Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Route to Power

Is the Constitution really the cause of our problems? If it is, let’s change it, for God’s sake—and soonest so that our problems will disappear to smithereens before the next impeachment trial makes a carnival out of congress.

But is it really? Corruption tops my list of our national headaches. This is the gigantic leech that is sucking the lifeblood of Filipinos depriving them of proper education, health care, social services and a dignified future. If changing the constitution will bury all corrupt public officials and disable them like a killer virus, then Charter Change is a tall order.

But one has to be stupid to believe that changing the charter is a panacea. In fact, with the way things are unfolding, without even mentioning the lies, deceit and the political manipulations of the day, changing the constitution now will only perpetuate definitively all the corrupt officials currently wallowing in power.

Historian Lord Acton held that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But Filipino politicians have made Acton’s proposition passé. They have mastered the art of corruption as the best route to power. The bigger the corruption is, the higher the returns of power. In the Philippines, the scheme is: corruption gives power and absolute corruption perpetuates it. So, if you want perpetual political power, be corrupt. This is the best formula of political success in the land today.

This is the reason why jueteng and PAGCOR are here to stay—and maybe for eternity. Corruption is about money. The pork barrel, which is wrongly called Countrywide Development Fund (because it has never developed anything of notable consequence as yet), is a small fry compared to money raised by gambling. Which is why the big time power brokers will hold on to gambling money at all cost, like the Columbians do with drugs. CDF is no longer the best instrument of corruption. Gambling is.

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