2010 Filipino Non-Persons Of The Year

The following are the top Filipino non-persons of 2010.

A non-person is defined as a public personality who by his absence from the national scene or who by claiming not to be the person he/she is said to be; has made an impression on the country.

1. Gloria Arroyo- GMA is the top non-person of 2010. After nine years in the spotlight, she has not been heard of since July 26 2010, the day of P-Noy’s SONA. On that morning GMA flew to Hong Kong to chase the summer sales and avoid being excoriated by the President on national television.

Despite her public blackout, GMA continued to unsettle the new Government. This she did by a) land mining the bureaucracy with midnight appointments; b) leaving the government coffers empty and c) continuing to work her influence with the Supreme Court, undercutting efforts of the Administration to bring her to justice.

Fading quietly into the sunset suits GMA just fine.

2. The Ampatuans- This clan continues to escape the clutches of justice for the Mindanao Massacre. Their defense? Despite the number of witnesses to the contrary, they claim they simply were not there. They are, like the U.S. banking system, too big to fail.

Contrast this with Hubert Webb who despite unimpeachable eyewitnesses in his defense was jailed for 15 years for a crime he did not commit.

This proves that in our “democracy” justice can be bought- and not for very much. As President Aquino correctly  pointed out, our Judiciary remains the single greatest challenge to our progress as a nation. Unfortunately the body is accountable only to itself so unless the Supreme Court does something about it- which we see no evidence of- we will continue to be hostage to the corruption in our courts.

Returning to the Ampatuans, they were never there. For this they are awarded the number two non-persons of the year.

3.  The NGO’s- After their omnipresence in the elections, NGO’s have gone mum. It is a shame because, for a while, their enthusiasm gave the nation hope that this time it would be different, that citizens were finally owning up to their responsibilities to really, really make this country a better place.

The principal reason for the disappearance of NGOs is P-Noy seemed uninterested in keeping the flame alive. He failed to define a vision, a common purpose around which the country could rally. After a blaze of rhetoric, he descended into ordinariness forgetting that while the mind can convince, only emotion can motivate and that is what Filipinos need, motivation, an ambition to be  greater than we are.

P-Noy also emasculated the citizen movement by disdaining “unsolicited advice”, relying instead on the counsel of his friends and the comfort of his limited past.

Whatever, past July 1, 2010 the NGOs were a no-show making them the third non-persons of the year.

4. Merceditas Gutierrez- The Ombudsman is at the center of the storm regarding the corruption cases against ex-President Gloria. Without her co-operation no cases can be brought to bear since hers is the only body authorized to prosecute government officials. Unfortunately, she also has tenure.

She writes a regular newspaper column where she expounds on moral motherhood yet, despite the public outcry, omits to explain her failure to act on the charges of malfeasance in the previous Government.

For this she is recognized as the fourth Filipino non-person of the year.

5. Singson/Lacson- If one  believes the Hong Kong authorities, on July 11 2010 Rep. Singson arrived with 26 grams of cocaine either for personal consumption over the weekend  (which would earn him a mention in the Guinness Book of Records) or for resale. Ronald has pleaded guilty to the former, the lesser charge.

If one  believes his father, Chavit, Ronald was with him in Mongolia at the time of the events. When that did not register, he said the dope was planted on his son by political enemies and that Ronald pleaded guilty to possession “as a legal strategy”.

It appears Ronald bears no resemblance in reality or in fiction to the person depicted by the HK police. Good luck, Ronald, with your story.

For reasons of health, Sen. Lacson was AWOL for most of the year even if, for a while, he drew salary. The public was fine with the that and would not be unhappy, I suspect, if the rest of the Legislature did likewise.

Lacson might surface sooner than Ronald but in the meantime they are both equally recognized as the fifth non-persons of the year.

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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