We must remember what went wrong, and why

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Filipinos readily forgive, a distinction. We also easily forget – a flaw? Forgiving buttresses our society. Forgetting opens us to repeated abuse, especially by crooked government officials. No wonder many of us feel fated to suffer their corruption.

My new book compilation of columns tries to help us remember. In selecting the entries, the aim was to exemplify some of the worst sleaze in high places. The seemingly disparate cases were linked – in motive and modus operandi.

"Gotcha: An Exposé on the Philippine Government" recalls what went wrong and why, so we can avert recurrence of dirty schemes.

Chapters: (1) Beijing's Bullying and Duplicity; (2) MRT-3 Fiasco; (3) (Dis)Trusting Comelec, on the faulty poll automation; (4) Leveling Lush Mountains, via illegal mining; (5) Smuggling Unabated; (6) Police Chopper Scam; (7) Surrender of Sovereignty; and Epilogue: The Philippine Government Exposed.

Foreword by patriots Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio and former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario. Shared here:

"Jarius Bondoc’s columns lucidly expose all kinds of problems facing the nation, breaking down complex issues into simple understandable parts so the reader can easily see and comprehend the entire picture.  In particular, Jarius’ columns on the South China Sea dispute always shine the klieg lights on the dark corners of China’s hidden motives and stealthy actions designed to grab Philippine territory and maritime zones.

Jarius is often the first to expose, and to explain, China’s actions that steadily expand China’s land and maritime boundaries at the expense of the Philippines. Jarius does not hold back, because he would relentlessly follow through and build on what he has previously written, leaving the reader thoroughly convinced of the correctness of his views.  There are not many columnists who can be as persuasive as Jarius. In times when an adversary like China has unlimited resources to drown out or distort the truth, spread lies and fake news far and wide, we need columnists like Jarius who tell it the way it is.

"In this battle to defend our territory and sovereign rights against Chinese encroachment, we have to rely on our brave journalists who refuse to toe the administration’s obsequiously pro-China policy. We have to rely on our patriotic journalists who cannot be cowed by power or might. We have to rely on responsible and ethical journalists to tell the truth so that we may know what is right or wrong, and what is fair or unjust."

- Antonio T. Carpio, Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice (Ret.)

"Throughout history, the protection of a nation’s territory and patrimony has been a core duty not only of its leaders, but also of its people. Currently, this duty to defend one’s country assumes great relevance because of China’s acts to take over the South China Sea, including the waters belonging to its bordering States. As Filipinos, we stand to lose about 80% of our Exclusive Economic Zone in the West Philippine Sea, as well as our land territories such as Scarborough Shoal and Pag-asa Island.

"Ideally, the actions of citizens should complement the actions of their leaders; however, when leaders abscond in their duties, it falls upon citizens like us to stand up for our country.

"This duty to defend one’s country becomes effective when an informed citizenry exists. Citizens are informed through a robust and vibrant media—particularly through investigative journalism which independently seeks the truth in the public interest.

"It is in this light that I welcome Jarius Bondoc’s book entitled 'Gotcha: An Exposé on the Philippine Government', a compilation of his work as a seasoned and courageous journalist in the Philippines. 'Gotcha' spotlights the problems of corruption in Philippine government involving the country’s transport system, elections, customs and mining.


Jarius is also one of the few Philippine journalists who exposed some of the backstories of Philippine policy in the South China Sea. Given the sensitivity involved in foreign policy, the work of investigative journalists is important in exposing wrongdoing and corruption in government, especially involving officials bought off by a moneyed superpower like China.

"When done responsibly, investigative journalism contributes to an informed citizenry and a well-functioning democracy.

"For our leaders and citizens, the work of journalists is vital to allow us to see the truth and take creative and responsive actions to protect our country and patrimony."

- Albert F. Del Rosario, Former Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs

* * *

"Gotcha: An Exposé on the Philippine Government" is available as e-book and print-on-demand, starting today, Nov. 30, 2020.

Get a FREE copy of "Chapter 1, Beijing's Bullying and Duplicity". Simply subscribe, also FREE, to my newsletter at https://jariusbondoc.com/

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