Friday, November 25, 2011

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

.:The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same:.

So. A year after we heard him welcome us to the "daang matuwid,M" three years after his American counterpart promised his own countrymen that there will be "hope and change," things haven't really changed that much, have they?

Back in Gloria's time, we had a greedy president and a lazy vice president. Now, in P Noy's time, we have a lazy president and a greedy vice president. I fail to see the improvement, really, and no amount of tongue-in-cheek satire could ease the pain of having to see your country continue to be stuck in this quagmire. And then you get hit with the soul-crushing realization that it didn't matter who was in charge at this point: we would still continue to be screwed if we keep on believing that one man or woman can turn everything around for us.

We kept on hearing about P Noy's integrity and how he would do everything he can to undo the failings of the previous administration, yet here we are, faced with potential foreign affairs fiasco. With China, no less. The only other country in this world who could probably drown this nation if their entire population collectively spat upon us.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. GMA ignored the rule of law when she was installed to power in 2001 and when she allegedly cheated her way into the 2004 elections. When she ended up being stopped at the airport last week, P Noy ignored the rule of law all the same. The Aquino's and Cojuangco's apparent resistance to the Hacienda Luisita ruling by the Supreme Court is more of the same.

I have next to no sympathy for GMA, really. How she is being treated right now in no way makes me feel bad for her. However, how she is being treated right now gives me cause for alarm that if you are not in P Noy's good graces, the exact same thing could very well happen to you.

The culture of impunity we have been railing about during GMA's time has not ceased with the new administration. We're a little too distracted at how the tables have turned for Arroyo, delighting in Schadenfreude as she makes obvious lies upon obvious lies to escape imprisonment (Unless her life-threatening illness that required urgent care in Singapore suddenly becoming an outpatient matter is nothing short of a miracle. Or Coat Saver.). We feel like she deserves everything coming to her without seeing how it sets a nasty precedent of ignoring the rule of law when it's convenient to do so. Of an outright denial of democracy and civil liberties just because.

But then, I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know.

It isn't all gloom and doom, though. It's just a sobering reminder to us that it's less about who's in power right now than it is about the people under that person. The Philippines rising above the muck of mediocrity cannot rely on one man alone. That much should have been obvious, but we are nothing if not forgetful of this fact.

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