Let’s end 56.5 years of kleptocracy | Inquirer Opinion
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Let’s end 56.5 years of kleptocracy

/ 05:08 AM October 24, 2021

Kleptocracy, according to Wikipedia, “is a government whose corrupt leaders use political power to appropriate the wealth of their nation, typically by embezzling or misappropriating government funds at the expense of the wider population.”

From Dec. 30, 1965, when Ferdinand Marcos became our president, to June 30, 2022, when a new president will have been elected, it will be exactly 56.5 years. This is a dark period of kleptocracy in our history from dictator Marcos to our worst president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

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In between Marcos and Duterte, we had Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III, all weak leaders with varying degrees of mediocrity. They all failed to stop thievery in government. In Estrada’s case, he was kicked out from Malacañang by Edsa People Power Revolution 2 because of brazen plunder involving $78 million to $80 million.

If we are suffering now, it is mainly because of the unabated corruption in our government caused by the insatiable greed of our government officials. We now know that even the money for the COVID-19 pandemic was channeled to Pharmally, whose owners are more loved by President Duterte than the 110 million suffering Filipinos.

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We can end our country’s 56.5 years of kleptocracy by electing one of the two most qualified presidential candidates, Sen. Ping Lacson or Vice President Leni Robredo. Either one of them can minimize, if not totally eradicate, corruption in government.

With all due respect to the rest of the 97 presidential candidates, I would like to humbly advise them to withdraw from the presidential race and help campaign for Senator Ping or VP Leni instead. It is a great sacrifice on their part, but it would be for the good of our country and all of us, especially the future generations.

Instead of running for president, my unsolicited advice for former senator Bongbong Marcos is to apologize to the Filipino people on behalf of his father who “embezzled $5 billion to $10 billion” from 1972 to 1986, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2004. Then, he must return the money and other properties that belong to the government.

These two actions would somehow assuage the pent-up emotions of people, especially the victims of martial law. They would also lessen the guilty feelings of the Marcoses, even as they remain in complete denial to this day.

Should Bongbong Marcos refuse to withdraw his candidacy for president, let’s give him zero vote in our respective precincts. The son of the dictator and the direct heir and beneficiary of the Marcos loot does not deserve to be our president. If the Marcoses were in another country, some members of the family would have been languishing in jail, or all of them could have been killed by an angry mob during the 1986 revolution.

But we are in the Philippines where most of our elected leaders and decision-makers are suckers for tyrants. In addition, our misplaced kindness is also the injustice that oppresses us.

Again, let us stop kleptocracy by voting Senator Ping or VP Leni for president in May 2022. And let us all pray to our God in heaven for this to become a reality, so that we could end our miseries and sufferings as a people.

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Hector Tarrazona is a 1968 PMA graduate, a member of MDM batch 1991 and scholar of AIM, and a jet fighter pilot. He was No. 3 in the hit list of Malacañang in 1985-86 as an original member of RAM’s 11-man ad hoc steering committee. As the most senior officer left in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, he stopped its officers and men from joining the 1989 coup attempt that almost toppled the government of President Corazon Aquino.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 presidential election, Bongbong Marcos, Commentary, Ferdinand Marcos, government corruption, Hector Tarrazona, kleptocracy
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