Philippine politics is largely controlled by the economic elite. Electoral competition did not revolve around class differences. Instead, politics was a game played within the elite classes, who manipulated and controlled the political process. The election process is the main mechanism where people participate to select those who will pass laws, formulate policies and govern. Patronage politics and “guns, goons and gold” thwart the people’s There is no substantial people’s participation in decision-making and governance.
The unequal distribution of wealth, unequal participation in decision-making and political power does not contribute to a stable peace and order situation. Communist rebels, Muslim groups, Christian vigilante groups and the Armed Forces of the Philippines still continue their armed conflicts, causing the displacement of thousands of families every year (internal refugees). Most vulnerable in these situations of armed conflict are women, children and elderly – especially those from indigenous tribes.
Many rich people in the Philippines lack social responsibility, poor people have been conditioned that they do not have the resources required to help themselves or that change for the better is not possible since these are how things have been done ever since. It has always been this way with many political administrations in the past to the present. Limited development opportunities and options and living daily on a survival mode also breed negative attitudes such as “bahala na” (fatalism), “kapit sa patalim” (living on the edge), and crab mentality (pulling others down in an effort to go ahead).
The combination of low prestige, incompetence, lousy pay, and inadequate resources is demoralizing and the opportunities for graft are many. And for that, the result of corruption should not be surprising. For the majority of Filipino people, disasters have become part of their “normal” life. They ...