The history of the Philippines is one of greatness, from being one of the most corrupt countries to becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world, from a country that is far from the attention by the outside critics to a complete media craze; But it also has a history that’s not exempt from the absurd, the terrifying, the embarrassing, the treacherous and the controversial. Let’s look back to it’s most shocking news, to it’s greatest political blunders and it’s lowest points in the history of the Philippines colorful past. This is the political and economic views from the perspective of a Militant_Potato, GRAFT and CORRUPTION are a hazard of any countries, greed and hunger for power .. selfishness and tyranny of the leaders..and the Philippines is no exception.
On November 23, 2009, the country was hit with a political disaster in astronomical proportions; Political rivalries are commonplace for all the people who want to be on a government position, and sometimes these rivalries escalate to an even more dire consequences, bloody and gruesome if given a chance; This is what happened in Maguindanao province, in the town of Ampatuan, from the Mindanao island, Philippines; 58 people were on their way to file a candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu who was a vice mayor of Buluan town, they were kidnapped and killed, Mangudadatu was challenging Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., son of the incumbent Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.and member of one of Mindanao’s leading Muslim political clans, in the forthcoming Maguindanao gubernatorial election, part of the national elections in 2010. The people killed included Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who were witnesses or were mistakenly identified as part of the convoy. It resulted in a major community outcry especially on all of the Journalists and members of KBP, CPJ stepped in and even labelling the Philippines as the 2nd most dangerous country for Journalists next to Iraq. Although there are plenty of massacre cases in the Philippines including the one in Donya Luisita in 2004, and the Mendiola Rally in 1987, nothing can compare to what happened in Maguindanao.
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Natural disasters are known ravagers of property, dreams, lives and even hopes. On November 3, 2013, Philippines was struck with a “Super Typhoon” category storm, that took thousands of lives on a whim, it brought winds stronger than 190-195 miles-per-hour, violent gusts that can uproot trees, shatter houses and destroy properties, unbeknownst to the people living in Tacloban, it created a scenario that will forever haunt their dreams; Because of Yolanda’s violent wind and gusts to the shoreline, it fed the waves from the ocean to pile up and eventually forming a massive wave that nearly wiped out Tacloban from the face of the Philippines, approximately 27 feet high waves caused major flooding and eventually taking thousands of lives with it. On a community that is on the verge of collapse from a calamity, you’d expect the national leaders to do an immediate action and bolster the fortitude of the masses, but it was the exact opposite, due to the delayed actions of the government , it resulted in people ransacking Shopping malls for food and shelter, supplies that are donated were not given to the right proportions, some of it was never delivered, most of it just spoiled in the donations warehouse.
The world saw what happened and immediately sent help to the Filipinos in any form, maybe financial donations or in-kind support. This opportunity was capitalized by the corrupt government officials that were reigning at that time, not only they taxed the monetary donations that these foreign countries gave, they also got the balls to steal the approximate 800 Million dollars that were donated by the UN and other countries for their own personal gains; It was from the speculation that brought to light the shady reason, that these politicians may use it for their political campaigns for the upcoming presidential elections, then, of course, they deny it and quickly brush it aside as nothing more than a rumour, to cover their hidden agenda, they actually tried built shelters for the victims of such calamity, shelters that you would expect to be sturdy and can withstand the aftermath of the storm, a temporary house to live in, the first step for their financial recovery, but it was the exact the opposite it; The overpriced shelters were nothing more than a pile of lumbers, plywoods and other light materials, it doesn’t have any comfort rooms, a bunkhouse divided into 24 rooms, each measure only 8.64 square metres roughly a size of two ping-pong tables to be occupied by 1 household , doesn’t even have it’s own chairs or tables and they even cost hundreds and thousands of pesos per unit, if you can imagine these shelters how did they came across the plan on building it is nothing more than a big joke, not to mention how it costs that much is highly a publicized blunder, stealing from people what they should have and depriving them as to what they should get is something that is so mortifying that even the other countries that helped the Philippines at that time stopped monetary donations, and just focused on support for livelihood programs for the people.
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Illegal drug trade, and other drug-related cases, is a continuous and endless cycle of political and social warfare, sometimes they take a monopoly on the industrial status of a place given a chance if they can bribe politicians and other people from the government, this leads to a unanimous thinking that whoever the people that are taking in charge in this country cannot stop the epidemic that is corrupting the young minds thought to be considered as the future of this nation. That is until June of 2016 when the controversial Mayor of Davao City Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a man known for his nasty slurs and “colorful” words , took the mantle as the president of the Republic of the Philippines, the man has the ultimate goal even during his candidacy, to end the drug problem the country has faced for so many decades, and so the Operation Tok-hang commenced on exactly July 1 of 2016 You’d think that declaring war against drugs and promise to eradicate it will be a bloody and a terrifying process, and you’d be right; The civil conflict took the lives of not just to the drug users and dealers, drug lords and smugglers, it also took the lives of the brave policemen who were the frontline of the operation, the total records of the casualties does not have an agreed consensus as of this day, because it has not been settled yet, but the estimated count of killed drug users/pushers has reached to 4854 people while 92 policemen killed in the process. The war on drugs was condemned worldwide, mainly because of the systematic extrajudicial killings, mainly to medias and to the commission on human rights, this then transformed the Philippines as a complete media craze all around the globe, apart from global outcry against these violations of human rights this was still supported by the leaders or representatives of certain countries, like China, Japan and the United States.
Apart from it’s continued operation, the war on drugs didn’t actually change the perspective of the Filipino people in terms of safety and security, in fact a certain survey suggests that the difference between the number of people who claim safe in the year 2016 compared to year 2017 is negligible, according to human rights watch; This has improved the score of the nation’s law and order score to 82 points on a 2017 survey, and despite its controversies it cannot change the fact that the Philippines economic development reached an all-time-high even matching China’s annual economic growth rate at 6.7% year-on-year by the end of March quarter.
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