[Blog] In Defense of Dissent By Jose Mario De Vega

In Defense of Dissent
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to the news report, “Palace to hackers: No illegal acts needed to show discontent”, Sun Star, November 4th.

According to the so-called Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. “there is no need to resort to illegal acts to express discontent in the way government handles current issues…”

Mario De Vega

The so-called Secretary issued the said message to the Anonymous Philippines, “a group of hackers that defaced 38 government websites over the weekend.”

The list of government sites which were intruded and hacked includes the website of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Mr. Coloma further stated in a media briefing that:

“There are sufficient avenues for free expression so there’s no need to resort to illegal acts…”

Commentaries:

To that so-called secretary who said that there is no need to resort to illegal acts to express discontent in a way the government handles current issues, the question there is: what exactly, in the first place is the very reason why this hacktivists group had resorted to this kind of protestation?

What led these online activists to do the things that they’ve done?

What are they protesting and what are they condemning?

Mr. Coloma also said that “proper actions will be taken against the hackers.”

The question is: what action are you going to take to all those creatures who are involved with the pork barrel whether they are your allies and enemies; friends and nemesis?

How about the body of Jonas Burgos? What action does the bloody government are undertaking to put into the bar of justice those bastard satanic murderers who kidnapped, tortured and killed this humble peasant activist?

What action does the government is doing to locate even his remains (if there are still remains)?

Mr. so-called secretary, could you please answer that directly for purposes of the records?

To quote the words of Professor Randy David, “The President’s speech”, Public Lives, Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 2nd:

“Good governance is not all about preventing and punishing the theft of public funds. It is about putting effective systems of accountability in place so that the bad apples in government are spotted before they can hide behind the admirable record of others. It is also about setting new and higher standards of competence in public service and not being content with tweaking the old system. It is about applying stricter ethics, and demanding more from one’s own team, before one says anything about the shortcomings of the other party. It is about ending patronage and realizing the full promise of democracy.”

Second point: up to now, the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) is still a Bill (is there a chance that this will become a law?), hence, what other avenues or means can these activists express their discontent and disgust with the government?

May I remind that so-called secretary that his boss during the campaign promised that this utterly necessary proposed law would be a priority, yet after winning the election, what the hell happened to the promise?

Are promised meant to be broken?

Let me state also that his boss always reiterate and says that his boss is the Filipino people, hence — WE ARE YOUR BOSS!

The whole world knows that the ultimate reason that triggers this whole issue is the gory and nefarious issue of DAP and PDAF: in one word, the bloody Pork Barrel!

A couple of days ago, the President himself spoke in a televised address to the nation to give his take on the whole matter.

The problem is: instead of clarifying the issue, he further muddles and confused the public. Indeed, he wasted a golden political opportunity to assert the ethical dimension of his regime, if ever he is sincere, if ever there is one and the moral crusade of his government, if ever that is true!

Consider the brilliant and straight to the point critical analysis of Ramon Casiple, “A Waste of Political Capital”, Yahoo News! Philippines, October 31st:

“What he did was to essentially defend pork barrel, including his discretionary funds, and to point to the grave abuse by legislators conniving with Napoles as the real issue. It was a pitiful performance, reminiscent of former Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “I am sorry” admission during prime time. This time the cry was “We are not thieves.”

“In this respect, the speech was unnecessary insofar as the President is concerned. The surveys showed him as retaining his personal popularity among the people, their trust (nearly 7 out 10 Filipinos), and their satisfaction on his performance so far. What happened was his blanket defense of all his men and women, who at one time or another during the past three months were linked to the pork barrel scam.

“The worst thing that happened was that the many issues raised in the aftermath of the Napoles case were not addressed by the speech but rather firmly put by the president out of the loop.

“Questions such as: Were his own secretaries and allies in Congress involved with Napoles?

“Why did the Commission on Audit (COA) only covered the period of 2007 to 2009? Why did the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) include adding more pork barrel funds to the PDAF of the legislators?

“Is the pork barrel really abolished or was it creatively transformed and hidden in the 2014 budget?

“Why is the Department of Justice (DOJ) filtering the information first before submitting it to the Ombudsman, thereby duplicating the work of the latter?

“What is the role of the inter-agency committee created by the President and composed of the DOJ and two independent constitutional bodies, the COA, and the Office of the Ombudsman?

“What is the President’s stand on the pork barrel system? What are the lessons to be learned from the Napoles case and establishment of the pork barrel system?”

Now, base on the foregoing, may I ask categorically that so-called secretary, can you blame our people if they are angry?

Can you blame the Anonymous Philippines in doing the things that they had done?

Mr. Coloma, do read the writings on the Walls and that is the truth:

We have been deprived of things which they have promised to give; what our late heroes have promised us to give.

Let us remind the government that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words. They are perspectives.

A march is happening, a revolution. A way to speak, a way to be heard.

On the fifth day of November, 2013, we will try to be a part of the history.

But of course there are those who do not want us to speak, and those who have doubts.

You can sleep, sit, go on with your everyday routine just like a herd of sheep and watch as the government laugh at you.

But if you see what we see, if you feel as we feel, and if you would seek as we seek… then we ask you to stand beside us, this fifth of November outside Batasang Pambansa and let us march our way to freedom – a freedom from the shackles of the Government.

You have been called; and by watching, you have been chosen.

To the “incorrupt” officials of the government, we are challenging you!

Join us!

The Corrupt – Fear us.

The Honest – Support us.

The Heroic – Join us.

We are Anonymous.

We are ONE.

The government, you are NONE.

We are legion.

On the 5th of November, Government – Hear and understand us, or EXPECT US!

You promised to take “proper action” against us; then be put on notice that we also promise to take proper and necessary action against you.

WE NEVER FORGIVE! WE NEVER FORGET! EXPECT US!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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