Starting not to be a ‘dedma nation’


FEIGNING unawareness is what the Tagalog street term “dedma” means.

It is a Taglish construction. “Ded” is the rendering in Tagalog of the English word “dead.” And “ma” is the first syllable of the Spanish word for “malice” used in Tagalog as “malisya.” The Tagalog phrase “patay malisya” which means “no malice noticed” can therefore be expressed in Taglish as “dead malisya” and therefore can be abbreviated into “dedma.”

Under the Aquino presidency the Philippines has become a “dedma” nation. During the Marcos regime the people seethed in anger over the excesses and corruption. But they were not dedma. And the government officials did not feign unawareness about malfeasances.

Nowadays the often funny verbal gymnastics performed by the Palace are not about real wrongdoings but about trivial matters. Then the conscript newscasters, columnists and talk show hosts make them look like really serious political and governance issues.

But on the really grave problems the officials and the conscript media are dedma.

The Palace and Cabinet members concerned do not talk about such matters as the true state of hunger and poverty. And neither do the conscript media.

Corruption has risen to levels never seen before—not even during the Marcos regime. Smuggling, for one, has risen 500 percent—according to International Monetary Fund data—from that of the Macapagal-Arroyo and Erap Estrada years. The Palace and the concerned government officials don’t take the problem seriously. And with the exception of The Manila Times and its columnists everybody is dedma on this subject.

Because of the crookedness of President Aquino’s hypocritical “Tuwid na Daan” (Straight and Righteous Path) citizens and clergy leaders have formed a National Transformation Council and issued the Lipa and Cebu Declarations asking the President to step down. Except for an obtuse and arrogant putdown of such ecclesiastical luminaries as Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, Bishop Arguelles and weighty Muslim and Protestant leaders, the Palace has treated the revolutionary stand of the NTC with dedma. And so have the most powerful broadcast and print media.

The Comelec/Smartmatic Automated Election System (AES), using the satanic PCOS machines, allows whoever the Comelec bigwigs and the Venezuelan Smartmatic corporation’s techies favor to get the most votes. That serious attack on our democracy is being treated with dedma by Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes et al., the Palace, and even most of the leading politicians. This, despite the earnest pleas of highly qualified and knowledgeable persons, including former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman.

Virtual one-party power
That President Aquino—with the cabal that rules the country with him from Malacañang and the Liberal Party–has become a virtual one-party power over our Republic is a reality. This is treated with dedma.

They have passed and enacted the 2015 GAA. Aside from providing for previously illegal and unconstitutional lump sum wholesale funding of opaque projects, the 2015 GAA redefines the meaning of savings and gives new names to previously illegal appropriations. It allows the President to do what he likes with government money. It frees him and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad from being held accountable for the pork barrel and DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) crimes that the Supreme Court had declared illegal and unconstitutional. It cements the surrender to the President of the Congress’ “power of the purse” necessary for the principle of checks and balance between the branches of government to work.

Not only have the congressmen and senators themselves treated this serious matter with dedma. The conscript media also have.

Philippine Trust Index
But it seems that the Filipino people are waking up from their dedma attitude to all these evils being inflicted on our Republic by the Aquino administration.

The latest results of the bi-annual poll to determine who or which institutions the people trust most—the EON and Ateneo University’s Philippine Trust Index (PTI)—show that the trust rating of the Office of the President has dropped by almost 50 percent from its high rating two years ago. The PTI shows that the Church is the most trusted institution. The Supreme Court and most other government institutions have maintained their ratings. The Senate and the House have lost half and one-fourth, respectively, of their previous ratings. They are among the least trusted.


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  1. Carlos S. Bueno on

    Absent any massive civil disobedience or disorderly conduct that clearly manifest such lack of trust or condemnation of the ‘dedma’ attitude that seems to be a regrettable (for the most part) of the Filipino people, these politicians–which is now commonly known as the euphemism for thieves and plunderers of the State’s coffers–do not actually care whether or not the people still trust them. The ‘dedma’ attitude just works to their advantage and benefit.

    But as this article suggests, if we are starting to disengage ourselves from this apathetic preoccupation, these politicians may begin to take notice and construe it as a threat to or an erosion of their “political capital”–in the sense that they will now begin to calculate the ‘benefits-to-costs’ ratios for their next electoral campaigns. ‘Bad press’ is still publicity for them, which they will just address through their hired spin doctors and other mass media mercenaries, and insofar as direct votes are concerned, they are now doing all they can while they are still in power to rig everything in their favor–from the COMELEC to the LGUs down the line–and also amassing the financial resources to pull off another mandate from the people, whose ‘dedma’ attitude may be waning but realistically they may have no other alternative but to choose from same cesspool of candidates for the elective positions of government. ‘Dedma’ may actually have a monetary value to be attached to it, and for as long as those who have this sorry attitude or practice it are still numerically superior, the overall balance remains tipped in these politicians’ favor. They are not worried, at all.