COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
During the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing of the ZTE-NBN deal, Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada declared that Environment Secretary Lito Atienza advised him not to testify in the Senate for in doing so would be “giving this administration to the opposition.”
Why? Is the affair of the nation between the administration and the opposition? Too much politics has been hampering the democratization process that our people are undergoing through. We are even on the verge of survival. And like the rightists and the leftists, the administration and the opposition are doing their own thing “in the name of the people” – and at the expense of the people!
This systematic corruption in the high seat of power as revealed by Lozada is so mercenary and obscene amidst the glaring poverty in the country. A United Nation’s study recently reported that 31 Filipinos, mostly children, die everyday due to poor sanitation. The cause is simply due to the lack of safe drinking water and toilets. While, high government officials are scrambling for their share in millions of pesos of stolen public funds.
All Filipinos pay taxes now with the implementation of the 12% E-VAT. Unlike the income tax which is proportionate to individual and corporate income plus tax exemption for the lower income group, E-VAT taxes everyone. Meaning, if you earn a hundred, two hundred, or a thousand a day, you pay the same amount of tax on the goods and services found in the market. Daily.
So corruption in government is every Filipino’s concern. Condoning the practice is allowing evil to grow and continue. Stealing is already a crime and covering it up is committing a more serious crime and thus aggravating the situation. Nothing ever gets to be resolved.
However, politics obstructs justice; preventing the resolution of a case – be it graft, plunder, or murder. And too much politics muddle the issue. Just take this NBN-ZTE deal; many government agencies and heads are getting involved just to cover up Malacañang. The picture becomes grotesque. Objectivity is lost.
Then here comes Atienza saying that exposing the issue would be giving this administration to the opposition. And Jun Lozada’s accounts are being tainted with insinuations of being hostile to the administration or anti-administration. This, indeed, is a fallacious argument in the search for truth and justice. The NBN-ZTE deal is a case of graft and corrupt practice, not an issue for or against GMA. Giving color to this issue is not solving the issue, or any issue for that matter.
The problem with Philippine politics is that it has perverted democratic governance, leading people to cheat, lie, steal and even kill to support those in power; piling up crimes and injustices that grow like gangrene in the societal body.