As if to add fuel to the upcoming nationally coordinated people’s protest, Shell recently announced that it will increase prices of unleaded gasoline and kerosene effective Aug. 30 12:01 am.
Nearly three decades since streams of foreign aid were poured to the country, the Philippines still confronts a glaring contradiction in its pursuit of development goals. On one hand, official development assistance (ODA) flows to the country under the banner of development have reached billions of dollars. On the other side, majority of the Filipinos remain stuck on the same state of underdevelopment.
What went wrong with the foreign aid fairytale?
First published on Blogwatch.ph
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III demonstrated very well that he can qualify for an oratorical contest. His use of “wang-wang” as metaphor was so adept that he creatively hid bigger symbolisms at the backstage.
When President Aquino said that wang-wang has become a symbol of abuse of power for a long time, he was obviously missing a bigger and more appropriate symbolism of gross abuse of power. Isn’t it more accurate to say that Hacienda Luisita is a symbol of abuse of power for almost half a century? A sham land reform program, which was crafted under her mother’s presidency, spared Luisita from distribution. His family’s arrogant claim on the sugar estate has even resulted in the massacre of seven striking farm workers in November 2004. Now under his presidency, Luisita farmers are back to square one after the high court ordered yet again a referendum.
Luisita is one big and powerful metaphor for abuse of power to miss out. Its injustice rings louder than any actual wang-wang. Yet the President abused his speaking privileges in Batasan last week to obliterate the sugar estate from mainstream political discourse. He used wang-wang 18 times – even sounding like one at one point – but made not a single mention of Hacienda Luisita in his almost 6,000-word speech.
Isn’t this an awful way to downgrade the quality of discussions, to skip glaring social injustices and just talk about values formation in general?