave outside, pinoy cannot go back to pinas unless you have enough pesos from your pocket to feed the stomach of your family..kawawang huan dela cruz , ang daming nasisirang buhay ng mga OFW alintana ba ito ? ng mga buwayang politician?????

    • ray natividad

      si napoles nakakasuka na ang mukha she is a lier bitayin na yan halata naman puro lies ang mga sagot niya.

  11. T. Medina

    The comments seem to come from those who have experienced different forms of governance. Have we ever thought of the poor huan dela cruz, who is so poor, he does not think twice about selling his vote at elections – time and time again – without thinking that he is the cause of corruption in his own neighborhood/country? Do I side with anyone? No, I don’t. When we complain about corruption do we ever think when and how it started…. is it not because at some point in our lives, we decided to sell our vote – or perhaps out of the goodness of our heart, we paid somebody to do their job/some favor for us – which in reality he/she is already being paid for because it is his/her job?

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