Saturday, October 09, 2004

Waiting for the ‘good guys’

Waiting for the ‘good guys’

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Saturday, October 9, 2004 12:26 AM

The other day, Carlo Salcedo, an English teacher of La Salle, Dasmarinas, sent me a passionate piece he wrote. I must share it with you because it reflects the kind of fiery thinking that our people need to have if they are to make an impact and change the society we live in. He writes:

“So young... yet so corrupt.” Sadly, these sinister words of the late Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson are no less true of the majority of our youth today. Filipinos are so corrupt that to be clean is simply unfashionable. Nowhere is it more true than in the Philippines that “money doesn’t care who owns it.”

“Corrupt politician” is redundant. The Filipinos don’t want a president who doesn’t steal, only one who is “doing something” for the economy, better yet, giving away bogus land titles. We don’t care if only a measly 40 percent of the budget for roads actually goes to the projects as long as the roads ultimately get built. We don’t hate the corrupt politicians, we just wish we are one with them. Our standards have sunk so low, for so long, that nobody cares anymore. The few who still do are nothing but nameless crusaders relegated to the lunatic fringe, unproductive dreamers of a bygone era.

Woody Allen once said that “politicians are either corrupt or stupid, sometimes both on the same day.” We are being led by greedy, insatiable morons who, at their dinner tables brag before their salivating guests of the millions they pocketed in the government projects they signed into contract.

So what can decent people do? “For evil to triumph, good men need only do nothing.” Good people need to get involved. They need to get organized.

They need to fight like hell. Good people need to hate evil from the gut, from the very core of their being.

But they also need to pay the right taxes, show up at work on time, give their best at work, be faithful to their spouses, be good examples to their children, and treat people like people, things like things and not the other way around. In short, they need to be perfectly sure that they are indeed the “good people.”


There are times Carlo, when we seem to be so overwhelmed by the entrenched evil practices of our society, that we feel like throwing up our hands, then give up and join the good people who do nothing.

The corruption is so endemic that one barely knows where to begin. And there are so few “nameless crusaders” who care enough to put their lives on the line that we doubt that they can ever make a difference.

Perhaps it’s too late for us. Maybe we have been too beaten into submission and have accepted the corrupt status quo to ever make a difference. Perhaps we have lost all courage to stand and, as you say, “fight like hell.”

Maybe it will be up to guys like you to take up the fight. Maybe some of us feel we have too much to lose. Or perhaps we have watched too many crusaders fail to risk getting truly involved.

So, it might have to be left to gutsy guys like you, Carlo, to lead the way. If there are enough like you who are willing to march into the arena and fight for real change (not the cosmetic type), then perhaps we bystanders will find the courage to follow you. And so, Carlo, we are waiting—as we have waited for so long.


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