Philippines among worst-ranked countries in press freedom index & FREE EXPRESSION
— with the continuing murders of journalists and increased legal harassment in the form of libel suits, including those filed by First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, husband of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
This report was published last year. The number of bodybags, mostly salvaged and unclaimed, ordered by the dictator who sits high and mighty atop her ivory tower and her elite cronies, continue to rise to this day.
Nobody in the country wants to deal with it out in the open because everyone is busy enjoying this (cough, cough) democracy. Democracy in the Philippines is defined as yakking away endlessly about the latest Pacquiao fight, watching game shows and soap operas on television from morning till night, flocking blindly towards the church or the mall to find sanctuary, cockfight gambling, and unnecessary gushing over the private lives of other people whose business is none of their own — not just individuals in the public eye like politicians and celebrities, but also their very own neighbors. “Lupang Hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting / Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil…”
I don’t understand how we Filipinos were able to proudly oust two presidents, and yet here, we have someone who reportedly plundered even more than any other president in the past; and not just that: it has been long accepted by the public that she cheated her way onto her second term. There are tapes to prove it, and it was in fact such a hot topic in the mainstream media enough for the entire country to believe it to be true.
And yet here she is, she still runs the country. Why? Why is it so difficult to oust her, when in the past, our parents and grandparents have ousted someone as powerful and frightening as Marcos? When just years ago, this generation of Filipinos have also managed to oust Estrada? Why do we hold back with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? People say, “Okay, let’s remove her off her post. Who would we place up there to replace her, if you’re so smart and whiny about all this?” Blahblahblah, and that, she “rescued” Philippine economy from its sinking depths, being an economist herself. I say to them: “I don’t care who replaces her. Any one can replace her and is capable of carrying out her duties. Does it matter who the president is? The Philippines is in decay, and it always has been, with social cancers embedded so deep into the system, there is no cure, we’re done, our forefathers sold our souls the minute they let the Spanish, the Americans, the Japanese pillage our soil. Just get her off before she causes any more damage to the lives and families of those who care about the country’s freedom despite the tiny window of hope enough to die for it.”
Franz Kafka wrote, “By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” Well. I don’t think we Filipinos as one nation desire freedom at all. By taking comfort in this short-term security blanket that has been pulled over our eyes, we continue to be slaves. Slaves to elite middle class comfort, slaves to the dollar, slaves to every single social cancer that Jose Rizal has written about and died for.
I know I’m not really helping the situation. I’m merely pointing it out. I am just as bad as every one else. Shame. Shame on me. Shame on every one else.
“So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it with.”
– John Locke