13 February 2011

Corruption kills

For a few days now, Angelo Reyes' successful suicide attempt has glazed the papers. Many have said that it was an act of courage and bravery that killed him, and shooting himself through the chest at his mother's grave was his way of saying mama, I didn't do it. 

This morning, just as I finished reading the paper, I felt the urge to write. One article had said that it was corruption that killed Reyes. As a teen who is ignorant to current events in local and foreign land, I am not one to tell. But I'm not stupid enough to believe that a (former?) government official has done no corruption and has killed himself just because.

In our country, they say, no government official is not corrupt. From the lowest government positions to the highest, everyone takes the public's money and puts it in their own pockets, one way or another. Everyday, there is corruption in the simplest ways: may it be taking P200 for a parking ticket or P500 for beating the red light, only for policemen to fill their tummies with coffee and bread. Also for instance, my first real contact with the Philippine government was when I got my non-professional license a month ago, and that resulted to me having only P20 to commute going home. 

Those simple things might be okay for us people who have money to spare. But what about those who don't? For the more fortunate, we don't even feel corruption if not for the traffic caused by uneven roads or public work that don't even need to be done. The victims here are really the less fortunate. It breaks my heart to see children on the street everyday, begging people for money. How about one or two of those old people who become insane and all things dirty? Taong grasa, in Filipino terms. Why not instead of putting money into our own pockets, create a government piggy bank where everyone is required to chip in at least P5,000 a day? Then we could use the money to resolve poverty, health and education problems. Not too much to ask, I assume. The government has more money than they could handle. My father for instance, pays around P40,000 income tax monthly -- and that's just from one person. Imagine P40,000 from 5 people, that's already P200,000. More than enough to cover a day's worth of health problems. And that's just from 5 people who earn just above average.

In Reyes' case, he corrupted money from the Philippine military. These people have trained to serve the people, to protect us, to kick ass. Imagine, these people are ready to die every time they go out on the field and yet they die from plane crashes because there wasn't enough money for maintenance. How can you say there isn't no corruption when Reyes' wife would travel more than ten times abroad in a month, let alone a year? How can you say it's pocket money when Reyes alone received P50,000,000 from his retirement (if I'm not mistaken)? 

This is exactly the reason why people go to other countries to survive. There is no life in the Philippines. Yes, our country is full of wonderful islands and beaches and the happiest people on earth. In Australia though, you get free health care. The government pays you when you bear a child, maternal leave is a year, paternal leave is a month. Their government works for the people's welfare and wellbeing. They promote life in that way, not through a quarter-page newspaper ad that says No to the RH bill. Who doesn't want a country like that? If only our government worked that way, I wouldn't mind shelling out a lot of money for taxes. 

Going back to the case in point, personally, I think these people who are in the government don't possess heart or soul. That's why Reyes shot himself in the heart -- because he couldn't take to kill his intellect. He opted to shot what he didn't have in the first place. What I read about his honor was all bullshit. Yes, he was a family man -- he loved his family and his mother. But as a government official, your family is your countrymen. You should take them to heart. 

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