If I Were A Senator
A senator in my country formulates and proposes laws to be implemented by the executive department of the government.
If I were a senator, I would turn to the Bible in formulating laws for the amelioration of my poor and depressed countrymen. The first law I would propose is for the provision of free access to all media for all candidates in an elective position in government.
Let me explain this in detail.
Corruption is the main cause of poverty in my country, which was formerly considered one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia. In fact, the Philippines is the first country in that part of the world to have its own airline.
Philippine Airlines is the national airline of the Philippines. It is the first commercial airline in Asia and the oldest of those currently in operation. With its corporate headquarters in Makati City, Philippine Airlines flies both domestic and international flights. As of December 2006, it claims to serve twenty-one domestic airports and thirty-two foreign cities. Its main hub is Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the city of Parañaque with all its passenger flights involving Manila in Centennial Terminal 2. It has been awarded a 3-star rating by Skytrax. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Philippines was the largest producer of rice, coconut, and copra in that region, and was the number one supplier of sugar in the US sometime in the past. From being a rich country, the Philippines is now internationally tagged as a country of domestic helpers. Seventy percent of our people are living below the poverty line. These are all because of corruption!
From being exporter to importer of grains:
Twenty years ago, the Philippines was a net exporter of rice grains. During the Marcos administration, the country was still able to export a portion of its total produce while leaving the country with sufficient supply. (Source: Bulatlat.com)
Negros Revised: The impact of sugar substitution by HFCS in perspective
Although in the early 1980s the Philippines belonged to the top four world exporters of raw sugar, the country currently is not mentioned among the top ten. Before the crisis, the Philippine sugar industry was responsible for 8 per cent of the Country's total foreign exchange earnings. This percentage decreased to 1.4 per cent in 1984. (Source: Biotech-Monitor.nl)
Corruption starts at election.
Before a scheduled election during the campaign period, a candidate or a politician seeks the help of people to pay for airtime on radio and television and spaces in print media. Persons, juridical or individual, with criminal minds, begin to influence the would-be official if elected. Some look at this as an investment for “monkey business.”
Even religious groups are participants in this malicious and vicious cycle of corruption. Once elected, the official is expected to pay back the favor given in the form of cash or material considerations, or operations that advance one’s power.
The last includes influencing the members of a religious group to vote for the candidate in what is infamously called “bloc voting.” This, in turn, influences the elected official in matters of appointments and contracts which will benefit the religious group or its leaders. Imagine doing business with government without even the benefit of public bidding and a written contract! This is very much like what surfaced in LTO (Land Transportation Office).
Driver’s license printer has no contract with LTO
By Neal Cruz | Philippine Daily Inquirer | 09/23/2010
Transportation Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus did right in canceling the bidding, scheduled for today, for the production of new drivers’ licenses. The fact alone that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) seems in a hurry to bid out the project (to favored bidders, according to critics) is a giveaway.
There are many mysteries going on at the LTO and De Jesus should look closely into its affairs. For one, it appears that the LTO is the private preserve of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Most contracts are awarded by the LTO to members of the INC. In fact, the present LTO chief, Assistant Transportation Secretary Virgie Torres, is a well-known INC member. The owner of the present printer of drivers’ licenses, Amalgamated Motors Inc. (Ampi), is Filemon Cuevas, a senior member of the INC.
By virtue of this bloc-voting practice, an influential religious leader may call upon a sitting president (by phone) to influence the decision of a magistrate or a judge either to dismiss or to judge on a case in favor of them and to the detriment of an innocent litigant.
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
Many more forms and consequences of corruption follow. The result? According to a survey titled, “THE MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AND PRESIDENT IN ASIA.”
GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) found most corrupt president
Palace says media is to blame for survey results
Palace says media is to blame for survey results
By Regina Bengco | Malaya | 12/12/2007
Almost one of two Filipinos believe that the President is the “most corrupt (president) in the history of the Philippines,” a survey conducted from Oct. 20 to 31 by Pulse Asia showed… (Source: EllenTordesillas.com)
Making a law to give free airtime and spaces for a politician to present his platform of government to the public may reduce, if not eradicate, this root of corruption.
Television and radio stations earn in every sort of commercials. It can be considered as truly a public service -- which is their “advertised advocacy” -- if they would give candidates ample time to discuss issues and debate on them freely, for the public to have a better choice of officials. In fact, it is the constitutional right of the populace “to know.” Minimize the expenses of a candidate and we are going to minimize also the ROI (return on investment) and the haste of greedy investors in an election!