The Dirt Under The Hood of Politics

Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Philippine's recently concluded inculpation entitled "Chief Justice on Trial" has made its way to global awareness. It's not as if the entire world ever cared much about politics in a third world country's perspective but, at the very least, it did stir up talks across nations. A first in Philippine history, the highest official in the Judiciary underwent an "in-depth" (or was it?) investigation of undeclared wealth. It was a trial reminiscent of former Philippine President Estrada's which took the public's interest as if a top-rated TV series was aired. So what really made the entire impeachment proceeding so interesting?

Courtesy: ABS-CBN NEWS

In a third world country like the Philippines, seldom would you see people's interest spike on political matters. However, trials involving corrupt practices and the like become an instant hit; one that sell like pancakes in dusty streets. Former Chief Justice Renato Corona was found guilty by 20 out of 23 Senator Judges in the impeachment court with the accusation of an incompletely-filed SALN (Statement of Assets Liabilities & Net Worth).

Courtesy: Impeachment Update

Believed to be a start of a "clean" government, a large number of politicians and folk rejoiced at the outcome and conviction of the former Chief Justice. Like the promise of the current President of the republic, the country will be geared toward pure and corrupt-free governance. Ironically, that promise sounds too good to be true and one that might remain a dream in a lifetime. Having a "clean" President is never a guarantee of a domino effect in all sectors of the government. If a simple act of joining the bandwagon headed to a "moment of truth" is a challenge for majority in office, how much more difficult would it be to reveal corruption hidden in a very deceiving manner? It can be recalled that the accused, himself, stood before the impeachment court in the light of cleaning a heavily tainted reputation and divulging everything owned straight from the crocodile's mouth. It was a time when the concept of a "moment of truth" was initiated through the signing of a waiver to bank secrecy. It was a brilliant idea despite the debatable intention of such execution. Unfortunately, not everyone was willing to raise their white flags in favor of transparent and honest governance. Such raises a question whether there is a widespread betrayal of public trust or not.

How will the citizens be able to attain absolute justice if the court is only placing one official on hot seat? Shouldn't the signing of the waiver be made mandatory to initiate the promise of an honest government? Why do we hear comments that it is irrelevant, unnecessary and questionable? Is it a personal shield for those who have a lot (of illegally-amassed wealth) in secret? People in politics unconsciously practice irony among themselves and that itself signifies the dirt under the hood of Philippine politics.

It ridicules me knowing that not all of the 188 Congressmen and 23 Senators were willing to submit themselves under the signing of the said waiver when in fact they were all pointing their fingers, both guilty and innocent, to the former Chief Justice. I admire the three Senator Judges who stood for what they thought was right. Not being swayed with the majority's decision is, in itself, a commendable act.

The dirty game of politics is the main factor pulling the country down to poverty line. Those who accuse are often to be accused themselves; a cycle based on luck. If a corrupt official is not exposed to his wrongdoings, he remains clean in the eyes of the people. So you think it's unfair? I say the word itself is an understatement.

Courtesy: Cafebabel

Since the time I learned to think, I have always regarded this government as a corrupt and dishonest one. Standing out and claiming my luck at changing it is as impossible as snow in the Philippines. If in my financial-well, I am unable to cease the strong force of corruption and dishonesty in governance, more so will I not be able to reach success in the field of politics. Philippine politics go by one honest motto: "once corrupt, always corrupt."