TaN: The rash of controversies and scandals involving graft and corruption and acts inimical to the people and country (allegedly) perpetuated by prominent government officials and unscrupulous private citizens (who deal or do business with government) are often characterized by convincingly sincere and outright denials of any wrongdoings or involvement – and they may honestly believe in their utterances. Denials are so intense and so sincere-looking that one can easily be misled into believing that the culprits are truly innocent of the allegations – that they are mere victims of black propaganda and demolition jobs by their enemies and detractors who either have grudges or are desirous of what they have that nothing is spared to discredit and malign their good names and reputations.
One wonders how these people can be so candid and so composed and so nonchalant in denying allegations and dismissing their misdeeds as not misdeeds. But then one realizes that there is a way to lie without feeling any remorse or guilt – by philosophizing and redefining terms or become victims by unwittingly but voluntarily espousing or parroting the redefinitions.
For instance, when medical doctors, specifically oncologists, declare a patient as a survivor even if they die – because conventional or mainstream (allopathic) medicine has (re)defined a “cancer survivor” as anyone who was diagnosed with cancer and is still alive five (5) years after the initial or first treatment. This is the first time I have heard of a dead survivor.
In the case of denying allegations of corruption, I suspect that the alleged culprits are able to “sincerely” deny any wrongdoing is because they have (convinced themselves or) changed the definition of the wrongdoings that are being accused of. I would be able to lie with a straight face and a clear conscience if, in my mind, I have changed the definition of whatever wrongdoing I was supposed to have committed – ergo, I am not guilty and the corruption I allegedly committed are not corruption at all.
TaN: Be self-sufficient or be at the mercy of others. As of this writing, the latest issue in the row between the Philippines and the former British colony Hong Kong is the withdrawal or removal of the privilege of visa-free entry of Philippine diplomats into Hong Kong.
It is vital that each country – and should extend down to its smallest political unit – be self-sufficient in every aspect of its economy. To be dependent on another is to be at their mercy – subject to the supplier’s or provider’s whims and caprices.
This is the principal reason why the Philippines is continuously being bullied by other countries. The Philippines depend on other countries for jobs that its own country cannot provide. The Philippines depend on foreign investment to drive its economy. The Philippines depend on other countries for much of its goods in the local market (such as consumer electronics, rice and flour, clothing, machineries and transport vehicles, etc).
By being dependent on jobs in other countries, where foreign relations sour, Filipino workers are at the mercy of being harassed, detained, abused, and/or deported. By being dependent on foreign investment, if foreign investors make unreasonable demands that the Philippines cannot (or can no longer) accommodate, investments are pulled out (and workers are laid-off) – after all, they are only in for the money and have no loyalty to the Philippines whatsoever. By being dependent on food from other countries, if and when foreign relations turn bad or when the supplier country’s own needs are in jeopardy, their needs come first and you are “left out in the cold”.
One must be self-sufficient in everything that is essential – such as food, work, and wealth. In truth, the Philippines has the potential not only to be a world-class economy but be truly independent. Why else are so many foreigners still so eager to go the Philippines and do business. The Philippines is rich in natural resources – so rich that it appears inexhaustible (which cannot be true since there is no such thing as infinite in this finite universe).
The main problems are: (1) Filipinos lack self-confidence in their own ability to stand by themselves, devoid of assistance from others; (2) (most) Filipinos have not yet gotten over or divested themselves of their colonial mentality – it only evolved to include most white-skinned or fair-complexioned nationals and not just North Americans; and, (3) Filipinos have retained some bad values that continue to work against them – like a life of pleasure and comfort without having to work (hard) for it, not saving for a “rainy day” but spend as much of the income for instantaneous and momentary pleasure, not knowing the difference between needs and wants and squandering hard-earned money on worthless wants, and not enough self-respect to accept his/her status in life and society and to feel as if being poor is a sin and putting up a façade and pretend that one is not poor by being ostentatious, extravagant and a big-spender.
Because of these “bad habits”, the Philippines permit foreigners to exploit their rich natural resources and get pittance in “royalty”, as well as open Philippine environment to ravaging and destruction by foreigners who could not care less what happens after they have gotten what they want and leave.
Unless and until the Philippines learns to invest in itself, its people (by creating meaningful work) and to work together – the true bayanihan spirit – for the common good, there is nothing in the future that will lift the country out of its morass. [And this holds true to all countries (and communities) that wish to be free of the global grip of poverty and misery – orchestrated and maintained by global business and power elites.]
Only when we learn to relegate – if not totally eliminate – the importance of money (i.e., any form or instrument of currency or unit of exchange but not wealth itself, which is real property), there will always be poverty and misery. Only when we rid ourselves of the notion of materialism – in the forms of commercialism and consumerism and under the auspices of our so-called modern (and bastardized) “democracy” – there will always be the possibility of a disparity or gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. For there can be no poor if there are no rich people – just like what has been written in the Holy Scriptures, “Where there is no master, there is no slave”.
Inter-dependence, for man, is not in terms of being dependent on each other for our every need but only for the essentials – such as in the case of the “bayanihan” where “many hands make light work” and when we share the fruits of our labor from the bounty of nature (because nature always provides in great excess when it comes to man’s needs, but not man’s greed). If we exercise responsible and (true) sustainable living – off the environment – there is literally more than enough for every person, even when global population balloons up to 16 billion people.