If you are not happy the way things are, do not just complain. Complaining is our right, even a duty. But it is not enough. Go out and make things happen.

If you value good governance, you have all the reasons to complain against our government. Most politicians who serve us have values that conflict with yours. I know how you feel.[mfn] Your values are based on your beliefs about what is right or wrong. It is easy to say that corruption is wrong because it corruption violates your values. But for many politicians, corruption is necessity.[/mfn]

For the sake of those who do not have any idea, allow me to give some examples.

Yesterday, Koko Pimentel replaced Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of PDP Laban. Koko was one of those who believed that Duterte was serious about change.

This blind belief because Duterte was never a changemaker. His quarrel with Imperial Manila was that he was not its emperor. It is not the system that he wants to change. He only wanted to replace those who were plundering our country’s wealth with himself and his minions.

If he were healthy, he would be a lifetime emperor.

Complaining against Duterte?

Duterte said that he will run for VP so he can audit COA and himself. He is pissing on us. It is not the mandate of the VP to audit COA. But he thinks that we are all fools. Are we fools? [mfn] Duterte decided to run for Senate. [/mfn]

Is there anything that the VP can do that the President cannot? He still has months as president. When he was campaigning, he promised changes. Some of those changes, he promised to do in days. Five years had passed, he did not make an effort to fulfill his promises.

In response, Robredo challenged Duterte to show his SALN instead.

His diehard followers believed that the president fights corruption and for transparency. Never mind that his record when he was a city mayor was the opposite of transparency. He never wanted to be checked. He believed that he can spend people’s money whenever and wherever he wants to.

I remember that during his presidential campaign, he denied but eventually confirmed the existence of his BPI account. The man who claimed to be anti-corruption has amassed money he could not explain. He signed a waiver, with the condition that everyone else open their bank accounts for scrutiny. But even if everyone agreed to sign, no bank will honor the agreement. The signatures were on a tarp.

He was never transparent.

He accused media personalities of spreading false news every time he or his minions get caught. Then, days after, his tongue confirms the news what we suspect to be the truth. He has no control over his tongue.

So many times he admitted that his promises were only meant for him to win an election. His followers were laughing without realizing that he made them laughable.

The other day, Bong Go advised Duque to resign.

This was after he was linked to Lao who approved, without thinking, an 8 billion deal with a pharmaceutical company with small capital and fictitious address. They bought overpriced face masks.

If you heard the abuses Filipinos experienced for not wearing face masks, you will wonder why the overpriced face masks did not reach them.

A friend said that many politicians, especially those who were closest to Bong Go, profited from the Covid-19 policies. The price of a face shield was less than 30 pesos when it was not yet mandated. After that, the price of a face shield rose to above 120 pesos.

And a few earn billions in days. We will not know the truth until another presidentiable spill the beans.

The president isn’t cursing against corruption committed by his people. He is no longer complaining about how people in government are corrupt to the core.

There are times that I pity the president. He is very sick. I felt that he is no longer the one calling the shots. His people around him, the ones who are with him, govern us. They govern us without the accountability of the presidency.

But I pity our people more.

I pity those who are diehards. They have faith that does not question. They blindly follow, even if doing so harms them and their families. They are quick to believe and spread propaganda. Yes, I pity them because I care for them too.

But not all diehards deserve our pity. These are DDS who deserve our anger.

I pity those who do not know. They have no time to read the news and analyze it. They have to work hard so they get to earn a few hundred pesos a day. What’s important is that they get to feed their family.

They know that politicians are stealing from them. But what can they do?

At the end of the day, they get to visit their FB groups where they get manipulated to think that everything in government is excellent. In these FB groups, those who call attention to accountability and good governance are “enemies of the people.”

But those who have the luxury to read the news aren’t up in arms.

I am not surprised that people are not in the streets. We are now used to be in a prison because of Covid-19. You can put a G or M in quarantine, but ours is a prolonged quarantine that benefits a few. Some of us cannot even wash our clothes inside our fences if we don’t wear face masks.

Filipinos complain that the government is incompetent in handling the pandemic. Those who have been reading biographies of tyrants understand that this is not a show of incompetence. The pandemic is a weapon. It is a business opportunity for those who make decisions.

If you are not happy the way things are, do not just complain. Alone, our voice cannot be heard. But together, we can make things happen.

Complaining is a good start. Complaining is not just a right; it is our duty to complain. But more than complaining, we can make change happen.

We can change our stories.

Jef Menguin

P.S. Today (December 4, 2021) I decided to avoid talking about Philippine politics here because it has worldwide audience. You can find most of my politics on filipino.jefmenguin.com

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