I’ve been asked by many people what I think about our new hero, the unwitting hero Jun Lozada. And I have always replied, “People are so wrong about him.”
From his very first public appearance after being abducted, I knew this guy was a shit. This was confirmed during his first appearance before the Senate, when he preached more than he informed. And seeing him just a few hours ago in the
We were all introduced to him as some pathetic guy who just got himself in too deep and somehow got loose of the administration, and lived to tell of his ordeal. I was amazed at the aggravation, the horror this guy faced at the prospect of his family and himself being murdered for what he knew. Up to now, it is quite clear that what he has been saying, for the most part, has been true. There is a coverup. Our public officials apparently did try to rake in huge earnings from some government project that was made to cost much more than it ought to. I could not presume how much participation the Chinese firm ZTE had in it, whether they were merely wining and dining to get the project, or they were really conspiring for additional hundreds of millions of dollars.
What I could not stand is that people, in general, identify so strongly with this guy Lozada. They buy his self-deceptive bullshit about his supposed love for country. This is where Lozada has been lying, to himself and to everybody – that he is someone from the dark side who is now on the side of truth and whose love for country has saved him, and the country itself.
It only takes a clear mind to realize that Lozada is not a patriot. It’s all vanity. He didn’t spill the beans because of courage, but because of the guilt trip imposed on him, from his parents to those ugly barren sisters that surround him. Moreover, he is no more noble now than he was when he was robbing the people as head of Philforest. It is only his self-deception that has increased.
And now he feeds off the media’s praises, the youth’s admiration, the common man’s cry that “You are not alone!” He’s got an endorser and pseudo lover in Cory Aquino, and his vanity is at an all-time high. The threat to his life adds to the excitement.
When Lozada cries “Mabuhay ang Pilipinaaaaaauuuuuhhs!,” I could not help but want to smash his skull on a rock and drown him until his big stupid-looking eyes pop out of their sockets. This is the lie to himself that people could not see.
I am no admirer of People Power. If people weren’t so impassioned about it, they would have had realized that they were duped by Ramos and Enrile, whose activities in EDSA 1 are now part of their legacy and part of Philippine history, of the supposed triumph of democracy. It was not the people that prevailed, it was a couple of opportunists.
In 2001, I joined EDSA 2. I could honestly say that there was no patriotism there, people just didn’t like Estrada. I for one didn’t like him, regardless of what was in the Constitution. And that time, it was Angelo Reyes paving the way for Gloria Arroyo’s rise.
Regardless of what part President Arroyo has played in government corruption (and I’m inclined to think she’s mainly a callow mother unable to discipline her children), I admire that she at least knows, even if not conceptually, that the only way for People Power to succeed is through Military Power. People Power just gives a semblance of democracy so as to bring the peace and order situation to manageable levels.
PGMA’s troops will not defect from her; she has made certain of that since day one. What’s more, most Filipinos are simply indifferent. She will make it for another two years. Even the House is well taken care of.
So do I believe PGMA should be removed from power? I believe that the Constitution should be followed. Unfortunately, because of other factors in government, the Constitution is not enough. It is not enough for the House to be able to bring an impeachment trial to the Senate. The real reason there is such corruption, such unaccountability within, is...
... Such transgressions and continued transgressions are made possible by such large amounts of economic power within the government. Case in point, pork barrel. Without pork barrel, the President would have much less influence on the House. Congress should not have any such discretionary funds. In fact, Congress should have very little to do when it comes to influencing the economy. Congress should not have anything more to spend than what is needed for legislating. Apart from pork barrel, you have such time devoted to investigations that do not lead to better laws. If only Congress was as hardworking every day of the year, for things that really matter. Of course, when you remove the influencing of the economy from Congress’ mandate, Congress doesn’t even need to work too much, nor does it need much money.
So much economic power, truly. We have a government that acts as if it knows what’s best for us: we need social security, we need to subsidize local industries whether by actual subsidies or through tax breaks. But there shouldn’t even be tax breaks, because the government does not deserve much of people’s money. The less there is for the government to do, the less there is to spend, the less there is to collect.
The Philippine Republic now operates on a trillion-peso budget. $25 billion. The Philippine government actually only needs about $1 billion.
These are the agencies that a government ought to retain: defense/military and police, judiciary, Congress, the Office of the President and Vice-President, offices for mayors and subordinates, an election commission... that’s about it. Everything else could be privatized.
Most laissez-faire proponents would still want a government to have a hand in education, public works and banking. But all of these could be done so much better through a private system.
Public works – You don’t need some government to lay out a ‘national plan’ for roads and bridges, any more than you need the state to build stairs in your house or to mow your lawn. Even a feudal system where rich, influential people own the roads and dictate who can or can not pass them is better. This will do wonders as well for traffic management.
Education – Just like any commodity, different educational institutions will have different prices and levels of quality, regardless of being public or private. Purely private schools allow competition to really foster. There is no “default” stagnant shit system of learning that couldn’t even meet minimum standards. And private schooling should not be synonymous with expensive, in the same way that food produced by private enterprises is not always expensive.
Health – Pretty much the same argument as education.
Banking – The system of providing guarantees based on definite valuations of things does not need the government. If malls can provide a great exchange system through the use of gift certificates, certainly such a system can be done on a nationwide basis. Furthermore, currencies do not have to be ‘owned’ by countries, in the same way that certain languages naturally become the general means of communication in a place, but are not the only means of communication. Still, because we are now under a central bank, there must really be a transition period whereby private companies will begin printing tender and have these slowly accepted internationally.
In essence, the government is a protector of rights. The right to food, to health care, to education, simply means that one is free to eat whatever, be treated for one’s health in whatever way, and to be educated wherever. It does not mean that people should be accorded these by coercion of the more “fortunate.”
I may seem to have digressed from the discussion of the current political turmoil. But it should be understood that it isn’t Lozada’s “courage” that would liberate the people. Such a thing could only be achieved when the economic power of a protector of rights is removed, in order for the people to harness it. The only worthwhile power of the people is economic in nature, not some rabble revolution operated by the military puppet master.