Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mr. Commissioner, what about the commission?

Sun Tzu says, "If you are strong, you attack. If you are weak, you defend."

So far, the case against the scandalous NBN-ZTE deal has been strong. In order for this controversy to bring about a fruitful end, the case must be pushed until the perpetrators of this onerous transaction are impeached, tried, and convicted.

The President has ordered the suspension of the NBN-ZTE deal, which I think is a mistake, for the impression it makes is the Administration has gone tired of defending it and has given it up. Obviously, the intended effect is for people to stop talking about it. Yet, strategists in the opposition, which I hope are not wanting, should view the suspension as an admission of fault and an opportunity to mount a stronger case against the proponents of the deal.

Thus, the only foreseeable ending to this drama is the removal or resignation of one or more - or all - of the following:

a) the Comelec Commissioner,
b) the Secretary of Transportation and Communication
c) the President.

Meanwhile, with the shelving of the NBN-ZTE deal, some Chinese state executives are going to call the Comelec Commissioner. The cancellation of the transaction is inevitable. If indeed commissions have been advanced to facilitate the deal, are they going to be returned? In all likelihood, they have already been spent in clubs in Vegas or Macau, stashed away in Swiss or German banks, given to the paramours, or used to buy votes. They are gone and never to be returned. Sorry na lang. Yet, the problem is this: ZTE is a Chinese state company. What will the Chinese politburo say? Thus, it will be a matter of time before this controversy becomes a China vs. RP diplomatic concern.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Worse than rats

It is often whispered in conversations over coffee among the bureaucrats that frequent the coffee shops in Morato, Quezon City that Chinese state companies are willing to loan millions of dollars in exchange for kickbacks to Chinese officials, which Chinese officials are also willing to share with their Filipino counterparts. The present controversy concerning the scandalous NBN-ZTE deal only confirms that the hush talk has a basis in fact.

The amazing thing is in this situation, you can never doubt that even in their corrupt practices, the Chinese remain good patriots to their country. On one hand, the Chinese officials can sleep well at night for what is being given back to them as commissions would be repaid to their mother country, principal plus interest, by the Philippine government. So China never really loses anything.

On the other hand, their Filipino bureaucrats show that they are worse than rats, for not only do the Filipino bureaucrats put their country further into debt, they also make it pay for the kickbacks that they and their Chinese counterparts share. Talk about screwing your own kind. They don't care if the debt is a burden that not only their fellow Filipinos would carry, but also debts that would be paid by their own children, grand children, and great grandchildren.

With these officials running the Philippine government, Rizal must be turning in his grave.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Theory of Justice

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue: likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded in justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled: the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the caculus of social interests. The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one: analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice. Being first virtues of human activities, truth and justice are uncompromising.

A Theory of Justice, (original edition) by John Rawls

Saturday, September 08, 2007