Protect the few good men

The controversy over the millions of pesos Malacanang apparently doled out to hundreds of local executives and congressmen is sickening. How brazen can they get? While our government’s social services sector is is suffering from insufficient budget allocations, here are the powers-that-be doling out millions of pesos as Christmas gifts. And they dare admit it to be a normal course of habit?

For years, I’ve resigned to the idea that the prevailing order is so entrenched and has successfully used our democratic system of government to their advantage that in order for the majority of our people to truly liberate themselves from poverty and oppression, we have to junk the system altogether and start with an alternative. Friends who disagree with me always pin their hopes on our elections. Elections work, they say. As if we all don’t know that our elections is just a game the few powerful and wealthy play. Sure, it does work sometimes. Granted, there are cases like Ed Panlilio who was able to win the governorship in Pampanga, or Grace Padaca in Isabela, or even cases like Antonio Trillanes IV’s senatorial victory. And of course, there are the victories of progressive party list groups in the House of Representatives.

True, cases of Ed Panlilio and Grace Padaca are indeed inspiring. Perhaps, indeed one does not need to be wealthy or part of the ruling class or be their pawns to participate and win elections. But let us not be deceived, because Panlilio and Padaca are few and far between. For every Panlilio or Padaca, there are hundreds of trapos who win and will continue to win their game called elections. For every Anakpawis or Bayan Muna, there are tens of other bogus trapo-fronts who dubiously get elected. And as these few disturb the prevailing rotten order, expect the ruling class to buy them, silence them, and if all else fail, eliminate them–the same way they’re eliminating those from the more radical side, in the streets, in picket lines, in peasant communities, and in the countryside.

With the radical administrative changes Governor Ed Panlilio is implementing in Pampanga, to his expose’s of bribes from Malacanang, there are few who are irritated and angry. I’m sure the few good men like Panlilio are eating death threats for breakfast. I pray it doesn’t happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he figures in another assassination attempt, or in a car or plane “accident.” Or if malicious propaganda and an induced people power oust him. Think of how the United States eliminates world leaders who disobey its whims and wishes. I’m not being overly cynical, but this is what history tells us. People like Governor Ed Panlilio are and will continue to be a rare and endangered species in our democracy. Mong Palatino has written something similar to this entry months ago.

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