Sunday, October 05, 2014

A Nation of Liars (and Cheaters, and Thieves, and …)

This title was spurred by a friend who PMed me upon reading my latest article “Who Will Protect the Filipinos from the Syndicates in the PNP?” which is my reaction to an article with the same title written by Atty Dodo Dulay of the Manila Times.  My friend did not agree with me when I stated that “The ordinary Filipino will steal from another ordinary Filipino if given the chance.”  But I stand by my statement.  Moreover, let me add, “Nowadays, the Filipino will lie, cheat, and steal, and scam, and shortchange, and what have you against fellow Filipinos, if given the chance.”  The innate good in man appears to be almost gone in so many of us.  Before you lambast me and rant with your holier than thou attitude, let me just call your attention on the following:

How do we feel about these potholes?  This is from C6, a very beautiful and scenic road built in 2010 around Laguna de Bay from Bicutan to Rizal.  This is my favorite route when I was assigned in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.


A year later, it had so much potholes that at times, it is impassable especially during heavy rains.  Wow!  Man had already landed on the moon, and yet our DPWH engineers cannot make a road that will not crack and melt like chocolate at the first rain?  I cannot accept that.  The reason for these cracks is corruption.  Substandard materials were used to compensate for the “tongpats” that everyone knows the contractor shells out for DPWH personnel even before the project starts.  But where is the rage?  Where is the fury?  Where are the denunciations just like the way the EDSA hulidap was denounced? 

Here is a picture from the British media blaring how thieves stole relief goods. 

But more than that, look at how the Filipino attitude of “kanya kanya” and survival of the fittest is starkly illustrated in these photos.

Agawan sa relief goods

Agawan sa MRT

Agawan sa nakawan, mananakaw, at pagnanakaw

Compare this to the way the Japanese dealt with the more devastating Fokushima disaster and it is easy to understand why Japan is the most progressive country in Asia and the Philippines is the doormat.


 Here is the screen shot of Google hits using “Honest Filipinos" as search keywords:
  Compare it with hits of “Honest Japanese,”

“Honest Americans,”

“Honest Thais,”

“Honest Bangladeshis”

 or Honest Spaniards
You will notice that it is only in the Philippines that people returning lost and found items land in the papers!  Does it mean that in other countries, people do not return lost and found items?  Hell no!  In many other countries, surrendering to the authorities lost and found items is still the natural course of things.  It is expected from everyone and not something extraordinary that needs to be publicized!  The only publicized story about the Japanese returning found items was in the aftermath of the killer quake and tsunami that hit it on March 11, 2011.  After about five months, the total amount of returned money reached US$78 million.  Yes you read it right: it is approximately 3.2 billion pesos in cash. 

Compare that to the aftermath of the Yolanda typhoon.  These pictures say it all.


In the photos, it is clear that people are not only after the food but on other items that they CAN AND WILL SELL IN THE FUTURE.  They are stealing now because they can!


Some people may justify this as the result of extreme hunger but I cannot accept that because these people are not stealing for immediate consumption:  they are just taking advantage of the situation because they can!  Relief efforts were already underway when these things happened and many of the looted stores included those selling non-food items like electronics! 

How did we fall into this abyss?  As I said before in a previous article, “Pork:  The Culture of Palusot,” the mentality of the Filipinos nowadays is to make palusot whenever there is a chance.  The ideals of telling the truth no matter what the consequences are already not expected by many even in our schools that when one enforced the ideal, the reaction of the general populace is disbelief.  But what is more disheartening for me is the realization that the Filipinos is already preconditioned to accept that lies are excusable, acceptable, and part of everyday life.  The case of ex Cadet Cudia is a very accurate illustration of this.  Right off the bat, majority of the Filipinos empathized with Cudia.  “Oo nga naman, 3 minutes late lang e bakit nadismiss.”  After the PMA explained that it was not the tardiness that did Cudia in but his lying about it, Filipinos then shifted gears to “Pagbigyan nyo na.  Mas malala naman ang corruption nina Garcia at Ligot kesa diyan sa maliit na kasinungalingan.”  Yen Makabenta, a veteran journalist, and multi-role writer now affiliated with the Manila Times even went as far a saying that “Lying—not part of God’s commandments!”  Can you believe that?  Use Google Yen or talk to your Parish Priest.

What does this say about us?  This clearly shows that lying is an almost accepted part of our culture nowadays.  Thus when a shampoo commercial says “it will make your hair 10 times straighter” nobody stops anymore to notice the bare faced lie for how can you make a straight even straighter!

When veteran journalist Mike Enriquez endorsing ABS Bitter Herbs and Senator Chiz Escudero endorsing Circulan state at the end of their rant "No approved therapeutic claims!" nobody even notices.

When Senator Mirian Santiago shouts in front of the nation, “I lied,” and laugh diabolically about it, she still gets reelected.

Thus, when two Presidents, Cory and PNoy, who made land reform among the centerpiece programs of their administrations, conveniently exclude their sprawling Hacienda Luisita, no credible challenge is being made.

As I said before in my “Pork” article, magnitudes are a matter of perspectives.  A small amount to one may be everything to another.  To General Purisima, he may see nothing wrong with the P2.5 million peso discount given to him by Toyota because well, that is just loose change in his fat treasury but for an ordinary policeman, that is equivalent to 5 years of pay!  This is the same with lying.  Cadet Cudia’s quibbling is nothing for many but for the cadets who were ingrained with the Honor Code right at the very start of their cadetship, that is everything.  And this is also the same for corruption. pork, kickbacks, and other shenanigans that happen all around us.  For Henry Sy, the Ayalas, Lucio Tan, and the other tycoons, contractualization is a normal course of things because well, no law prohibits it.  What the law requires is that workers who continuously render six months of services should be made permanent in status with the attendant benefits.  So how to go around this?  Ensure that contracts are only for five months and the worker goes "endo."  Then, lo and behold, the next day, they are again applying for a new contract--many under new names to further ensure that the law is taken care of.  Neat huh?  If this is not lying--on the part of the tycoons and the workers--then I do not know what it is.

I had another fresh idea today because it is the start of the Bar 2014 exam month.  I had long harbored the idea that the Bar spectacle is another indicator that our society had really lost its directions.  The Bar atmosphere is always a cut above the rest compared to the other licensure examinations in terms of festivities and shenanigans (Including bombing.  Talk about starting ‘em young…).  The way the leading newspapers treat the results is even more stark:  The pictures of bar topnotchers always land in the front pages of the newspapers while the top examinees of the maritime, engineering, teachers, and other “lesser” boards are just mere footnotes buried in the innermost part of the news!  As if it is the pleadings of lawyers that keep the economy afloat and not the remittances of seamen and other skilled OFWs whose exam results are not even published by other newspapers!  Here are the screen shots taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer website.

(Photo inserted on 16 October 2014)


What is it about being a lawyer that we are so fascinated about considering that the biggest thieves that this country had seen are lawyers?  What is it with lawyers when, if we only stick to the simple doctrine of treating our fellowmen just like the way we want to be treated, the need for them will be so much less?  In one of the latest cellphone videos that went viral on the internet, Atty Bettina Zamora was recorded on video assaulting policemen and traffic constables who were ironically just protecting her well being by preventing her from driving away because she is drunk.

As succinctly explained by the constable, she will endanger herself and others if she is allowed to drive away, given her drunk condition (which I think the ATTORNEY WILL DENY TO HIGH HEAVENS) and the best evidence at that time is the fact that she had already figured in a collision with another vehicle just moments before.  This is also aside from the fact that of course that she is already under arrest for violation of Republic Act No. 10586, otherwise known as the Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs and Other Similar Substances.  But lo and behold, the last time I heard, she was released by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for “Further Investigation because there are matters that need to be threshed out in a preliminary investigation."  What does this mean exactly, sila sila na lang na mga abogado ang nagkakaintindihan.  Well, it pays to be a Napoles laywer eh?

And the irony is starkly written at the top of the web page of Kapunan, Garcia, and Castillo Law Offices where she is a Senior Associate:  COURAGE, CHARACTER, COMPETENCE!  Hahahahaha!

But that is not the unkindest cut of all.  MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, another lawyer, has this for advise to his traffic enforcers:  “Sa enforcers, dapat wag patulan. Pero if it borders na on self-defense, ay may danger na to their lives and limbs e kailangang depensahan na nila ang sarili nila,” he said.  This explains why the constables, despite being physically assaulted by Zamora, did not fight back to uphold the majesty of the law!  Subukan mo gawin sa US police ito kung hindi ka makatikim ng kalsada sa mukha mo. 

Liars, este lawyers, anyone?

The Honor Code makes everything simple.  Using two questions that must be both answered with "Yes" all the time, all actions can be easily tested in the ideal world.  The two questions are:
      1.  Did I intend to deceive?
      2.  Did I intend to take undue advantage?


  1. Well said. Sad part is a majority of us knows about this and does nothing. They either lost hope or think it's not even worth the effort. the Filipino is not worth dying for anymore not even to enough to care about anymore. What kind of country have we created and left for our children . . . .

    1. this is the reason why i am writing this blog. kung susuwertehin ako na umabot ako sa pwestong pwede akong gumawa ng repormang pangmalawakan, this blog will remind me of the things that has to be done.

      this is what is lacking in many people now in top leadership positions in the pnp: a reminder of their idealism when they were still in the lower rungs of the organization.

      thanks for the visit and the comment!

  2. I was very impressed on your articles in your blog and even get high on your writings because you talked about the truth. Some bloggers or writers for that matter just inscribe about something base on what they perceived but supposedly unprepossessed. On your part you write with passion based on your experiences (I assumed), and on facts. It is worthy to know that there is someone out there who is patiently observing, making research, and coming up with a substantive issues under discussion which I find it very informative. Just like anybody else, I too had a share of misfortunes, disappointments, and frustrations in my organization where I belong. What's happening is indeed depressing but I'm still hopeful. Kung lahat siguro ng nanunungkulan sa tatlong sangay ng gobyerno ay totoong TAPAT, wala na sigurong tibak. On the contrary, human nature is insatiable. Damn if you do, damn if you don't. But I am one with your struggles and principles. I still believe that many of us have raised the bar for this Service in so many ways, through our community focus, our work ethics and our willingness to engage in collaborative approaches to solving issues as they arise. Be that as it may, on my part being a product of PNPA, I will continue to ensure service excellence and look forward to leading a contemporary, committed service whose members, possess a work ethic that is second to none and continue to ensure that we remain the best organization possible. I may not know you, yet whoever you are SIR, I hope when your time comes you will re-visit your products in this blog and implement the same in the organization.

    1. snappy sa pangalan kid a. sige see you out there soon. continue doing what is right and when the time comes, balikan natin ang blog na ito...


    2. i was looking for a thumbs up button, wala eh hehe.. pero mga sir, Magan96 and Pulis na Pogi, it's good to know na may mga ganyan mag-isip sa inyong hanay :).. sana nga po umabot ka sa "pwestong pwede kang gumawa ng repormang pangmalawakan" :)

    3. andun sa taas. share mo na lang sa facebook at google para dumami ang makabasa...


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