Everyone’s on the lookout for the fugitive. It must be wretched to find yourself a country’s symbol for all things vile and corrupt. And that you have erected 28 mansions and yet can’t take cover in them.
Once more, the populace is an enthusiastic spectator, staking out the country’s thief of the year. A million citizens armed with a “citizen’s arrest warrant” and eager to be the hero who snares the thief.
But what then? After she’s handcuffed and we commemorate our manhunt victory with a mug shot. What then?
We’ve seized three presidents and have a paraffin wax casket or mug shots to prove it. And we were as adamant at them being the plunderers of our country’s coffers. The biggest fish to catch. And we netted them. But what happened then? We’ve thrown them back into the bountiful sea. And now they’re fatter and greasier. And they have spawned a larger brood of fish just like them.
And so here’s another big fish to catch. I can see the future. I can. She and her brood of fish will be netted and the lucky catch paraded in public. There will be a mug shot. And she’s going to get sick. And then a hospital can add another star to its roster of Who’s who. Months after, when it’s no longer popular to talk about that Napoles woman, she will slip unnoticed, set at liberty to the bountiful sea. To swim into oblivion, or grow fatter, spawn a larger brood.
Because ours is country of spectators. We are fond of watching people fall down from up high on the pedestal. And we love a history that repeats itself. Like the sought-after telenovela. Same plot. Different cast. No one wants to break the Filipino tradition. So we keep positioning someone up there again. And especially, there’s no one with enough guts to clean the mess after the fall or hose down the filth.
Thus, after the hoopla, and an inquiry in aid of legislation, there will be pork. They will rename it, dress it up as a different breed of hog that is sorely needed in the country’s development. And our country of spectators will embrace without question the absurdity of awarding billions to legislators so they can build things that have nothing to do with making laws. Never doubt why public servants spend billions at elections, for the honor of serving country, despite the toil and meager pay. Glorify brilliant statesmen deft at loopholes that create non-government organizations out of thin air. And then, like always, gape at the mansions they build, accepting as a matter-of-fact that this country’s statesmen are rich. Filthy rich. And the spectators will like being around the stinking rich at sorties. Be proud to know them, share a relative, or be six degrees apart. Even have photos taken while they vacation alongside them, at the happening beach resort, rolling in the dough.
Hey countrymen. It is filth. It stinks. We should be gagging already. Our country’s drowning in a sea of muck. We should learn to hook and gut the big fish, and most especially, clean up the bloody mess. We’re supping on the blood that spills from greed. And the longer we keep at this tradition, the more muddied this mess, the more we swallow and choke on the filth.
And so, once more, we are spectators eager for that citizen’s arrest and a countryman’s fifteen minutes of hero. But what then? After the country’s thief of the year is handcuffed and we commemorate our manhunt victory with a mug shot. What then?