"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Paredes a breed apart from Trapos in the ’07 Election


Principle a word so archaic and foreign long ago removed in Filipino “leaders” vocabulary; if they can have their way would probably outlaw the term. Just look at how they acted in a mob like fashion literally killing the impeachment using their sheer number like a rampaging street mob where reason or logic has no place but chaotic behavior and destruction along their path. How about the head honcho and their henchmen errr fellow commissioners of a constitutional body tasked to oversee an honest, fair, and credible election whose trust rating went down the the toilet? Instead of bowing their heads in shame they hang on shamelessly like leeches sucking the blood of the emaciated people till the last drop. I can go on and on and this blog will run out of digital space crashing the server and we probably will not have covered all of the shameless acts and attitudes of these “leaders” acting like a mob boss than servant leaders.

Looking at the grim scenario and pathetic electoral exercise in our poor abused country hope is nowhere in sight until Ang Kapatiran came along bringing with them Zosimo Jesus “Jess” Mendoza Paredes II a lawyer by profession and civil servant all his life. While his stand in the Subic Rape case is controversial that may go either way depending on how and where one’s outlook of the case perceives it, his action and demeanor says it all. Unlike other leeches errrr leaders who hang on desperately to their patronage position he opted to resign with his principle intact when his stand and that of her Lady boss collided. He’s got the cajones so to speak and sadly a rare breed in this day and age in a nation retrogressing while our neighbors continue to flourish. Here is a quote I lifted off his blog:

This election is very crucial!

It comes at a time when;

a.) The Philippines has been adjudged as the most corrupt country in Asia;

b.) The Philippines, for a long time now, has been or continue to be one of the poorest, if not the poorest, in Asia and/or in the world; and

c.) That no less than the President of the Philippines and her Administration has been indicted before the Permanent People’s Tribunal in The Hague, in The Netherlands for multiple violations of human rights.

The foregoing considered, it is not difficult to see or realize now that many, if not most, of our representatives (the politicians) in government have failed us, the very people that these politicians were sworn to serve.

We are partly to blame! But, most of the blame, perhaps, goes to these politicians (candidates then) who took us for a ride or who have successfully masqueraded themselves into something or someone who they were not.

And we have fallen for them! We have known no better! Or, simply, we have taken things lightly, very lightly, at the polls! We have taken for granted our right of suffrage, or, we just couldn’t care less! We have put no regard in the sanctity of the ballot!

Having accepted the stark reality that we are, inevitably, in, we also must now accept the reality that another election is at hand, forthcoming, or just around the corner.

We now have a chance to right the wrongs of the past; a chance not to commit the same mistakes!

Paredes was invited by Ang Kapatiran together with Sison and Bautista who upon seeing the platform and principle of the party embraced it without any reservation. The Party’s strict adherence to its code of ethics and platform based campaign is a challenge they will have to hurdle in a system that favors personality and patronage type of politics.

Patronage and personality based politics thrives in a poor country and runaway corruption goes unchecked because the balance of power or rather power is exclusively owned and monopolized by a few ruling minority elite. Here is another quote from paredes:

For the past thirty six (36) years of my life and throughout all the various positions I have held and the different places I have worked in, I have seen, first hand, the following:

a.) The stark or abject poverty of our people especially in the country-sides and the growing slum areas in the urban centers;

b.) The corruption, abuse and utter disregard of life, and patronage or boot-licking in the military;

c.) The unabated abuse or misuse of authority or power or their positions, and the graft and corruption, of our politicians and other public or government officials and personnel; and

d.) The deplorable or callous violation and/or surrender of our sovereignty as a nation and people in the name of foreign relations or in fear of losing foreign aids, and trading and security partners.

The last one on the list above, cost me my most recent position in government, but without any regret, whatsoever. I tendered my resignation and eventually quit my post on January 31, 2007, because I took a stand diametrically opposed to that of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Administration vis-à-vis the unceremonious or unauthorized whisking away or transfer of convicted US Marines Lance Corporal Daniel Smith from the Makati City Jail to the US Embassy premises in Manila (without any court order or authorization) in the dead of a Friday night of December 29, 2007, in the middle of the Yuletide or Christmas Season. Indeed, it was a clear case where the “Palace took the law into its hands.” In a democracy like ours and in a society of laws and not of men, like the Philippines, “Nobody is over and above the law!” From the lowliest Juan Dela Cruz to the highest President Arroyo, they are all under and subject to the supremacy and majesty of the law.

Such act was a grave and despicable violation of the centuries-honored principles of the separation of powers and the rule of law enshrined in no less than the highest law of the land, the Philippine Constitution of 1987.

Confronted by the power wielders in Malacañang, I stood my ground, owned up to my words quoted in the newspapers and accepted full responsibility for having publicly expressed them, and said: “Ergo, my further stay in my office is untenable, Therefore, I am resigning.” And the rest is history.

Ang Kapatiran with Zosimo Paredes, Adrian Sison, and Martin Bautista are addressing these problems in their thrust towards renewing the Filipino political culture. Their goal is to empower the people and without the help and support of the "intelligentsia" and the middle class it will go nowhere. Their people funded campaign is another people empowerment initiative that is gaining ground and hopefully again with people who are "aware" of the problem will encourage and support.

The bigger dilemma here is do we want a peaceful or violent transition? Armed groups wanting to overthrow and rearrange Philippine society are organized while those who desires peaceful transition are organized in small ego pockets trying to outdo each other whining and lamenting the conditions but doing nothing about it .To top it all their ego gets in the way for an organized collective approach because a whole lot of them are more focused on inflating their ego over their cause or advocacy deluding and seeing themselves riding in their imaginary immaculate white horses in their shinning armour out to save the poor.

We can disagree with what they stood for or the party’s platform, but who among the crap errrr crop of political parties or politicians are in this contest based on principle, integrity and honesty? Whether we like it or not agree with them or not our only choice and hope for a better future will be dependent on how they are received by people who can make a difference. Stay in the sidelines and do nothing and we will forever whine and lament our pathetic condition. Encourage and help them now and we may see others of different political persuasion of any color to follow suit and only then, can we have a flourishing participatory democracy where people dictate the outcome and not the few ruling minority elites robbing the nation blind.

Related articles:

Ang kapatiran banking on Principle, Integrity & Honesty in the 2007 Election

Bautista Battles Trapos in '07 Philippine Election

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