Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Enough Is Enough

Foreword: From a very brave Filipina. She even placed her name and telephone number. This is what happens when somebody reaches boiling point and says “enough is enough”. - BlogusVox

To all Filipinos Everywhere:

I used to think that corruption and criminality in the Philippines were caused by poverty. But recent events tell me this isn't true. It is one thing to see people turn into drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves and murderers because of hunger and poverty, but what excuse do these rich, educated people have that could possibly explain their bizarre behavior? And to think I was always so relieved when petty snatchers got caught and locked away in jail because I never fully realized that the big time thieves were out there, making the laws and running our country. Can it get any worse than this?

Every night, I come home and am compelled to turn on my tv to watch the latest turn of events. I am mesmerized by these characters. They are not men. They are caricatures of men - too unreal to be believable and too bad to be real. To see these "honorable" crooks lambast each other, call each one names, look each other in the eye and accuse the other of committing the very same crimes that they themselves are guilty of, is so comical and appalling that I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It is entertainment at its worst!

I have never seen so many criminals roaming around unfettered and looking smug until now. These criminals wear suits and barongs, strut around with the confidence of the rich and famous, inspire fear and awe from the very citizens who voted them to power, bear titles like "Honorable", "Senator", "Justice", "General" and worse, "President". Ironically, these lawless individuals practice law, make our laws, enforce the law. And we wonder why our policemen act the way they do! These are their leaders, and the leaders of this nation – Robin Hoodlum and his band of moneymen. Their motto? "Rob the poor, moderate the greed of the rich."

It makes me wonder where on earth these people came from, and what kind of upbringing they had to make them act the way they do for all the world to see. It makes me wonder what kind of schools they went to, what kind of teachers they had, what kind of environment would produce such creatures who can lie, cheat and steal from an already indebted country and from the impoverished people they had vowed to serve. It makes me wonder what their children and grandchildren think of them, and if they are breeding a whole new generation of improved Filipino crooks and liars with maybe a tad more style but equally negligible conscience. Heaven forbid!

I am an ordinary citizen and taxpayer. I am blessed to have a job that pays for my needs and those of my family's, even though 30% of my earnings go to the nation's coffers. Just like others in my lot, I have complained time and again because our government could not provide enough of the basic services that I expect and deserve. Rutty roads, poor educational system, poor social services, poor health services, poor everything. But I have always thought that was what all third world countries were all about, and my complaints never amounted to anything more.

And then this. Scandalous government deals. Plundering presidents pointing fingers. Senators associated with crooks. Congressmen who accept bribes. Big time lawyers on the side of injustice. De Venecia ratting on his boss only after his interminable term has ended, Enrile inquiring about someone's morality! The already filthy rich Abalos and Arroyo wanting more money than they or their great grandchildren could ever spend in a life time. Joker making a joke of his own "pag bad ka, lagot ka!" slogan. Defensor rendered defenseless. Gen. Razon involved in kidnapping. Security men providing anything but a sense of security. And it's all about money, money, money that the average Juan de la Cruz could not even imagine in his dreams. Is it any wonder why our few remaining decent and hardworking citizens are leaving to go work in other countries?

And worst of all, we are once again saddled with a power-hungry president whose addiction has her clinging on to it like barnacle on a rusty ship. "Love (of power) is blind" takes a whole new meaning when PGMA time and again turns a blind eye on her husband's financial deals. And still blinded with all that is happening, she opts to traipse around the world with her cohorts in tow while her country is in shambles.

They say the few stupid ones like me who remain in the Philippines are no longer capable of showing disgust. I don't agree. Many like me feel anger at the brazenness of men we call our leaders, embarrassment to share the same nationality with them, frustration for our nation and helplessness at my own ineffectuality. It is not that I won't make a stand. It is just that I am afraid my actions would only be futile. After all, these monsters are capable of anything. They can hurt me and my family. They already have, though I may not yet feel it.

But I am writing this because I need to do something concrete. I need to let others know that ordinary citizens like me do not remain lukewarm to issues that would later affect me and my children. I want to make it known that there are also Filipinos who dream of something better for the Philippines. I want them to know that my country is not filled with scalawags and crooks in every corner, and that there are citizens left who believe in decency, fairness, a right to speak, a right to voice out ideas, a right to tell the people we have trusted to lead us that they have abused their power and that it is time for them to step down. I refuse to let this country go to hell because it is the only country I call mine and it is my responsibility to make sure I have done what I could for it.

Those of us who do not have the wealth, power or position it needs to battle the evil crime lords in the government can summon the power of good. We can pray. We can do this with our families every night. We can offer petitions every time we celebrate mass. We can ask others to pray too, including relatives and friends here and overseas. And we can offer sacrifices along with our petitions, just so we get the message to Him of our desperation in ridding our nation of these vermin. After all, they cannot be more powerful than God!

I implore mothers out there to raise your children the best way you can. Do not smother, pamper, or lavish them with too much of the material comforts of life even if you can well afford them. Teach them that there are more important things in this world. I beg all fathers to spend time with their children, to teach them the virtues of hard work, honesty, fair play, sharing, dignity and compassion – right from the sandbox till they are old enough to go on their own. Not just in your homes, but at work, in school, everywhere you go. Be good role models. Be shining examples for your children so they will learn to be responsible adults who will carry and pass on your family name with pride and honor.

I call on educators and teachers – we always underestimate the power of your influence on the minds of our youth. Encourage them to be aware of what is happening in their surroundings. Instill in them a love of their country, inculcate in them the value of perseverance in order to gain real, worthwhile knowledge, help us mold our children into honorable men and women. Encourage our graduates, our best and brightest, to do what they can to lift this country from the mire our traditional politicians have sunk us into. The youth is our future – and it would be largely because of you, our educators, that we will be able to repopulate the seats of power with good leaders, presidents, senators, congressmen, justices, lawmakers, law enforcers and lawful citizens.

I ask all students, young people and young professionals everywhere to look around and get involved in what is happening. Do not let your youth be an excuse for failure to concern yourselves with the harsh realities you see. But neither let this make you cynical, because we need your idealism and fresh perspective just as you need the wisdom of your elders. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU! Let your voices be heard. Do what you can for this land that gave you your ancestors and your heritage. Use technology and all available resources at hand to spread good. Text meaningful messages to awaken social conscience. Try your best to fight moral decay because I promise you will not regret it when you become parents yourselves. You will look back at your past misdeeds and pray that your children will do better than you did.

Remember that there are a few handful who are capable of running this country. You can join their ranks and make their numbers greater. We are tired of the old trapos. We need brave idealistic leaders who will think of the greater good before anything else. Do your utmost to excel in your chosen field.. Be good lawyers, civil servants, accountants, computer techs, engineers, doctors, military men so that when you are called to serve in government, you will have credibility and a record that can speak for itself.

For love of this country, for the future of our children, for the many who have sacrificed and died to uphold our rights and ideals, I urge you to do what you can. As ordinary citizens, we can do much more for the Philippines than sit around and let crooks lead us to perdition. We owe ourselves this. And we owe our country even more.

Remedios C. Paningbatan
Administrative Officer
Office of the General Counsel
Asian Development Bank
Tel (632) 632-4248

Remedios C. Paningbatan is NOT the author of this essay as stated and explained in comment #24. Please refer to that comment to find out the real author.


  1. Brave!

    Hindi ko alam kung kailan ito inilabas ni Gng. Remedios C. Paningbatan. Uhmn... may Filipino, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Pangasinan, Maranao, Maguindanao, etc. versions na kaya ito?

  2. RJ, hindi ko alam. natanggap ko lang ito (via email) galing sa mga kaibigan ko. Sa dami nilang sunod-sunod na nagpadala, minabuti kong ilathala para malaman ng lahat.

  3. Bravo!

    Well mas maganda kung ang magiging 2010 elected officials ay makatao ,makabayan at maka Dios. Wag sana maging ningas kugon lang. At sana mag simula sa ulo ang kalinisan sa gobyerno.

  4. I love it that the first step she suggested was to pray. So many people underestimate prayers. And of course it doesn't stop there. Each one of us is capable of doing something. Mrs. Paningbatan has done well by being an instrument of awakening.

  5. LifeMoto, that's a tall order to accomplish. For me, doing his job as stated by his job description without the "hanky panky" is good enough.

    Kat, yes, prayers is a motivational factor coupled with action.


    I dont bother anymore to their promises, fed na rin ako.
    If I can save my immediate family,lead a peaceful life, pay my taxes, as it is my duty, thats makes a difference already.

    Once a JWitness, quit her work as a lawyer for a senator, bec she cannot stand the corruption going on. The money flows in, huge money, but she cannot accept is, it is for her "blood money".
    We are living in this system, that only God can erase and put just judgement.

  7. hay! basta kailangan na talagang magbago, baguhin. hope na dumami pa ang ganitong paglalathala...gisingin ang mga tulog at ipaalam ang mabuti.

  8. Nabasa ko nga rin sya and I was meaning to post about it when I saw that you already did. Isinulat sya mahigit isang taon na ang nakakaraan pero hanggang ngayon, buhay at makatotohanan pa rin ang dating sa akin (at sa kahit kaninong Pinoy siguro).

    May pag-asa pa tayo. Sa tingin ko (tingin lang ha) mas mulat ngayon ang mga kabataan kahit pa nga marami pa rin ang nahuhumaling sa Pinoy Big Brother at telenovela.

  9. mabuhay!!!naghyperventilate at nagkatachycardia ata ako ng nabasa ko ito nabuhay ang aking dugo....napakatapang nya at ispirasyon buti na lang at rehistradong botante ako sa 2010.....mabuhay ang mga nanay sa bawat tahanan ng pinas....ang mga natatanging ina nyung lahat....

  10. To institute a change in this country, it must start within our self and in our own home.

    We must firmly believe that there is a hope for our country. We must say NO to any forms of graft and corruption. Never allow ourselves to be use by the few, the elite and the politicians for their personal end.

    And we must live within the dictates of our conscience and resist all the evil things that man do. We must set an example to our family, to our children and to the youth.

    If we can do this then real change will follow.

  11. Many help the third world countries like the Phlippines But thosecountries that help got fed up too:

    “There are also abundant reasons for questioning the results. If the majority of countries are reluctant to contribute, it is because the funds rarely reach the people for whom they are intended.” Unfortunately, because of corruption and bureaucratic red tape, a large part of the funds provided by governments, international agencies, and individuals never reaches the people who really need it.

    ask natin yung donasyon of ondoy:
    tyak yan may nag bubulsa kahit barya:

    kaya tamaan man po;
    pero sa govt officials

  12. great words...but the truth is, even the honorables say these a lot! nothing new is being said here - these were ideals kahit pa ng mga lolo natin. the problem really lies in the doing.

  13. it is but a painful truth. Ouch!

  14. Francesca, papano ka boboto sa pinas, e frances ka na! : )

    ever, kaya nga kinakalat ko 'tong sulat kahit luma na (according to Nebz) para mabasa pa ng iba.

    Nebz, true, kahit luma na napapanahon pa rin dahil hindi nag babago ang sitwasyon sa pinas.

  15. dacz, nakakapukaw talaga ang mga katagang binitiwan dahil alam nating ito ay totoo.

    Pope, tama yun kung lahat tayo ay ganyan ang pananaw katulad ng mga hapon. Pero mahirap maging nationalista pag nakikita mo ang namumuno ay hungkag ang pag-iisip.

    Francesca, true, kahit sa baranggay level, hindi umaabot sa kinaukulan ang mga ambag na dapat iparating sa kanila.

  16. r-yo, yes, lumang tugtugin ika nga. But what impressed me is that this letter came from an ordinary discontented citizen. She named names and not even afraid to expose her identity. In our kind of culture, for me, she is one brave lady.

    sheng, bumukol sana ang tinama-an!

    Ms.Jo, yes, she's one brave lady indeed!

  17. a lot of politicians or even citizen cant even define corruption that's why they wont admit they are corrupt.

    i believe people who are buying pirated cds are as corrupt.

  18. di ko na aalamin kung totoo ang pangalan at numero niya.

    ito lang ang masasabi ko: BRAAAAVO, lady!

    iyan ang babaeng may bayag.

  19. donG, true, as corrupt as an ordinary driver parking in a no parking zone.

    atticus, bravo indeed! It takes a woman to fight like a man.

  20. It's crooks playing against crooks, each wanting more marbles. I always wonder why politicans and public officials never get a serious conviction even if proven beyond reasonable doubt. Siguro nako-konsiensya ang mga magnanakaw na bitayin ang kapwa nilang magnanakaw :(

  21. Ngayon ko lang nabasa ito, ang galing niya at ang tapang niya na harapin ang babatikos sa kanya kung meron man (lalo na kung may makabasa na pulitiko hehehe) pero tama siya sa lahat ng sinabi niya and while I was reading it parang nakapanghihina na parang wala na yata tayong pag-asa na makaahon sa pagiging 3rd world country, bakit ganun??? naungusan na nga tayo ng ilang bansa pero tayo parang lalong bumababa....hay nakakalungkot isipin

  22. bw, I think you're right. "Professional courtesy", as one shark said why it didn't ate the banker.

    Sarz, nakakalungkot ngang isipin. Our ASEAN neighbors looked up to us in the '50s. But now, we're the one looking up to them.

  23. Dear Friends,

    I just wish to set the records straight and put credit where credit is due. Please note that I am not the writer of the piece "To All Filipinos Everywhere". Although I wish I could write as proficiently and as passionately, I do not wish to own up to something that I haven't truly done and grab the distinction from the true writer.

    In 2008, I had simply forwarded the e-mail to my relatives abroad and perhaps, my automatic e-mail signature must have stayed there as it got passed around everywhere. I would greatly appreciate it if you could remove my name from the article as posted here in your site. Kindly inform your friends too to take out my name as the writer of the said piece before forwarding it. And if they have forwarded it, to please send them my disclaimer too.

    If you do not mind, you may forward to me the e-mail you received and I would personally email them my disclaimer. I have always replied all e-mails regarding this saying that I didn't write it. If only I could write even half as good as that! : )

    Fyi, you may wish to look at these different links. One of them might be the distinguished author.

    Thank you and I share your hopes and dreams of an improved and better country.

    Remedios Paningbatan

  24. Our country is what the collective consciousness of its citizenry makes it to be. The segment of society that is ignorant of this wisdom unfortunately has the lion share at the moment and the article writer is in the minority.

    We can join her/him by bearing in mind that what we sow today will be our harvest tomorrow. Rear your child with love. Dont saddle the child with rules. Love keep no rules as it does not need one.

    Our care for the good of the country does not end in the ballot box.

    Keep smiling :)