We got the surprise of our lives, the blogging community most especially, when the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PJIC) commanding it to delete its August 12, 2005 blog (www.pcij.org/blog). The blog wrote about the background and credentials of Jonathan Tiongco, the self-named audio expert presented by Environment Secretary Michael Defensor in order to question the authenticity of the “Hello Garci” recording. What the RTC did not know is after the TRO, the same blog was multiplied like the speed of a virus to other bloggers.
We watched on TV like guilty bystanders how government operatives blocked church-goers at San Miguel Church and how water canons were sprayed to well-meaning rallyists in its scheme to silence the opposition. We observed with concern how the government plugs every hole in its closet full of skeletons and foul odor without due regard to objective law or morals.
There is no telling our ship is sinking. But we gather that the solutions that this present dispensation applies seem to be aspirins of temporary relief intended more for image building rather than substance--which makes it all the more likely that the sinking is impending.
While the rest of us are bemoaning over our national misfortunes, Jose S. Cruz III, of the University of Santo Tomas, talks about a trailblazer in community development in his article Distance Education for Marginalized Community: An Alternative Approach to Adult Literacy, an Entry for Community Development. Information and Communications Technology (ICT), sans the corruption of some favored and fortunate government officials, could have long brought the country in a platter to the “tiger economy” that Fidel Ramos had been dreaming of. But sad to tell that for every step forward in development efforts, we are drawn twice backwards by graft and corruption.
Mining is another case in point—and gigantic at that. Economic planners and technocrats, the likes of Romulo Neri, has touted mining (and even logging as the case now in Samar with Michael Defensor being the hatchet man) as the ultimate messiah of Filipino misery. It is no wonder that with the growing number of economic planners, the country is not too close to getting any better.