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N he friendly game of musical chairs, the winner is usually the person who cuts in and shoves off the person competing with her/him for the chair she/he is eyeing to grab. The degree of shoving is in direct proportion to the prize at stake. The bigger the prize the harder the shoving. The music and the players can change but as long as the essential structure (chairs arranged in a circle) of the game is unchanged the winner will always be the quickest and hardest shover.
If we, therefore, want no pushing (which by the way is the fun part) we have to change the game. This is exactly what happens in the not-so-friendly high-stakes game being played in government departments and offices. No matter who you put at Customs, the BIR, the LTO, the PNP, etc., she/he will always be vulnerable to the temptation to push morals aside because the structure of the political version of the game is essentially weak and shot full of holes.
Senate investigations, for instance, are supposed to be in aid of legislation. Yet so far they stop at pinning people down, rightly or wrongly, and getting them replaced.
But because they leave the structure of the questioned departments/ offices essentially unchanged, the replacements soon succumb to temptation and become in turn targets of official investigations.
Then there’s the Commission on Appointments (CA) that rejected four secretaries who were doing an excellent job at their posts as beneficiaries of their departments claim. Without saying those it confirmed are patsies, this suspiciously could mean that the CA wants appointees whom they feel could be swayed to widen the holes for them for their political and economic interests.
All these offices need restructure, their holes plugged and weak links welded with stricter implementing rules and oversight policies. It is not enough to simply change the players.
As weak as the structures are, it would take a saint to resist the temptation to exploit their gaping cheat-holes. The need for restructure goes up to the offices of the Chief Justice, of the Senate President, of the Speaker of the House and even of the Chief Executive. These positions pack too much power that an insignificant few have so far been able to resist the opportunities for greed that big cheat-holes in the structure offer.
At this level, restructure means a shift to federalism. And it is interesting to note that those who want President Duterte ousted are openly against restructure.
They simply want to take over and be the ones to wield the power and enjoy the privileges of high offices in government.
We cannot have traditional politicians keep playing musical chairs. Filipinos need essential game changes to have any chance of winning. T’S hard to say when efforts to rehabilitate the Marcos name began, but these gained ground in 1992 when the dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., won a seat in the Lower House, merely six years after the family went into exile. True, they continue to face several cases, most of which center on their ill-gotten wealth. Yet the Marcoses have kept their bailiwick firmly in their grip, and Bongbong Marcos’s second-place finish in the May 2016 vice presidential election showed that the family’s return to Malacañang was no longer farfetched. Last Monday, this political rehabilitation effort struck again.
Guarded by 300 police officers and 100 soldiers, the Marcos family and their political allies and supporters gathered in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and celebrated Ferdinand Edralin Marcos’s 100th birth anniversary. His son, according to the Inquirer, said that Marcos’s place in history was “still being written.” That is right, but the Marcoses and their lackeys and hacks need not be the only ones writing it.
The late dictator’s most avid supporters like to say that present-day Filipinos who have used or still use the Marcos regime’s infrastructure projects—say, those who ride Metro Manila’s Light Rail Transit—have no right to criticize him.
They fail to mention how much of taxpayers’ funds actually went to the projects these were intended for. They also fail to mention several court rulings, both here and abroad, that pointed to how the Marcoses stashed away billions of dollars that amounted to wealth far beyond Ferdinand and Imelda’s salaries from 1966 to 1985.
In July 2003, for example, the Supreme Court forfeited in government’s favor some US$658 million from the late dictator’s frozen Swiss bank deposits.
How did he amass such a princely sum? The SC traced how the Marcos couple “clandestinely stashed away the country’s wealth to Switzerland and hid the same under layers upon layers of foundations and other corporate entities to prevent detection.” In some instances, the Marcoses were directly named as these foundation’s beneficiaries. In others, they used the aliases William Saunders and Jane Ryan, which they had used in opening bank accounts in March 1968.
And that’s just the least of it. Did Marcos accomplish anything in the nearly 21 years he was in power? Of course. But to claim that he was our best president and that he neither enabled nor committed massive corruption is willful blindness, if not aggressive ignorance.