Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shaft shift (Palit-bihis) | Idiocy rules (Naghahari ang kanilang uri) [PJI editorials 28-29 July 2005]

SHIFT from the ‘peso’-dential to the ‘payola’-mentary form of government?

Let’s see. Mull this over.

Pugad islet off Bulacan—celebrated in the Amado V. Hernandez novel in verse, Bayang Malaya -- was a fishing village studded with salt-rinsed nipa-and-bamboo hovels, crossed any which way by narrow dirt streets and walkways that were litter-free any time of day. Local inhabitants in the 1970s must have kept their community throbbing with a thriving sense of neatness and order—that must have rubbed off into their way of life.

Barangay Palingon off Laguna Lake along the Calamba shoreline repeated Pugad islet’s neat refrain—the same array of humble abodes of unpainted wood and bamboo latticework capped by rusty tin roofs, each home lot arrayed with flowering and ornamental plants, every sill and wood surface of each hut scrubbed to a tell-tale dull sheen by is-is leaves. Palingon thrummed with that homely charm in the 1970s.

Pugad and Palingon are rare remarkable sights. They’re probably bygone sights by now.

Apparently, inhabitants of both Pugad and Palingon in the ‘70s were afflicted with a benign contagion. They infected their immediate environs. Or they had something inside that just flowed out and swamped everything in its path.

Times and people change. We haven’t paid a visit or kept tabs of the changes effected by changing people and times on either Pugad or Palingon.

Their inhabitants could have stuck to the old ways that breathed neatness and order into everything they touch.

Or their children and children’s children could have chucked such Midas touch and instead spread filth, decay, and disorder here, there, and everywhere.

So we can get back to that envisioned shift in the form of government. It boils down to moving out from one community that has degenerated into newly opened land for a fresh start at building a new community. The setting is changed. The people—wont to old ways and wiles-- moving into that new setting have not exactly changed. Degeneration begins in a fresh setting.

Probably the old collar has been chewed to shreds; a new collar has to be fitted to the same old dog.

So what’s the big deal changing the fundamental law of the land to afford a shift in the form of government?

Will the character of our people change?

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Palit-bihis

PALIT-ANYO ng gobyerno mula peso-dential tungo sa payola-mentary?

Tingnan muna natin.

Karatig ng Bulakan ang pulo ng Pugad—itinampok ni Amado V. Hernandez sa kanyang tula-nobelang Bayang Malaya – na pamayanan ng mga mangingisda, nabuburdahan ng mga kubo’t kubakob sa pagitan ng mga kalsada’t daang lupa na walang bakas ng kalat o basura. Sa mga taon ng 1970, tumitibok sa mga tagaroon ang sinop at linis—at namumukadkad ang ganoong gawi sa kanilang pamumuhay.

Ganoon din ang tanawin sa Palingon sa Calamba, nasa aplaya ng Laguna de Bay—hanay din ng mga tahanang kahoy, kawayan, at pawid o yero na ligid ng mga namumulaklak na halamanan, nakalagda ang kuskos ng is-is sa mga pasimano, dinding, anumang bahaging kahoy sa pamamahay. Tumitibok ang sinop at linis sa Palingon sa mga taon ng 1970.

Himagas sa paningin ang Pugad at Palingon. Baka naglaho na ang mga tanawing alok nila.

Baka may kakatwang sakit ang mga taga-Pugad at Palingon noong dekada 1970. Nahawa ang kanilang paligid. O baka mula sa kalooban ng mga tagaroon umagos ang linis at sinop, nilagdaan ang bawat madaanan.

Nagbabago ang tao at panahon. Hindi na muling nadalaw ni natutukan ang mga pagbabago na naganap sa Pugad at Palingon.

Baka nanatili sa kanilang kinagisnang gawi ang mga naroon at inilatag ang ganoon sa bawat bagay na kanilang mahahawakan.

O baka naman itinapon na nila ang dampi ng ginto ni Haring Midas at nagkalat na lang ng dumi, kabulukan at kaguluhan sa kapaligiran.

Balikan natin ang nasisipat na palit-anyo ng pamahalaan. Palit-bihis lang o paglipat mula nabulok na pamahayan tungo sa bagong lunan para bumuo ng bagong kabahayan at pamumuhay. Nabago lang ang lugar o pook. Hindi naman tahasang nabago ang mga lilipat na tao. Sisimulan lang yata ang pagbulok sa bagong lugar.

Nangatngat nang husto ang lumang kuwelyo, papalitan lang ng bago para sa dating aso.

O, ano pa ba ang aasahan sa pagbulwas sa Saligang Batas upang maikasa ang pagbabagong-anyo sa pamahalaan?

Mababago ba ang katangian ng ating pagkatao?

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Idiocy rules

NEARLY four of every 5 Filipinos are as clueless on the 1987 Constitution as mice are on the secrets of making and aging of rich-flavored cheese.

Of the 23% who have ample onions on the fundamental law of the land, a piddling two of every 5 would back up moves to have the Charter overhauled. A pitiable 9 of every 100 Filipino adults know the Constitution and would give informed support to have it amended—so goes the results of a survey plied by Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia has yet to update that 2003 survey. It is likely, give or take 2 or 3 percentage points, the same figures would turn up. That can point to a dearth of knowledge about the Constitution among Filipinos—and we’re not exactly preoccupied with the niceties of law, even with the shop-list of basic rights enshrined in the charter that every citizen is entitled to.

Reports Pulse Asia: “Among respondents from the ABC socioeconomic class, 33% claim to have ‘not a great deal, but a sufficient amount’ of knowledge about the Constitution, 50% admit having ‘little knowledge’. Six percent claim ‘a great deal of knowledge’ and 10% say they have ‘almost none or no knowledge at all.’

“Even in the National Capital Region, where 29% of respondents claim to have sufficient amount of knowledge (about) the Constitution, 56% admit to having ‘little knowledge’. Four percent say they have ‘a great deal of knowledge’ (on) the 1987 charter, while 11% say they have ‘almost none or no knowledge at all’.

“Among socioeconomic classes, the ABC class is the only group (in which) those who are open to having the Constitution amended in the future (44%) outnumber those who would support amending the Constitution now (26%), with 30% maintaining that the Constitution should not be amended now nor at any other time. In classes D and E, those calling for constitutional amendments now outnumber those who would prefer to wait.”

The Charter can be seen as the bedrock upon which the nation’s body of laws must stand on. We didn’t get to be well-acquainted with it for a number of years—and it’s about to be refurbished.

That same bedrock is about to be worked over to effect a shift from, as pundits have it, the current ‘peste-dential’ to the so-called ‘payola-mentary’ form of government.

By the way, the word ‘politics’ stem from the Greek polites or residents of the city state, and they’re tabbed to those concerned with the affairs of that state. “Idiot” comes from idiotes, those who don’t give a damn whatever happens to the state.

Face it, idiocy rules.
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Naghahari ang kanilang uri

HALOS apat sa bawat 5 Pilipino ang nakakaunawa sa 1987 Saligang Batas tulad ng kaalaman ng daga sa mga lihim ng paggawa at pag-imbak ng malinamnam na keso.

Sa 23% na may sapat na alam sa Konstitusyon, dalawa lang sa bawat 5 ang magtataguyod sa pagkumpuni nito. Karampot na siyam lang bawat 100 Pilipino na may sapat na edad ang may kaalaman sa Konstitusyon at makapagbibigay ng malinaw na suporta para sa pagbabago nito—ganoon ang natukoy sa survey ng Pulse Asia.

Hindi pa nasusundan sa ngayon ang naturang 2003 Pulse Asia survey. Mabawasan o madagdagan man ng 2-3 percentage points, tiyak na mga ganoong antas din ang susulpot. Masusukat lang ang kakulangan ng kaalaman ng ating mga kababayan hinggil sa Saligang Batas—lalo namang hindi na pinapansin ang mga umiiral na batas, pati talaan ng mga batayang karapatan na nakadambana sa Konstitusyon na nakalaan sa taumbayan.

Ulat ng Pulse Asia: “Among respondents from the ABC socioeconomic class, 33% claim to have ‘not a great deal, but a sufficient amount’ of knowledge about the Constitution, 50% admit having ‘little knowledge’. Six percent claim ‘a great deal of knowledge’ and 10% say they have ‘almost none or no knowledge at all.’

“Even in the National Capital Region, where 29% of respondents claim to have sufficient amount of knowledge (about) the Constitution, 56% admit to having ‘little knowledge’. Four percent say they have ‘a great deal of knowledge’ (on) the 1987 charter, while 11% say they have ‘almost none or no knowledge at all’.

“Among socioeconomic classes, the ABC class is the only group (in which) those who are open to having the Constitution amended in the future (44%) outnumber those who would support amending the Constitution now (26%), with 30% maintaining that the Constitution should not be amended now nor at any other time. In classes D and E, those calling for constitutional amendments now outnumber those who would prefer to wait.”

Masisipat ang Saligang Batas bilang batuhang patag na pagtitindigan ng mga batas na umiiral at paiiralin sa bansa. Sa loob ng mahabang panahon, ni hindi natin lubusang nakilala o kinilatis—at nakaamba nang baguhin ito.

Tutungkabin ang naturang patag upang mapalitan ang anyo ng pamahalaan mula, ayon nga sa mga palabiro, ‘peste-dential’ tungo sa ‘payola-mentary’.

Teka nga pala, mula ang katagang “pulitika” sa salitang Greek, polites o mga naninirahan sa polis o bansa. Sila ang mga makabansa na may malasakit sa kapakanan ng bansa. Mula naman ang “idiot” o gunggong sa idiotes—sila na walang pakialam ni malasakit anuman ang mangyari sa bansa.

Tanggapin natin, naghaharing uri sa ngayon ang mga gunggong.


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