Politically motivated


I couldn’t agree more with Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s claim that the plunder case filed against him is politically motivated. But then again, that very statement (of his) is politically motivated too. So is this article, probably.

You see, everything in this country is politically motivated.

And this is not surprising. In a place where corruption is a culture, everyone is predisposed to advancing their own interests before those of their country. Certainly, if not indubitably, public service is nothing but an occasion to amass wealth and power, no shred of social ethics whatsoever but blatant opportunism, sadly making the honest dishonest and the competent incompetent.

Probably because of our unique historical experience, our political system is not guided by any sense of nationalism. Politicians fiercely figure in political wars, violently battling it out at all costs simply to install themselves in power. That is why a strong party system such as that in the US will not work here. Politicians simply do not stand on principles, and political parties are not expected to adopt any philosophies of government and politics, but are created merely to serve the vested interests of their members.

Hence, if the incumbent administration files cases of corruption, it does so not to clean up the system but simply to crush its enemies and others opposed to it. If it is seemingly doing the right thing, it does so not to serve the ends of justice but simply to pacify public outrage. If it spares certain individuals from culpability, it does so not because they are innocent but because they are sympathetic at the very least to the powers that be. Former president and current Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga did just that, even palpably disregarding the rule of law in the process.

In the meantime, the opposition is pooling together its resources, patiently waiting for the right time, or in extreme case forcing to turn the tide to exact its revenge. So begins a vicious cycle that unabashedly makes a mockery of democratic processes at the expense of the people.

Throughout history, our politicians have shown propensity to lying, cheating and stealing to get what they want, and get rid of what they never need. Of course, they ironically get away with it by doing the same things: lying, cheating and stealing and hiring image consultants to make them look like saints instead of sinners as they have always been. After all, the people, they think, are not too discerning, often basing their opinions on personalities and not the issues involved.

I’m pretty sure there are still a “few good men” out there whose goal more than anything else is to sincerely serve the public and make a difference. I wish them well. But this article is not about them. This is more in the nature of class analysis and not about specific individuals who shouldn’t be judged based on the class they come from.

As a class though, Filipino politicians, for lack of a better politically correct term, are a bunch of opportunists, disguised as public servants, whose idea of public trust is confined within the province of lip service.

That is the crux of the matter, and I’m not in a position to offer any plausible solution except to tell it like it is.

Not too long ago, Congress, sitting as an impeachment court, succeeded in weeding out a Supreme Court chief justice for non-disclosure of his true assets and liabilities. By some bizarre twist of fate though, the very person who presided over that impeachment court now finds himself at the vortex of scandal that is way more alarming than what Corona did.

Of course, those who would prosecute Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile would find themselves in the same shoe once the situation changes. Pana-panahon lang, ikanga.

This is Philippine politics at its finest.


Atty. Edward P. Chico is the vice-chair of the Commercial Law Department of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, De La Salle University. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.


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  1. Very well written. My thoughts exactly. These politicians regardless of political affiliations are all the same. The people shouldn’t be fooled.

  2. Alfredo Jose on

    I fully agree with your opinion — so precised yet so vivid of what is the exact meaning of Philippine politicians. With the last two events – two elder pillars in the judiciary (Corona) and in the legislative bodies (Enrile) – it is so sad that this happens in our generation. I am earnestly hoping that our kid and their kids’s kids will not suffer the same fate as our generation is experiencing now.

  3. i think you have hit the nail on the head, therte is hardly a clean honest politician in this country, then the organisations that watch over them are no better, they also serve their own interests. It seems an insurmountable problem but surmount it we must. How well im also not sure but this may be a possible start. Bring the death penalty for people in power who steal public money. You need a few good men ( & or women ) to start the ball rolling. Start at the top, the bottom or in the middle it really doesnt matter but start somewhere. Then also take every single asset from the family that has stolen public money, weather it be ill gotten or not, make it law all their worldly goods are taken from them & make their families start at the bottom like very poor people with nothing. Let compassion go out of the window. Just like with janet lym napoles, she still looks on us people with a form of hatred, she thinks she is better thn everyone & above the law. She doesnt feel any sense of guilt or wrong doing.Does she want to make ammends for her wrong doing, no of course she doesnt, she wants her money & lifestyle back, thats all people like her care about. Ruby tuason, do you hionestly think she is repentant because of guilt for what she did, no she is only looking repentant because she got caught. If it was still unknown & happenening now do you think she would opt out of all that easy money, no of course she wouldnt, so show no mercy or any form of sympathy to these people as they deserve it not. Treat them as the lying cheating stealing scum they are

  4. Atty. Chico, I really appreciate your well-written article in which, sadly I might say, that changes in the country might not happen in my lifetime, since most of those in both government and private sectors have been draining the public coffers for decades insatiably enriching themselves at the expense of the poor. It’s tragic!