Filipinos seem tired. For some reason they just want to move on from the election. Maybe the campaign jingles have proven too much to bear and any further exposure to them after the 10th of May just might make them go crazy. Despite reports of massive election fraud from members of the local and international community, majority of Filipinos don’t seem inclined to do or don’t even want to know anything about them. It is sad to note that even other presidential candidates and their avid supporters have given up so easily just because the Commissions on Elections (Comelec) and Noynoy’s media cohorts were quick to declare the election a success. This is unfortunate because our duty as citizens does not end on Election Day.
A comment from newbie here at AntiPinoy.com has compelled me to write about this uniquely Filipino attitude. I still don’t know what to call it but I want to try and examine why we have become a nation full of people plagued by apathy. Here is a copy of Palebluedot’s comment about her experience as a whistleblower:
working for a local government some time ago, i discovered an accounting officer stealing annual insurance dividends from other employees through fake signatures. in my capacity & with my co-employees’ prodding, i blew the whistle by warning all employees. the media had a feast about it at first. but at the end of the week, the issue disappeared from any parts of the papers or segments of the radio/tv programs, all my co-employees cowered in silence – ignoring me as if i have some dermatological problems, & the legal officer placed my proofs, literally, at the bottom of his thick files (saw him took it from the bottom when i last consulted him) then asked me what i want to achieve when it was just a small issue.
(1) the accounting officer bribed the media outfits to keep mum about it (reports i received from her officemate),
(2) the mayor (who ran recently under the yellow banner) and his legal officer, and some councilors who were
also victims do not want to tackle the issue (because they were actually “nangungutang sa accounting officer kung nasho-short sila at ang pamilya nila sa pera”),
(3) clamor from the victims to stop making the issue a big deal because they were affected mentally, besides they have already received from the accounting officer the dividends stolen from them (the proof)
(4) some concerned co-employees warned me that the accounting officer’s husband (mayor’s goon) is threatening to silence me
(4) so-called friends telling me: “pinasukan mo yan, problema mo na yan!”
so, i went to ask a priest (thinking he can lead me to “daang matuwid”). his answer: “she only stole a small amount from you, why shaken the status quo? just forgive her, as jesus forgives those who crucified him.”
i was so terrified that i packed my bags and decided to migrate to another land.now, i am working part-time for a service provider (an avid noynoy aquino supporter) whose means of getting customers is to give gifts or write checks to institutions’ managers so that their clients will avail solely of the services provided by us, as well as, “force” them to promote the idea that the competition is corrupt.
this is just a small illustration of the corruption surrounding one small dot. how much more in the macro level?
Indeed this is what goes on in the micro level and what happens in the macro level is definitely worse. The Filipino people’s preference for turning a blind eye to impropriety is what’s preventing our country from moving forward. It is turning the Philippines into a nation of cheaters. The irony is that we cry foul after a bad deed is done but we ignore the deed as it transpires. It seems we don’t want the inconvenience of having to deal with the fallout of reporting a crime in progress.
Instead of commending people for their bravery in coming forward, Filipinos turn against the whistleblowers, making them look like they are making mountains out of molehills. People who are seen supporting the whistleblowers are considered “sore losers”. This discourages people from doing the right thing. This is so baffling to say the least. I wonder what made our society this way? Could it be that we are so scared to lose our friendship or relations with other people? We don’t have to be afraid to be labelled a party pooper every time we need to report an illegal activity because vigilance against crime is what will actually foster an environment of trust in our society. If we know that illegal activities are not tolerated, we can be assured that people will be honest with their day-to-day activities.
We shun people who go out on a limb to expose corruption or any form of malpractice, but what we need to do is to help promote a society in which it is possible to speak out without reprisal about corruption, dangers to the public and environment, and other vital social issues. We should also help those who speak out in this way to help themselves because they may be scared and harboring doubts too.
It is understandable for people to want to move on from all the election brouhaha. Initially, I myself believed in what our mainstream media reported, that the election was a success. It’s actually far from it. Like I mentioned in my previous blog, apart from the whistleblowers that came out, the International Observers Mission also reported that the election was far from being fair and honest because of the occurrence of blatant irregularities which involved among other things, thugs hired by certain candidates to intimidate voters as well as cheating involving the automated machines itself on or before Election Day.
Lately, the clamour for the truth about the election results is slowly gaining momentum with signature campaigns going around petitioning people and calling for justice for those who were cheated out of the election. But they are a very small group of people and unfortunately, members of Philippine media who are obviously pro-Noynoy are also trying to drown out efforts by concerned citizens asking Comelec to come up with the truth. They write articles that make it look like Noynoy Aquino’s proclamation is already in the bag even if the issue hasn’t been resolved.
As blogger Benign0 wrote in a recent blog, Inquirer columnist Artemio Panganiban is boldly claiming that Noynoy’s win was due to a “rolling a tsunami of votes that could not be stopped by cheating, computer glitches, human errors, carelessness and logistical lapses.” This is another one of those cheap stunts instigated by the media to condition Filipino minds into thinking that everyone else cheated while Noynoy’s win was an honest one. This, despite reports to the contrary. Mr Panganiban might be inhaling something he shouldn’t be. Otherwise, what he is doing is a classic case of someone turning a blind eye to the irregularities that transpired on Election Day.
Honestly, I do not know how some Noynoy supporters can actually say that they and Noynoy himself have integrity when they do not want to get to the bottom of all the allegations being thrown at them. Comelec officials themselves are pretending that everything went smoothly. It’s no surprise because they don’t want to be accountable for the failure that could have been prevented had they upheld their duties.
Presidential candidate Nick Perlas has issued a letter warning people to be more discerning about what the media is reporting. This is an excerpt from his letter:
Beware and Overcome Media Manipulation
21 May 2010
Readers beware! If you want to get the truth regarding the recent national elections, go beyond what you get from the mainstream media. Do your own research. Check the facts on the ground. Ask what your friends experienced. Connect the dots yourself. Come to your own conclusion. In this way, you will protect your mind from being manipulated by unseen powers that lurk behind the country’s media establishment.
Immediately after the May 10, 2010 elections, the Filipino public was brainwashed with stories about a stunningly successful election. ” ‘Birth pains’ of poll automation over”. “Fast count stuns nation”. “Stocks surge as markets cheer successful elections”. “Villar conceding proves Comelec credible”. “Take a bow, Filipino voters”. “US, EU praise RP for elections; peso, markets buoyed”. “Comelec proves critics wrong”. “Filipinos carry on love affair with PCOS machines”.
It’s a good thing that a presidential candidate such as Nick Perlas is not ashamed to be labelled a “sore loser”. For this is not about not being able to concede or accept defeat. This is about creating a society where cheating, dishonesty or fraudulent activity is not tolerated. How do we expect our public officials to be accountable for their actions when we let them get away with fraud? This has to stop and we should start by calling for the truth about the recent election.
Filipinos seem tired for some reason. Maybe it’s all that heavy traffic and all the bureaucracy they have to deal with day in and day out that are results of the mediocre services they get from their public officials. They are so tired that they avoid the inconvenience of getting to the bottom of how the country is continually run aground by the same public officials and some members of Philippine society as well. For some Filipinos, it is much better to ignore wrongdoings and to simply turn a blind eye and pretend that things are okay. For lack of a better word, I’ll stick to calling this phenomenon “nagbubulag-bulagan” for now. Some people don’t realise that they cannot move on until there is closure.