MAGANES: Erosion of faith and trust in the government
In his inaugural speech last June 30, President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte stressed that the real problem of the Philippine society is not the proliferation of illegal drugs, corruption and all forms of criminality but the erosion of faith and trust of the Filipino people to their leaders. Because of this reality, Duterte said, that it was the reason why he was catapulted to the presidency. The Filipinos are wanting for change and are looking for leaders who could make reforms in all aspects of governance.
Let’s go beyond the two words “faith” and “trust”.
Faith bridges trust. Faith in governance is when we believe that our leaders could do what are expected from them. Trust is when we accept that what they are doing are devoid of personal interests but for the common good of the people. Faith and trust go hand in hand. They are not interchangeable. When faith and trust in governance are eroded, we will expect that people will no longer accept any reform or change from the leaders.This is what the outgoing PNoy administration has done.
During the term of PNoy, Filipinos at first were mesmerized by what he espoused in his administration as “Tuwid na Daan.” He promised a country free of corruption, discrediting the administration of La Presidenta Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Because of alleged corruption during her administration, Arroyo was indicted with plunder for allegedly using the intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). She was until now on a hospital arrest at the Veterans Hospital in Quezon City.
After Arroyo, then Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached by Congress by not only declaring his dollar accounts in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN). It was a move by the Congress thru the orchestration of PNoy because Corona was instrumental in a decision that the 6,800 hectares of sugar land of Hacienda Luisita (owned by the family of PNoy) have to be distributed to the farmers in Tarlac.
How about the plunder cases of Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada in relation with the use of their priority development assistance fund (PDAF)? It was well established that the illegal use of the PDAF was through the manipulation of Janet Napoles who also claimed that she was mentored by no other that the Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. Why is Abad off the hook? Why is it that many solons who are allies of PNoy were never indicted with plunder because of PDAF? Are his allies immune from investigations and cases before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan? Filipinos are crying foul on all these realities.
Now, let’s go the fallen SAF 44. They were killed in broad daylight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Until now, the families of the victims are crying for justice. Who will take responsibility for their deaths? Pnoy, being the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was never issued accused of being on top of the operations at that time. What was he doing and why did he pass the blame to the ground commanders who were just receiving orders from him? Filipinos are apparently disgusted by the way the fallen SAF 44 case was handled.
On disaster, where are the billions of pesos donated by international communities purposely to rehabilitate Leyte after the Super typhoon Yolanda? This,too, could not be explained by the Aquino Administration. While there maybe gains during his stint as president, PNoy fell short of what was expected from him.Filipinos’ faith and trust under his administration has slowly eroded leaving Filipinos in utter desperation and frustration.
The last election showed the frustration of the people against the Aquino Administration. His anointed successor Mar Roxas did not make it inspite of PNoy’s endorsement and use of government resources. Instead, the support shifted to a reluctant presidential candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte whose only mantra during his campaign was to “change” the Philippines to a better society, killing all drug lords, stop corruption and end all forms of criminality. His campaign slogan for “change” caught the fancy of many Filipinos and the rest was history in Philippine politics.
Faith and trust in our leaders are slowly creeping in as could be gleaned from the day Duterte was proclaimed as the winner in the presidential race. He has not yet taken his oath last May and yet many drug pushers and users have been silenced for life by the elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Others who feared for their lives have voluntarily surrendered. Duterte’s hard stance on illegal drugs and corruption, albeit even ilegal gambling like jueteng, is already working.
We have been distraught with many political promises in the past. Speeches and messages of our leaders were just rhetorics that lacked teeth. We have waited for a leader whose unorthodox and unconventional display of leadership has come. Will he be the one to really change the Philippines? Borrowing the words of Duterte, “the change must start with us and in us.”
This is now the time for change and bring back the faith and trust to our leaders.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at email@example.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Listen to my radio program “VIRGIL MAGANES SA DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso, 1296 KHZ AM Band at 8:00-9:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays.)
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