"Disunity derails progress and development."
One of the worst traits of Filipinos is their lack of unity. This is often seen during elections, and when they are abroad.
While immigrants from Asia to the United States or elsewhere have their own local districts—Chinatown, for instance, or Little Italy—Filipinos have never had a Filipino town.
This is the lament of every Filipino ambassador to the US. They try their best to unite Filipinos but they often fail.
Sure, Filipinos get together with their own kind: Ilocanos, Kapampangans, Tagalogs, Bicolanos.
In Los Angeles, for instance, where there are many Filipinos, there are no less than 162 organizations. I could not believe it, so I went to the consulate to verify.
Believe it or not, there are even associations for almost every professions—lawyers, doctors, engineers, dentists, plumbers, construction workers.
Every year, there is a Miss Philippines in San Francisco, New York, LA, Chicago, and even in Houston!
This is the reflection of a fragmented nation.
Statistics show that Filipinos are now the biggest immigrants in the United States next to the Mexicans. They congregate mainly in California—the LA district.
Here in the Philippines, this upcoming midterm elections can only show how disunited we are. Candidates for senator, for instance, rely mostly on their own bailiwicks like the Solid North for former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Gov.Imee Marcos.
Mindanaoans will go for Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa.
Even after elections, since Filipino candidates do not accept defeat, there will be protests galore. In this country, after all, there are only two kinds of candidates—those who won, and those who were cheated.
This disunity could be traced back to our tribal beginnings.
History tells us that the United States considered the Philippines a problem because the Spaniards could not unite it. This is tragic—it derails progress and development.
This is why I am hopeful about the unification of Muslims under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Santa Banana, how can any president ever unite the Maranaos and the Maguindanaoans and the Tausugs?
A united Philippines under a Federal system of government? Forget it.
After listening to the congressional inquiry into the water shortage that hit the eastern zone of Metro Manila, I concluded that there was no real water crisis even after Angat Dam’s water level neared critical phases. The crisis was short-lived, even artificial.
The fault and accountability did not only lie with the Ayala-led concessionaire Manila Water, but with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System that oversees the adequate supply of water.
Manila Water has already accepted the blame and apologized. But this should not be enough. A provision for penalties for failure should be emphasized by Congress
The accountability of MWSS officers is clear. It failed to do its job in regulating the duopoly of water concessionaires. The MWSS should be revamped for this failure.
When the water crisis erupted, I said the government only seemed to act after the fact. Then again, what is new?
President Duterte must be very happy these days. His favorite candidates Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa are already in the winning circle.
Go, according to Pulse Asia, has overtaken some of the Senate reelectionists.
I never doubted they would advance to this level, given how Duterte is campaigning for them.
What worries me as a voter and a Filipino is that we do not need lackeys. We need independent senators to provide check and balance.
My concern is that the President will continue to have the Senate under his thumb.
Insiders at the Supreme Court say that the justices are equally divided on the unresolved petition against the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Petitioners say that the Constitution only recognizes two autonomous regions.
But the BOL has already been ratified. Can the Supreme Court still do anything?