We are the laughing stock of the world

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

If I have no stories or reports emanating from the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), it is because despite our TV company, MyTV's registering me and my TV crew to cover the IEC events, somehow there was a mix-up and I never got to see my ID. No, I didn't want to bother the top people handling the IEC because of this small problem. It really is up to the Lord if this mix up can be resolved. I wanted so badly to listen to Bishop Robert Barron of World on Fire programs… but alas, it wasn't to be.

However I did get a portion of a radio Veritas interview with Msgr. Barron who hopes that the Catholic faithful would not just be content with the one hour Holy Mass… and when the priest gives them the blessing, it is also sending them to help evangelize our Catholic faith. He gave reference to the two disciples who walked with our Lord Jesus Christ on the way to Emmaus after he had risen from the dead… where Cleofas said, "Where not our hearts burning?" I sincerely hope that there will be a huge change with the Catholic faith here in Cebu after the IEC is over.


Last week, Sen. Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III made headline news when he made a statement during an interview on ANC's Headstart with Karen Davila and he commented on her question what if Sen. Bong Bong Marcos wins the vice presidential race, Sen. Osmeña replied, "We would be the laughing stock of the world, I think so!" Before he answered that question, Sen. Osmeña made reference to a book by Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew who wrote that he could not understand why Filipinos who booted out a dictatorship would allow his family to return back to a life of politics.

The statement of Sen. Serge prompted me to write this piece and to ask the question…where did we go wrong after the EDSA Revolt in 1986? For starters because of the Avila family's all out support for the late Sen. Sergio "Serging" Osmeña, Jr., the father of Sen. Serge Osmeña, we were already against Pres. Ferdinand Marcos even before the whole nation went against the Marcos dictatorship. Yes we rejoiced when we heard the news that the Marcoses were flown out of Malacañang to exile in Hawaii.

Well, next month we will be observing the 30th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution and yes, there is a huge chance that Sen. Bong Bong Marcos could be the next vice president of this country, and eventually could be a president on his own right. So will this make the world laugh at us Filipinos? If you ask me, we have been the laughing stock of the world electing senators and congressmen who steal our national coffers using the Janet Lim Napoles scam, and yet none of these crooks are behind bars! This situation makes the world laugh at us!

So you may ask, what had happened? How did we Filipinos allow this situation to happen? Who should we blame? Frankly speaking, I blame the current politicians… Sen. Serge Osmeña and his ilk in the Senate and in Congress for bringing back the old political system after we booted out the Marcos Dictatorship. We put in a kilometric 1987 Constitution, preserved the American style political way, but with a stupid multi-party system, which led only to personality politics. Our political parties are a sham or a shame!

But the cause of our political woes is that no one put a stop on that phenomenon called political butterflies, where politicians devoid of scruples shift to the ruling party and is accepted and embraced with gusto. This means, political dynasties stay powerful and in power for as long as they can. This is why today, old political names like Roxas or Osmeñas are still in power. The majority of the Filipino people rely on our political leadership to lead them out of poverty. Yet it is this poverty that is being exploited by our political leadership that has kept the Philippines from becoming a 1st world country that we should have attained after the EDSA Revolt.

We should have put a cap on political dynasties right after the EDSA Revolt. But as my mentor, the late Manong Max Soliven used to say, "The EDSA Revolt is an unfinished revolution… we started it…but didn't finish it!" So election year after election year, we end up electing the same powerful politicians for decades like it is a family heirloom to keep.

Compare ourselves to Japan where Zaibatsus rule the economy but keep away from politics. Because of this, development in Japan is not only focused on main cities like Tokyo or Osaka. Even in faraway Akita, which is 4 hours via Shinkansen, the roads and traffic signs are not different from what they have in Tokyo. Here in this country the further you go, you will see fewer developments especially on road infrastructure. So my message to Sen. Serge Osmeña is to help this nation change for the better by introducing a Parliamentary/Federal form of government.


For email responses to this article, write to [email protected]. or [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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