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Warnings for President Aquino & Co.

/ 01:58 AM October 02, 2014

The disgust many people feel toward government found violent expression at UP. Media accounts reported on Budget Secretary Florencio Abad getting mobbed by irate students protesting the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program.

Students have grown tired of the denials, diversionary tactics, delays and other ploys erring officials use to escape accountability. As due process degenerates into one more escape route for criminals, concerned citizens must now become involved citizens, and that may include being co-opted into a lynch mob.

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Unfortunate, but inevitable, now that the tipping point could be any issue. There are just too many flash points that can trigger the spontaneous combustion of a revolution. After all, commuters have not only daily traffic but also colorum buses, MRT woes and many other problems as they go to and from work, even as their paychecks are unable to cover basic needs because the so-called leaders are bleeding the Filipino nation dry with taxes that are siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians who have mastered the art of plunder. Public office has become a franchise to steal, as seen in Makati’s “world-class” parking building and “cakebacks.”

Initially, “Daang Matuwid” looked promising: No wang-wangs! Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap; hopeful State of the Nation Addresses, featuring exposés of abuses and malpractices; and the departure of Gloria Arroyo’s rear guards—Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Chief Justice Renato Corona. More recently, three senators were arrested for misusing their Priority Development Assistance Fund through Janet Napoles; a Sandiganbayan justice has also been sacked by the Supreme Court.

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But incompetence and arrogance have created potholes in the “daang matuwid,” changing the meaning of daan from Tagalog (“way”) to Ilocano (“old”), reprising the old politics of cronyism, nepotism and corruption. Despite the usual explanations of public relations and legal experts, there’s just too much that isn’t right at too many government offices, among them the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Finance and executive agencies. The legislative and judiciary are not much better.

Small wonder then that Secretary Abad can’t find the sober discourse he seeks. The students won’t be lied to anymore and are exploring other ways to deal with false leaders. Pelting officials with coins and paper is a sign that a change is due—and can happen anytime.

P-Noy and company better heed these warning signs.

—JOSE OSIAS,

jzosias@gmail.com

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TAGS: chief justice renato corona, daang matuwid, Disbursement Acceleration Program, florencio abad, Gloria Arroyo, Janet Napoles, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Sandiganbayan, State of the Nation Address, Supreme Court
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