Since we often have our pulse on what’s current and trending in the nation, people have asked us for weeks why we haven’t made lists poking fun at the Chito Miranda scandal that erupted online. Believe us when we say it has nothing to do with our immense respect for Chito as a musician.
The thing is, when you get to the very heart of it, there isn’t really any scandal in finding out that a rock legend happens to have sex with his girlfriend. If you think that’s shocking news, then you really need to get out more.
Chito’s video shouldn’t even remotely be a “scandal.” There is nothing scandalous about two consensual adults getting it on, which is why if you were hoping this list would be all about that kind of scandal, you will be sorely disappointed. Unlike Chito and Neri, there is nothing consensual about…
The Scandal: In 2006, Brother Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan fame (yes, the one that was parodied by Brod Pete and his cohorts) was indicted on rape charges by his accuser, Daniel Veridiano. The case has been junked then reopened, and as of present, is still languishing in the courts despite the presence of a warrant of arrest against him that has yet to be served.
If he is guilty, this is a scandal that would rock his church, especially with his undeniably sexist view that women should not be allowed to preach the word of God (the reason for the schism with the first church he was a part of), coupled with his standard-issue condemnation of homosexuality.
If he is innocent, this is a scandal of clear religious oppression, given that the case against him has already been junked, but then Justice Secretary Gonzales insisted on re-filing the case against him, not to mention the attempt to make it seem like the Interpol itself was looking for him.
The Aftermath: It’s almost business as usual for Brother Eli as he continues his ministry not just in the Philippines, but all over the world. His accuser, Daniel Veridiano, is now a part of Ang Dating Daan’s biggest rival, Iglesia ni Cristo.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 2/10. Negligible if you are not a member of Ang Dating Daan.
The Scandal: In 2011, the Philippines was shocked by a scandal involving alleged “Pabaon” money to retiring AFP heads, wherein they would receive millions of pesos diverted from other sources and purposes. High-ranking AFP officials were taken to task for it, which directly resulted in General Angelo Reyes committing suicide when he was compelled to testify regarding the matter.
The Aftermath: To this very day, the money has yet to be recovered, and the most that could be done was to shame Timothy Garcia, one of the high-profile sons of former comptroller General Carlos Garcia, for acting like a spoiled privileged child while he enjoys the fruits of plunder.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 6/10. Tim Garcia was the Jeane Napoles before Jeane Napoles came along. Stories showed that Garcia was living a life of privilege and luxury from allegedly ill-gotten wealth, and hanging out with the likes of the equally controversial Bryanboy. Pinoys were outraged at the ostentatious display and privileged whining, but quickly forgot about the whole thing after General Angelo Reyes took his own life.
The Scandal: Wow. Where do we even start? You can try reading this and the links within it, but in a nutshell, what should have been a legitimate bidding process was allegedly instead settled via an under-the-table handshake at a golf course, complete with threats and “hamburjers.”
This contract, to the tune of $329 Million, was supposed to bring the nation’s internet up to speed with most of the rest of the world, but bribes, sweetheart deals, and everything else in between was apparently involved, and it made Jun Lozada a household name.
The Aftermath: When former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cancelled the contract, all investigations into the matter were immediately dropped. It’s almost like none of this ever happened.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 7/10. We’re still putting up with intermittent internet that tends to bog down at the slightest hint of rain. Call it a #firstworldproblem all you want, but when even some of the poorest of the poor among us enjoy a spot of Facebook on a regular basis, this could have been a boon not just to the corporate Filipino world, but to the common Juan, for that matter.
We’re still waiting for an actual National Broadband Network deal, a legit one, to be brokered. Thanks for mucking that up, guys!
The Scandal: In 2004, a bitterly-contested presidential race between Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the late Fernando Poe, Jr. resulted in an equally bitterly-contested win for the former. And then for unrelated reasons, tapes of supposed phone conversations between GMA and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano were leaked to the public, which pretty clearly implied that GMA rigged the elections in her favor.
The Aftermath: GMA said “sorry” on national TV and went on to serve the rest of her term as if nothing happened. FPJ, on the other hand, passed away. GMA is currently serving a second term as the representative of Pampanga’s 2nd District.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 7/10. GMA was the only president to achieve a negative net satisfaction rating from the quarterly Social Weather Station (SWS) surveys. It’s clear that a lot of Filipinos hated her during her presidency, and she is still the common go-to of the current administration whenever they need someone to blame for their problems. Despite that, it’s pretty obvious that we’re still more than willing to put her into power again, seeing as she’s still a Congresswoman—for two successive terms so far. See also: Estrada, Joseph Ejercito.
The Scandal: With next to no prior consultation with people who would be qualified to address the matter, the government passed the Cybercrime Law on 12 September, 2012 to minimal dissension from public officials, with the notable exception of Senator TG Guingona.
Netizens were alarmed by the law because of its draconic take on libel, as well as its takedown clause that completely bypasses due process.
Aftermath: Much like the RH Law, the Cybercrime Law is still in limbo, and multiple attempts at making a less oppressive but similarly protective law for online activities are being made as we speak.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 8/10. We are now more vigilant about upcoming laws that directly affect us, resulting in an attempt to crowdsource laws, also spearheaded by Senator Guingona. If only we were all just as vigilant about more important things the way some of us are about defending Chicser from their haters, huh?
The Scandal: This just in, actually. Completely ignoring years of peace talks and negotiations, MNLF head Nur Misuari is attempting to secede from the Philippines. Again. We’ve gotten so used to the MNLF working with us as we try to get the MILF into the fold that it seems pretty surreal this is happening all over again, yet here we are.
Aftermath: Headscratch, headscratches all around!
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 5/10, but can quickly get worse. In the coming weeks, expect military action to possibly be an option, thereby affecting everyone who has military relatives, lives in Mindanao, or has friends or family in Mindanao. Everyone not directly affected would feel the effects this new snag in peace and order through tourism advisories from other countries paranoid about the Mindanao situation.
The Scandal: Multiple Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s) based in the Middle East have been alleging that instead of helping their countrymen, some unscrupulous embassy and labor officials have been exploiting their plight by sexually molesting or pimping these OFW’s in exchange for plane tickets. As if living away from your family to work in a religiously intolerant, gender-discriminating region of the world with no real guarantees for your safety or compensation weren’t difficult enough.
Aftermath: The investigation is still ongoing as we speak, and one of the most notable soundbytes is of a high-ranking labor attaché pretending that there is nothing problematic about referring to underwear as “salungsu” or “salungki.” Right. Because that’s the height of professional language.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 9/10. With all the problems besetting our OFW’s in dealing with citizens from other countries, the prospect that some Filipinos who are supposedly on their side are willing to throw people, especially women, under the bus for a bit of non-consensual action should make the poverty situation in our nation even bleaker than it already is.
The Scandal: We always knew our tax money was being screwed around with, but we had very little concrete ideas about how it happens until the PDAF scandal erupted this year: multiple congressmen and senators were funnelling millions, even billions, of our money into organizations that had next to no legitimacy. All eyes turned to Janet Lim-Napoles, as her name has been tied to a big chunk of these so-called ghost projects, and she is currently on the run.
Yes: seeing as the PDAF is colloquially called the “Pork Barrel Fund,” we can pretty much say that the swine flew.
The Aftermath: We’re so focused on Janet Lim-Napoles that we’re forgetting something rather important—the politicians who are allegedly funnelling their money in her direction.
Impact on the Common Pinoy: 11/10. There’s about 25 Billion Pesos earmarked for the PDAF on an annual basis. If this has been going on for so long (And it most likely has.), how much of the money we’ve been paying in taxes, from income tax to VAT to every single bit of money that’s taken from us without a fight, has actually been going into the very things we supposedly elected these officials for? This impacts every single one of us right now, and we have every right to be outraged: it’s OUR money they are messing around with.
There are so many scandals still surrounding our country, from Taiwan to Scarborough Shoal to Sabah to so many other things, we could rename this website to the 100List and we still wouldn’t be halfway through them all.
Let this be a sobering reminder that in the middle of all the Pinoy outrage we have to spare for random trivial issues, the dearth of furor we seem to have over far more important issues make us collectively seem like we have no idea what our priorities should be.
Let’s remind these ne’er-do-wells that the Filipino people isn’t as petty, small-minded, or shallow as they assume us to be: let us show them that we will never forget, and we will take them to task for the travesty they have wrought upon our nation. We owe it to ourselves.
What other scandals should we pay attention to? Let us know in the comments section.