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Medea

What can be done with a corrupt government?

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Well, I don't know if it's making much noise abroad but well my country, the Philippines, is ridden with scandals and controversies regarding corruption.

 

Our president has been involved in the 2004 election fraud with the 'Hello, Garci' scandal. And then her term is plagued by overpriced deals like the Fertilizer Fund Scam, the Cyber Education Scandal, the ridiculously overpriced Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and of course the fresh ZTE-NBN deal. Her family is also involved in these outrageous deals.

 

One particular thing that annoys me is that because of her funding of the military to keep them happy, she cut off the budget for the state universities. Because of that, these state universities have to increase the tuition fees. My university had the 300% tuition increase. It's really outrageous since our university is supposed to be devoted in providing quality education for the people, particularly the poor. But now, it seems like only the rich and well-off can enter. Some poor people had to sell off their properties just for their children to be able to enter our university. Well some of you may ask, why don't they find other cheaper universities? It's because our university is the national state university that is one of the three top universities in the country. In contrast to the other top universities, UP provides 'relatively cheaper' tuition fees.

 

Education is a right, isn't it? Now it's more like a privilege.

 

Another thing is the appointment of people who are not eligible for the job. I mean a non-Ph.D. holder for the top person in CHED? A high-school graduate as a member of the panel who decides in matters concerning tertiary education?

 

How do you stop a corrupt government filled with corrupt officials? Impeachment complaints don't fly. Rallies don't seem to shake her.

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I think this has been a problem since the dawn of time. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The rich grow richer and the poor pay the price. This goes on until the rich are completely corrupt and the masses rebel. Read any world history book and you will find the cycle, repeating over and over, in every culture. Greed is a disease, humanity the petrie dish.

The only weapons that work against it is individual beliefs. Be the best that you can be, and live by example. Do always that which is upright. You may not be able to change the whole world, but you may change those in your sphere of influence.

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Dido, :) spoken like a typical philippine state university student ;) j/k

 

for me, i don't think a change in leadership would help make the situation better. if the president steps down or is overthrown, who would succeed her? would the next leader be able to handle the new crisis our country would succumb into? would the next leader not be a corrupt one too? would the next leader decrease tuition fee rates?

 

i feel very disgusted too that our president is under the influence of her husband who's doing all the wrong things... i wish she would just step down but i know she wouldn't. she makes our countrymen look stupid by wanting us to believe she did nothing wrong even as she publicly acknowledges that she did something wrong then later says that she was just misinterpreted with her statement.

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well, there's always assasination, maybe a little anarchy, and a drop of blackmail XD

 

Ok, joking aside, I don't think there's much you can do about a corrupt government besides:

1. overthrowing aka French Revolution style (perhaps less bloody)

2. protesting until your blue/dead (Martin luther king jr., tiaman square,etc.)

3. accept it even if you're not happy with it. (currently what lots of US citizens are doing)

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Just move away from your country.

 

I myself would rather be on a 'slaughter the king' plan. Indeed killing the president would be something that would free hte country...or throw it into total chaos, this is true. Also you would loose your life. While this doesn't matter to me, of course to you it would be very difficult...So the best thing is to accept and get rich.

 

(Oh, I gotta leave, I'm witnessing an accident atm. lol)

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We had that corrupt system in the beginning of the 1900 sensory in Sweden, The government was corrupted, the common people had no vote, and women had no vote, the citizens Revolted and people died, after that we had a democratic process, every man or women had one vote one voice, we had a new government, The power was taken from the king, and the corrupt government, the people got democracy, and we began to build the Swedish model, all children have to go to school 9 years (if you stay home with out a reason the police fetch you) and all have the same education, we got high schools and so on, that’s free, children day care that’s free, no one in Sweden can ever pay more then 1600 sw:k (160 dollar) a year in medicine, hospital , doctor or to have a operation cant cost more then 900 sw:k a yare (90 dollars) so if you are sick, you get all the best care that Sweden have, well some people are sick, some are never sick, but we share our burdens it’s the same for all, nearly everything its free in our society (Country) we got social care, well we got a god place to live in, we got high taxes, but you newer fall down, what ever happens, someone catch you, If you don’t got any places to live the welfare gives you a standard apartment buy your clods, and the things you need, your children go to school and no one can see any different, from the poor kids to the rich, all are treated the same, If something gets wrong, we call the police, because we know they will help us, no Swede is a afraid for the police, well if they haven’t done a crime :D if you ever meet a Swedish policeman, don’t bribe him (give him money to let you go) then you get blue and green :D no you don’t, but you got a lot more to pay, and you get to court, If you need papers from the society (the government, like if you want to build a house, or something like that) it do not cost any, (and do not bribe the guy or gal that helps you, if she say it takes 3 weeks, its takes tree weeks), and if you try to give them money, they call the police, or bark you up good, well like this it is in my country, but ones it was like in your country, only the rich had it nice and the poor was suffering treated like slaves and had no rights. We got a good democracy, we sometimes got a bad government, but we choose a new one the next public vote (4 years the government sit) :D why did I tell you this, democracy is not a gift, we have to watch and care for that, we have to watch every step so we don’t lose that, there is always people that want things like it was on the “good old days”, that’s why its! The new generations, always think this is for free, and every time they lower their guard someone, form the “good old days” try’s to take the good thing away from them. In a democracy you don’t have to have the same opinion, but every one have the right to have an opinion, and don’t have to be afraid to talk out loud to tell others their opinion!

 

Well this get out of hand a bit, I guess its why I don’t understand all English and cant write it so good, I’m sorry for this, but I think Ally said the right thing, do your best, try to influence others, get a good education, tell others what’s wrong, Those that have the power and are corrupt like people with out education, they are easy to handle. Knowledge is the Key to the future!

 

Soloaris.

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@aveyond: Were you joking? I couldn't tell. Assuming you weren't: moving away is a very impractical plan. how would you do it? Most people do not have the funds or resources to do so. where would you go? After all, ever country has it's share of problems.

 

@soloaris: so you took the "french revolution"/ overthrow government route lol. It's nice to see you like your current government so much :)

 

Unfortunately for me, I can't come up with such praises for mine. Certainly it's doesn't look as corrupted as Phillipines described in the first post, but it's not the "land of freedom and justice" that always seems to pop up everywhere. :spider:

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Medea (a.k.a. Queen), in your case, pitchforks maybe the only solution. XD lol jk

 

Well, there’s no easy shortcut to dealing with corruption. Corruption is what it is, and people with power, the ones who are the corrupters, have the ability to cover their tracks even if the whole world knows that they are wrongdoers. They will do it anyways and odds are the people that will take there positions in the future are also corrupt. Look at Russia, for example.

 

Though, I think corruption by one person has to do with a greater flaw in the political and governmental systems. The most corrupt governments are the ones that lack accountability, so it is important to stand up against people like that, otherwise the same problems will continue to happen and things will only get worse before they get better.

 

But like I said, there’s no easy way out, unfortunately. And even though your school system is facing many problems right now, ironically, I think the solution IS education. So if you want to fight about anything begin with fighting for your rights as a student and educate yourself. In the long run, the ones who know better will be the ones to do your country good. You said so yourself by giving that example of the under-qualified school appointee: He lacks the proper education to make appropriate decisions, so obviously the people in charge need to be outshined by those who are capable or else stupid will only do stupid things since that’s all they know how to do, right?

 

Fighting with violence might change things for a while, but it won’t resolve anything. Doing things the right way, through positive actions, and doing them peacefully, even though there may not be immediate changes, I believe, is more likely to result in a permanent solution than a short term ones. Like say, if your president were to step down, would that really benefit your country? Wouldn’t it just create more distrust against the government and lead to more problems?

This may sound difficult for you do to, but to an extent you have to have some faith in your government (believe me, I think that’s what is keeping us, in the U.S., from giving up in our own system, especially for the mule-for-a president we have). I’m not saying to close your eyes and except everything that’s happening, if anything, I think it’s good that you’re looking into politics, because the more you know about it, the more you can understand and help your country, especially avoid repeating past mistakes that were made by other. And perhaps, there is a solution somewhere amongst the chaos (if you understand it first )and believe that your country despite all it’s problem, is a democracy that 'can' work.

 

I know you feel helpless, you're not alone. But I really believe that education has the potential to change these things. If you think about any cause (e.g. AIDS, domestic violence, hunger, poverty, the list goes on and on) there are always immediate solutions to these problems but the root of the problems, the most important factor, is hardly ever solved, and that's that people need to understand the world around them and the only way to do that is through education.

 

So keep your head up. Your investment will ultimately pay off. ;)

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@ Medea

 

It is unlikely that anything can be done, if you are a regular person. Corruption has existed since the begining of human existance and will probably never go away. And in a nation such as yours where democracy is not really fully practiced, this is not an uncommon occurance. All you have to do is look at other countries around the world to see the same plight. But I doubt there is little you could do for change. (I live in the US, the "most democratic" nation in the world....still, the government and buisness run everything..the common voter has no say in what happens and what goes on in our nation...sadly, many don't even care)....your case is just more serious when you involve the military, because that could lead to a violent unrest in the future. The founders of democracy in America (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc.) believed it to be wrong for a country to have a standing army, because it could be used against the citizens. This is your problem. But I don't know what you could do....if the military is heavily in control, you might be jailed for speaking out....just go with your heart and remember that there is always hope....

 

(PS. This is a very good discussion Medea)

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@Thanks KTC, yes we chose the French revolution (but not so bloody :)) way in our country!

It’s also so that when the Citizens feel that they got no voice, they stop Voting, and then the government can get away with everything, that’s a human issue to go on, and think that’s not my business and stop being a Voice, Somewhere in your constitution, there says, If I don’t remember wrong : it’s a crime to not stand up when the ones that got the power act wrong… or something like that, well I’m probably wrong, but I reed that ones… any way good luck voting for your new President :)

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In the words of a very wise Karate master (OK, Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid), "Why we all so stupid?". I just finished reading "Plato's Republic", and I think I picked up a few things from that. I believe he would classify your country under "Tyranny" at worst, and "Oligarchy" at best. His definition of Tyranny is a ruler who tramps all over the common people to get what is best for themselves. An Oligarchy is a materialistic society with class systems going all over the place.

 

OK, so maybe the Philippines aren't a Tyranny. This is a darn stupid world all in all, but evil and corruption doesn't always win. If enough of this presidents corruption is brought to light (A job for you "Commoners" to do), then eventually the president will most certainly be demonized. Thats a good plan. Get some people who know this stuff (So computer hacking is illegal. So's blatant corruption :)), and dig dirt up on these people. Show em for who they are, make them into the blackest monsters imaginable. They hold ritual sacrifices, they worship satan, they're neo-nazis....it's not very nice, but who said you had to play by the rules?

 

And don't let the uneducated control education....ever heard of letting the fox into the chicken coop? No? Well say you are a farmer, you have chickens, and a fox who wants to severely mismanage them. If you let said fox into the chicken's housing, the chicken coop will develop a serious case of falling GNP, the school systems will become a wreck, the social "Pecking order" will go out of control, and the fox will eventually loot the chicken coop and leave with his stolen profits, likely retiring to a beach house in Aruba.

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@Abby: From the discussion I just participated in yesterday, they said that after our dear president is removed from her position, a transitional council will be the ruling power for 6 mos.-1 year. (Well I don't think anyone wants our dear vice-president to be the next president...) This said council will be composed of representatives from various groups representing the various sectors in our country (i.e. the women, the youth, the workers, the farmers, etc.). After this period of transition, we'll have our next leader. Yes, there's always a risk that the next leader will be corrupt but what can we do? Those people we think are decent may be at first. But they change. Like allybandy says, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

The problem I see with killing the president, assassinating her, is that killing the leader will become the mode of getting into power. In all likelihood the chain of killing-the-ruling-person-in-order-to-become-the-next-ruler will start.

 

In KTC's three options, I certainly can't accept the third. It just makes the corrupt officials think that the people are okay with their corrupt activities. It's like you're condoning their crimes. The first and second options are the ones I think we're trying to do right now. (If only we can really shock the people out of their apathy.)

 

@Dis: I agree with education being the solution. In connection with allybandy's post that we have to change the people within our sphere of influence, yes, educating the people will help. In the triangle illustration shown to me yesterday, the students belong into the 8% of the social order, the petite bourgeoisie. It is in our hands to make the 15% workers group and the 75% farmers group realize that they have the power to overthrow the government... especially the workers group since it is really in their power.

 

And yes, exposures are needed to depose a leader. I just hope that the ZTE-NBN scandal is the one that will finally mobilize the people.

 

@soloaris: Yes, democracy should be well-guarded. I'm so glad that your country got and keeps democracy.

 

Yesterday's discussion also brought up the socialist revolution. I have always been in favor of socialism and yesterday, it kind of solidified my stand. I think our country will work well under socialism. Equality. Being provided for in accordance to your needs. No more rich and poor.

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@Medea, Ohhh, I totally agree with your no more rich and poor ideals. This has bothered me my whole life. Why do the laborers, who do the hardest work, get paid the least? This makes no sense. It seems all backward somehow. And if you truly want to serve your fellow man as a politician, you should work for free. Everything you need has already been provided (the best food, clothes, housing and transportation), why do you need an income too? It would go a long way in taking greed out of the power equation.

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:) of course we don't want our dear vice president to succeed in power. it won't change a thing. but as long as the president holds the military, there's nothing we could really do. no one dares to risk their life.

 

The previous protest held by multiple sectors didn't even budge the president. the bishops aren't doing much either. our president is too smart. she knows how to get away with all this.

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And I think it's not only the president and the vice president. Almost everyone in position can't be trusted that much. One moment we are sure that there will be order with the new set of officials, then another moment we realize that everything just became worse. But then again, as if there was any new set of officials. Same persons seem to reign the same positions every now and then.

 

Besides, I think that even if the president is ousted, she will still have some hold on the government. Her kins are also current officials. That is if any plan of ousting her will work. She has triumph against impeachment complaints and some other allegations against her already. She can once again proclaim state of emergency or any other states she can think of just so she will have absolute power. And like Abby said, she has the military at her hands. I just hope we won't end up having another martial law. Oh, creepy.

 

So though we have insisted for a long time on viewing ourselves as a society of striving individuals, the destructive “contributions” of these officials are too obvious to deny any longer. Even the Constitution is quite useless because then those concerned have the power to bend the rules. The sad thing is, there doesn't seem to be any definite directive at hand that might solve this problem of corruption. Worse, the people itself doesn't seem to be so united. They all waste their energy contradicting each other's points instead of contributing something for the good of the whole Philippines.

 

If there is a way where we can have a fresh new set of officials, it might be better though there can be no guarantee that they won't end up being corrupt too.

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nah, i don't think she'll declare martial law. that would anger the people and would only make matters worst for her.

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I think this is an interesting topic. I guess you have to say that it starts with yourself. I know that a friend of mine is working with university students in Ukraine which is really full of corruption as well. She tries to explain her moral stances on paying taxes (no one does this, it's all about keeping two sets of books) and being totally honest in your personal life not accepting or giving bribes, etc.. Changing the culture can't happen if you give up on the idea of being part of the solution rather than the problem. I know it may seem like you are alone and up against a system you can't change, but the truth is that lots of great leaders were single people to changed their governments (I'm thinking of Nelson Mendela or Gandhi for example) through the power of the people. So, get your education, keep speaking out and dreaming - maybe someday we will all be Swedes :) .

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:)interesting topic although im not that up-to-date on what is happening now in the philippines (i missed my country so much!)

 

Agree to all of you. But in my opinion, whether we ousted the current president or not, either we put somebody who graduated from Harvard or Oxford with the flying colors, for sure she/he will failed. Our country (Phils)is being eaten up by the old system. Too bad, a lots of our countrymen are sacrificing to work overseas to save our economy>.< Talking about "Phils Politician" it made sick to think that they are not doing their part to serve the people. All they did was to "seating-pretty" on their senate table, debate on those non-sense issue rather than creating new jobs, program for the poors, improving the economy and so on. Im totally agree with you Allybandy.

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Medea wrote:

Well, I don't know if it's making much noise abroad but well my country, the Philippines, is ridden with scandals and controversies regarding corruption.

 

Our president has been involved in the 2004 election fraud with the 'Hello, Garci' scandal. And then her term is plagued by overpriced deals like the Fertilizer Fund Scam, the Cyber Education Scandal, the ridiculously overpriced Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and of course the fresh ZTE-NBN deal. Her family is also involved in these outrageous deals.

 

One particular thing that annoys me is that because of her funding of the military to keep them happy, she cut off the budget for the state universities. Because of that, these state universities have to increase the tuition fees. My university had the 300% tuition increase. It's really outrageous since our university is supposed to be devoted in providing quality education for the people, particularly the poor. But now, it seems like only the rich and well-off can enter. Some poor people had to sell off their properties just for their children to be able to enter our university. Well some of you may ask, why don't they find other cheaper universities? It's because our university is the national state university that is one of the three top universities in the country. In contrast to the other top universities, UP provides 'relatively cheaper' tuition fees.

 

Education is a right, isn't it? Now it's more like a privilege.

 

Another thing is the appointment of people who are not eligible for the job. I mean a non-Ph.D. holder for the top person in CHED? A high-school graduate as a member of the panel who decides in matters concerning tertiary education?

 

How do you stop a corrupt government filled with corrupt officials? Impeachment complaints don't fly. Rallies don't seem to shake her.

 

Hi Medea. Akala ko ako lang ang Pilipino rito (I thought I'm the only Filipino here). I'm glad to know that there are politically aware Amaranthians here who share their views about what's happening in their country. In my opinion, the people are all fed up of the vicious cycle of changing the leaders but not the entire system. We need genuine change. A government that does not corrupt the minds and coffers of the people.

 

The question is- are the masses ready to fight for this change?

 

We should all be, I believe. :-)

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Abby , I agree with you , Im also a half-filipino and I think changing the leadership will make it worse , If it is changed , Will Trillanes can lead the Country? , Absolutely , no , atleast Philippines is succeeding though , so I believe in Gloria's leadership.

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is the philippines succeeding under gloria's leadership? i've never been so dissatisfied with the country's leadership as now. really, it's like the country is once again enslaved, but this time by people of our own race. nasaan na ang kalayaan na ipinaglaban ng mga ninuno natin?

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In my honest opinion (btw, haven't had time to look at ppl's opinions but, just going off the title of this thread), only more corruption can come from a corrupt government.

I hate to be negative but, I've been to the Phil. and both my parents are filipinos and even though I was born in NA I've had a glimpse of what the reality is over there, especially for the less fortunate percentage of the population there. I think because the gov't over there is corrupt it gives everyone a sense of "eat or be eaten/survival mode" and the gov't tries to appear in control and forthwright but, in reality they're just greedy people, fueling, what seems to be, the neverending cylce of corruption. Because of this, the people adapt it, I'm not saying all the people in the Philippines, but those who are desperate, which sadly is the majority of the country who are poor. Not, to put blame ignorantly on a situation where I no longer am living, but those who have money and are well-off do nothing about it. If at all they have discussions but then are told to not talk about it again for reasons which won't be mentioned.

I do feel sympathetic for the country and the people who are suffering there. I just pray that in time there'll come a change throughout the Islands and unity, peace and honesty will be restored.

Cheers!

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@amitiel: unfortunately, change only happens when the people themselves are willing to change. You can pray all you like, but if no one does anything, you can bet that the government will be the same.

 

Check out any revolution: the people have to be willing to fight. If they just laze around,nothing get's done. But, it's easier with a 'smaller' country. Any large countries like US would need a massive "WAKE UP" call, something so bad/astonishing/etc. that it pushes most of the people from apathy to activity.

 

Examples:

Pearl Harbor

9/11

Rosa Parks' Refusal

MLK Jr.'s assasination

etc.

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@KTC: I understand your point of view. It's just a sad reality that to create change/"WAKE UP CALL", it tends to begin with the spilling of blood or some other devastating catastrophe.

 

P.S. my last post wasn't looking at the situation as a whole...I'll need to work on that more :S

 

Cheers

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