rants, raves and randomness
In line with today’s theme, let me give you Emotions by Bee Gees.
I’m sure my opinion is not a popular one. But I can’t help it, can I? And I can’t just shut up either. I am (un)fortunately “born this way” as Lady Gaga puts it.
Here’s a photo circulating online for the past couple of days:
This is wrong in so many ways:
1 – Counter-flow
2 – Selling while on duty- look at the uniform?
3 – If not during work hours, why wear the uniform?
3.a – Abuse of power
This is corruption at the lowest level. Not quite different from teachers selling tocino to his/her students, or making students “like” a Facebook photo as homework. I heard of a teacher in Palawan who proudly claimed she was making her students bring empty shampoo sachets, because she could exchange it for something else at the local supermarket, thank you very much. Obviously, in their minds, they are not doing anything wrong.
Now , let’s get to know this cop.
His name is Mr. Fernando Gonzales,a 51-year-old traffic enforcer and a resident of Bagong Barrio, Caloocan.
From the Philippine Star :
“Actually po hindi ko naman po iyon sinasabay sa trabaho. During day off lang po Tuwing Saturday at Sunday lang po. Monday to Friday puro trabaho lang po yun. Wala po akong iniisip nun kung hindi mapaluwag lang po yung trapik. Kaya naman po ako nagtitinda para po makatulong sa aking may bahay, sa aking mga anak sa kanilang pag-aaral. Nung sinabi po ni misis na marunong siyang gumawa ng kakanin naisip ko po na baka pwedeng magbenta po ako,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales said he has to earn extra to support the education of his sons Christians who is now a college freshman and Joseph, a third year high school student. Gonzales said he only earns P15,000 a month.
Now we know what’s going on. Fine. He sells only on the weekend. But why the uniform then?
From the Philippine Star :
“Naka-uniform ako kasi ‘pag nakaordinaryong damit po ako hindi naman po sila bibili e,” said Gonzales
I related this to my husband – trying not to inject my own opinion first (just to see how he’d react). It cracked him up. Because it’s obviously an abuse of power and the people- including Mr. Gonzales, don’t seem to know it.
This is what I like about him – his level-headedness and his tendency to separate judgement from emotions. He defended Nello’s landlord, for being cross with his un-paying tenants and kicking them out. Now, he believes Mr Gonzales, a loving father trying to make ends meet, is abusing his power! How strange is that!
According to history, Hitler never once cheated on his wife.
From a book I am reading now, a Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving :
Owen, after, had been inspired by JFK, although the subject of the president’s personal (or sexual) morality would not have dampened everyone’s enthusiasm for his political ideals and his political goals, Owen Meany was not ‘everyone’ – nor was he sophisticated enough to separate public and private morality.
Are you sophisticated (John Irving’s term, not mine) enough to believe that things are not always what they seem? A loving father can be corrupt. A hard-working, underpaid teacher can be corrupt. A faithful husband can be a mass murderer.
Japan doesn’t tolerate corruption. 2 years ago, I rented a kitchen at the public hall (yes, they do have some spacious kitchens for rent!!! ) for my cooking lessons and we had a liter of tea unopened. There was no way I was going to carry it back to my house, with all the walking and train changes, so I asked my husband to hand them over to the city hall staff. He said, “They won’t accept it. It can be seen as a bribe.” Who in the world would bribe someone with a $1.50 bottle of tea?! So I tried. True enough, they rejected the bottle of tea! Jesus christ. I rolled my eyes at what I usually call “giant-stick-up-their-asses-ness”. But at the same time, it’s just one of those things about Japan – like using your Smartphone to save your seat in a restaurant and finding it untouched -that really blows my mind!!!
But then, you might argue, Japan pays off their public servants decently. Still, I will argue back, does the end justify the means?
A couple of weeks ago, two female politicians resigned for unethical behavior bordering on corruption. One of them, Matsushima, was involved in a scandal after distributing fans with her face on it.
For a fan with her face on it!!! We’ve done worse. In the Philippines, my husband cracked up when we passed by an ambulance with a face on it. Things back home always crack him up.
Unfortunately, instead of people voluntarily resigning or getting sacked, we choose to reward them. See, Mr Gonzales is going to get a promotion. For abusing his power. And majority of the commenters on social media actually think he deserves it.
Take note: I am not judging Mr. Gonzales’s private morality. That is, as a father or as a person – I’m sure he is a loving father and a good person who only wants to send his kids to school without resorting to kotong. What I am saying is, it’s wrong to wear your uniform while selling your bibingka, because there’s ‘power’ involved. He admitted it himself –
Naka-uniform ako kasi ‘pag nakaordinaryong damit po ako hindi naman po sila bibili e
It catches people’s attention. They stop because they think they’ve violated a traffic rule. Some probably end up buying for fear of being issued a ticket. I’m just saying.
Besides that, it sets a precedence. We’ve given public servants an excuse to wear their uniforms while conducting private business. They can say, “My dad is dying of cancer. I’m just trying to help.” If we promote Mr. Gonzales, then we’re encouraging unethical behavior. I mean we have to draw the line somewhere, right? Not color everything up with emotions!
Moreover, if we cannot go after low-level corruption, how can we expect to go after high-level ones?
Reading the comments, I have now proven there is a severe disconnect of how I think to how people back home think. And I’m not even trying to, as the Apple slogan goes, “think different“.
I related to my husband how many people are applauding Mr Gonzales. He was dumbstruck. “What, because he’s a good father by wanting to send his kids to school?!”
It cracked him up. It cracks him up how we Filipinos are.
“You guys have pretty low standards, don’t you? !”