I haven’t written anything about what’s happening the Philippines in a long time. Here’s one stab after a long hiatus.
One thing I learned in my years of corporate existence is you should pick something up from every experience. Takeaways are very important and developing actions from key learnings is critical for success. In the case of managing a country, do governments learn from the rumblings within? More importantly, does its citizens learn from past successes and failures?
The country is set to lay down a decision on its very first impeachment case versus a Chief Justice. Much like the case versus President Erap, the trial of CJ Corona wasn’t spared from the drama. Heck, there were even hugs, kisses and tears last Friday. Personally, I am glad that it is almost over. The country can FINALLY move on from rubbernecking. More importantly, our president PNoy has one less excuse for not making any huge economic progress in the two years he’s been running the country.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. As a layman and a spectator, I’ve got to ask myself this: are there any key takeaways from this impeachment experience? As a country, what did we all learn and what are the things we are planning to do after this? Maybe it’s about time to cut the bullshit in the way we do things in this country.
My thoughts lie on the following ideas:
- The CJ presented a law or his interpretation of it that seemed to absolve him of the need to disclose his foreign currency deposits? From a layman’s point of view such as mine, does this present a legal loophole that any able government crook can exploit? What are we going to do to close that up?
- If the CJ will be replaced, are there safeguards in place that ensures that the next appointee won’t be a LACKEY of the incumbent? I hate to imagine that we’ll have to go through this exercise again in 2016 or 2017.
- Regardless of how the vote swings, that challenge of the CJ to his accusers still stand. Is the country going to do a follow-up on those waivers? I remember a congressman from a few months back complaining about how they are always perceived to be corrupt. Maybe opening up and being more transparent is a positive step to correct this impression about them. Maybe the FOI Bill can start moving again.
- As an added point to the one above, maybe we can add transparency ratings to candidates whenever there is an election. Presidential appointed public officials should also have a similar ranking. Frankly, unless one knows these people personally, one can’t tell what they can do with public coffers. Sheesh, if we can have Energy Efficiency ratings whenever we buy a refrigerator, why can’t we have a similar rating for candidates? Are we better informed in buying home appliances than in choosing leaders?
- Are we all guilty of passing the burden of proof to those accused? I noticed that news media can be quite damaging to one’s public reputation. As first impressions count, do accusers have to issue retractions on false statements? Much like in the case of the CJ, the original allegation of 45 properties was certainly damaging. I don’t know if people were still listening when it went down to 5.
- Related to what I said above, the sad part there is that it revealed the “who the fuck cares if we’re wrong” attitude of public accusers. Would this be the face of government? As a consumer of its services, does this mean that we are all potentially going to get screwed over if government decides to do so?
- I’d also like to see a list of things that will happen if the CJ is taken out of circulation. Were there any key economic initiatives that he was personally blocking? Maybe the great presidential speechwriters can get us all excited for a change.
- While we were all focused on the impeachment, unemployment is up (according to the SWS), government spending is below its Q1 target. So what’s going to happen now? Oh, and there’s still that nagging issue with the Chinese over a tiny rock on the map.
So, what’s next? Can we build a Great Pyramid now? Me, I’m going back to work.