The Davide Impeachment

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Our Nation's Health is Guarded
(The Sick Politics of Currupt Officials)

Our nation's health is grave because of the sick politics afflicting it. The carriers of this deadly malady are our corrupt politicians, who are bent on annihilating the character and dignity of honorable people who threaten them. This is obviously what motivated the impeachment of Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. Why he was singled out among all the Justices of the Supreme Court, who en banc participated in the approval of the expenses from the Judiciary Development Funds, says it all. Why he is hunted down when he did not spend even a single centavo from the JDF fund for his personal use, is self-evident. Justice Davide did not side with Joseph Estrada when the former president was being impeached; Justice Davide swore in Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after the EDSA 2 revolution; Justice Davide is a good potential candidate for the 2004 presidential race, although he vehemently declined, and most uninclined to run for the office; and, for other reasons some fearful opposition politicians may have about the Chief Justice---all these made him a target, a good man to get rid off, if not, at least destroyed and neutralized.

If you cannot get him to join you in the corruption, render him ineffective. Better yet, ruin his name, his honor and dignity. Make the gullible Filipinos think you are the hero getting rid of the villain, in defense of, and for the benefit of, the people, in the name of democracy and justice.

Our nation's health is tightly intertwined with our politics. Where the majority of politicians are inept, immoral, money-hungry, corruption shall prevail. That's democracy in its bad profile. The evil majority shall always outvote the good minority. Majority rules, remember?

If we have a majority of law-abiding and God-fearing leaders in the congress and in the senate, in our provincial and city governments, men who are honest, decent and not crooks, then the good shall prevail and our country will prosper and our people well-cared for and more secure. But we obviously don't.

Shall we close our eyes and lie to ourselves and say that we do not have corruption in our government, and therefore, majority of our politicians are not corrupt? Do these leaders even know the true meaning of corruption, and realize if they are or are not? Does accepting a bribe of ten pesos make one corrupt, and accepting ten million, make one more corrupt, and accepting one million, less corrupt? Is the "briber" exempt from sin of corruption, and the one who gives ten thousand is less corrupt than the one who doles out one hundred thousand?

We are a sick and a sad nation, because we are led by leaders, majority of whom are immoral, indecent, dishonest and corrupt, who are using the poor Filipinos, bribing them with money and false promises during elections, in order to get elected and get rich. And unfortunately, majority of "we, the people", are also gullible, short-sighted and simply don't give a damn for the future for our fellow Filipinos and for our beloved Pilipinas, and must share the blame. The results of the elections time and again are proofs of this. We seem to love to elect corrupt candidates, and then complain bitterly about them later.

If we are smarter, we shall refuse the bribe. But if we are only "smart," we shall accept it and vote our conscience anyway. If the poor and the illiterate cannot comprehend this, why can't we, the better educated and more blessed, not help educate these less privileged fellow Filipinos in a nationwide crusade? Yes, let us teach them the strategy on how to handle bribe money from politicians, and voting their conscience anyway. I realize that this strategy is a compromise, not the perfect and honest solution, but this imperfect tactic is just what might be practical and compassionate for the poor. Anything is fair game at this hour, if only to get rid of corrupt officials in the government.

What we actually need is a benevolent dictator, I told a friend during a discussion about the sorry state of our country. Although I am very much against dictatorship (the Marcos nightmare is still fresh on my mind, where it left an indelible scar), I feel that our country is being held hostage by gross corruption among our officials that only a benevolent dictator could save and rehabilitate. Mind you, I used the qualifier, benevolent.

I am sad to admit that we, as a people, are not disciplined. Corrupt examples from our government leaders, and perhaps from some of our elders as well, are the root cause of this undisciplined mind among the majority of us, from childhood up. To rid the government and the private sector of corruption, the benevolent dictator could rule with an iron fist, but acting as a loving and compassionate father of our people, one who will discipline us to be law-abiding and God-fearing, one who is sincerely concerned about our country and its people in a selfless decorum.

The first act of our paternal dictator could be to make all public officials in the government (national, provincial, city, town), and other questionable people in the private sector, declare and account for their financial status. This decree could include, but not limited to, Imelda, Lacson, Honasan, Danding, Noli, and others. All the banks in the country could be ordered to make public and transparent the deposited funds of all these people. An accurate actuarial calculation will be made to ascertain the true and legal incomes and total legitimate asset of each individual, from his/her very first income or salary, or sources of funds, to the present. Any unaccounted or unexplained wealth (obviously gotten from corruption) will be confiscated by the government and used to fund education, to help the poor and to improve and modernize our infrastructure in the whole country. Those with unexplained wealth will go to jail, meted out a sentence of one year jail term per P10,000 that is ill-gotten. This strategy alone might leave only about 30% or less in the government. Jailing the others for other crimes they have committed might reduce the number down to 20%. The dictator shall then replace these errant and jailed officials with the youth, the proven student leaders in the university and colleges and other public sectors, a new breed of fresh, honest and uncorrupted young leaders. The Philippines, then, could have a fresh start.

An impossible and stupid dream? Yes, perhaps. But I love the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos enough to fantasize about their final and quick liberation from corruption and poverty and misery, even through a silly and crazy dream. Singapore was once a dream. Today, it is a living reality, an impressively convincing proof that discipline among the leaders and the people is what it takes to make a country great. The Philippines is blessed with tremendous natural resources and a truly great people in general, but lack of discipline and the presence of corruption among our leaders in the national, provincial and city governments the past 5 or 6 decades have pulled the Philippines down from being the second riches country in Asia (a step just below Japan) to its present shameful (second to the last) place, just above the bottom, Bangladesh.

Our nation and our people don't deserve this. We know we are better than this. But thanks to our corrupt leaders, we are now way down low, almost touching the bottom as the second poorest country in the region. And because of corrupt politicians the country is presently in a political crisis, which further repels potential foreign investors, our most important (and perhaps the only) hope for national recovery.

The impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., and the blatant refusal of those congressmen concerned to abide by the law, is severely symptomatic of the grave political disease the Philippines is infested with. If a group of sharks in the government, in collusion with equally corrupt businessmen, could launch an attack on an honorable man, the venerable Chief Justice of the land no less, and in the process desecrate the constitution and place the Supreme Court of the land and the country in a turmoil, the diagnosis is evident: majority of our public officials in both houses of congress have Hypercorruptemia, a disease that could be effectively controlled only by prolonged isolation (perhaps 20 years or longer) --- in jail. Only then could these cancerous pests be eliminated and the prognosis of our country and the Filipino people be improved, from critical to safe to prosperous.

Come dream with me my fellow Filipinos for the sake of our beloved Motherland and our people. Better yet, let us unite and put our dreams into action.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.