'Fatal ng ina mo' (Philippine Star)

God knows I tried.

For the last three hours I have been struggling to write something positive, but how does one write positive when what you hear all day is “It’s not Fatal” or “Fatal Ng Ina Mo”?

In one fell swoop or slip, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya epitomized what Abraham Lincoln said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubts.” Even high school kids are quoting Abaya’s politically fatal utterance and one wonders what was he thinking or does he simply not give a damn about public sentiment anymore? Is Secretary Abaya so beat up and bruised from the never ending tirade on his chronic mismanagement of the DOTC that he is now the equivalent of a punch drunk boxer immune to pain, insensitive to blows and simply swinging away just for the sake of giving back some?

Sadly the slip or poor choice of words may also be a reflection of the administration’s mindset about problems they can’t solve, cannot respond to or simply mismanage. I am reminded of the time when a businessman ran to the President during his visit to Tacloban to inform P-Noy that looters were on the rampage and firing guns. In an effort to put a positive twist to the situation the President allegedly replied to the effect: “Well you’re alive aren’t you?” Or the time when Mar Roxas uttered the now iconic statement of political reality in the Philippines: “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.”

Following John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid, I guess it simply follows that the followers cannot be greater than the leader, or, as in the movie, the quality of Minions is directly proportional to the intellect of their villainous boss.

So is it fatal or not, this being stuck in traffic for 3 to 4 hours one way or 4 to 5 hours a day if you are a commuting employee. Being stuck in traffic won’t kill you but it could kill your career, your livelihood, your reputation, and your productivity. Traffic will kill your profits, traffic will kill your vehicle, will cost you money, will kill your wallet, will kill your quality of life. If you’re in an ambulance in a life and death situation chances are being in traffic will be fatal, but don’t worry, that saves the ambulance a second trip to recover your remains that could result in killing someone else. Now if words or curses uttered in traffic could kill, I’m sure there would be a number of deaths in government caused by expletives!

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

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Our USPs or UNLI-Stupid-Politicians are creating monsters that will one day come back to bite them. The monsters I refer to are Trapos or traditional politicians entrenched in local governments. Judging from the financial dole outs, dubious government “programs,” vehicles, and even political advertising that have come out in the last six months, it is clear that the name of the game is to pander, corrupt, or “stupidify” local government officials into supporting mostly incompetent men wanting to become president of the Philippines!

In their desperation, USPs are willing to kiss ass just to secure promises and votes from local government executives without realizing that such a move will embolden LGU officials and effectively revert them back to patronage politics, reinforce political dynasties, and revive the culture of corruption that temporarily went into hiding and conducted itself in the shadows beyond the sight and interests of Malacaaang. While Mar Roxas went around the country distributing vehicles to mayors, Ping Lacson’s supporters recently released a radio commercial that if Ping becomes president the LGUs will directly be in charge and benefit from his presidency. I get the strategy but win or lose pandering to brats will only become a problem in the future.

Highlighting your support for LGUs would be wonderful if we lived in an environment where LGU officials are morally upright, professionally competent and politically mature. Unfortunately we don’t! The current state of local governance in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila is nothing short of an insult to the memory of Secretary Jessie Robredo who tried to bring integrity and accountability to local governance.

The situation is so bad that even while I was in the United States, I was receiving a stream of complaints about corruption at the local government level in the Philippines. It served to confirm reports that corruption under the P-Noy administration is just as bad simply because P-Noy had targeted his political enemies instead of attacking corruption at all levels particularly at the local government level where many companies both local and foreign are confronted by “solicitors” or extortionists.

The “complainants” are not Mom and Pop operations but are small to medium size corporations that are doing their part to generate both business and employment where ever they set up shop and are known to be good taxpayers both for the LGU and the national government. Unfortunately when these companies tried to secure either a building permit or a business permit in Quezon City, San Juan or even in far away Tanauan town, Leyte, the parties involved got the run around, delays, then a straight forward offer that if they wanted to get their permits they would have to pay “facilitation fee.” A smaller operation complained of fees being unreasonably high in the city of Las Piaas.

I don’t know if the extortionists in the respective permits section were telling the truth or making up a lie, but a couple of companies trying to do business in Quezon City were told that the huge amount “required” was intended to cover all the members of the City Council. I’m putting this here so that the QC Council knows how their reputation is being maligned and that they should do something to make the process transparent on-line. On the other hand, a source did point out that in QC even “good” politicians have to play the “I scratch your back You scratch mine” game if they want approval of projects. Unfortunately the people giving the permits apparently don’t even make distinctions between business and NGO projects. They are all treated as equal opportunities for extortion.

The PNoy Misadministration failed to deal with localized corruption, now Unli-Politicians want to woo and pander LGU officials. As they say: “Spare the rod spoil the child,” except here they become spoiled rotten!

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