Monday, November 14, 2011

We the People . . . Need to Grow a Pair

I am always reminded after a Pacquiao fight on GMA how passive Filipinos are. How subservient they are to those who hold themselves up as betters.

The factual representation of their impotence is measured in advertising minutes per hour, where GMA bludgeons its captive audience with 45 minutes of advertising supporting 15 minutes of boxing.

You will recall when the television networks were held to task several months ago for inciting the bloody bus massacre in Manila? Congress dragged network executives front and center. The executives bowed to the authority of Congress and their demands for a higher standard of ethics. And the execs claimed they could be trusted to do better in the future by self-policing. No new regulations were warranted.

And no new regulations were passed.,

Well, GMA and ABS-CBN, which hold prized, powerful and profitable national television networks, do not believe they have to be respectful of the interest of the Philippine  people. In other words, the networks have the power and they don't mind using it for self enrichment. The public be damned.

This is an example of power as a social mechanism in the Philippines. Power defines most interpersonal relationships as people are quick to read who is on top and who is subservient. In this instance, there is no Golden Rule, no sense of caretaking of the public interest by television networks, and no regulatory agency to hold them accountable to standards  that are anywhere close to being respectful of the viewing public.

45 minutes of advertising. 15 minutes of show. Record it, 11/13/2011, Pacquiao vs Marquez.

Why do the stations feel no compunction to treat their valued franchises as a utility, a precious resource of the People? Because the People are uneducated and passive and have no advocate to speak on their behalf. And they can't "vote with the dial" by switching stations because there are no meaningful alternatives to the "Big Two".

Normally, Congress would advocate for their constituents. But congressmen rely upon money from the television networks and executives for their continued political success.

This is one of those cases where the Philippines is stuck in the 1960's, with no public comprehension that broadcast channels are limited, they are valuable, and they are a public resource. Not a private jewel bestowed upon the chosen few.

The US regulates television through a Federal Communications Commission. The networks must limit the number of minutes of advertising on children's shows to no more than 12 per hour. There are no such restrictions on adult material, but in the US, most people have access to more than two primary channels. And licensing requirements for stations ensure a review of their practices regularly by the FCC. The FCC watches with a sharp eye, one that defends public interest. Advertising does not overrun programming.

The raw truth of the matter is that the Philippines has no advocate defending the rights of Filipinos to fair treatment.  Congress can't do it. They are compromised by campaign cash.

Because congressmen are in the pockets of the abusers, there were no new regulations after the bus massacre. The hearings ended up being a big show by congressional leaders who can recognize when the public is venting and will do what is necessary to help the public let off steam. So that they can keep things as they are.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. The Philippine National Motto.

Status quo. The national condition.

The People are left out. Hung out to dry by a callous business ethic and a greedy congressional ethic.

And there will be no one defending the people, ever, unless they gather together as a force, and speak as one loud voice . . . as has the US Tea Party.

What should the name of the Philippine public advocacy group be?

"We the People"

Who should lead the initiative?

You tell me.

Filipinos will do this when they are absolutely sick of being kicked around, used, abused and made impotent by the big dicks behind the scenes of Philippine governance.

Like, when the nation as a whole grows a pair.


  1. Filipinos speak up in the US and they don't tolerate any type of real or perceived abuse.
    In the Philippines they don't. I think they believe in and accept double standards. I think they are confused.

  2. Joe, those commercials seem to have struck a raw nerve. :) Kiddin'. Just between you and me, there were more than a couple of them there that came from my team of long ago. Hehehe.

    Anyway...the nation did grow a pair. Not only once, but twice. And what are people saying about those incidents now? I think growing a pair needs more than just getting a semi as a result. The conclusion was lost in the confusion. It's just a notch above totally limp.

    I think there are a few things that the people need to realize. Gov't is a slave that needs to be whipped by the masses to serve them.

    The government will cruise along since no one ever hardly raises a hoot about anything until it's too late. Before the bus massacre happened, did we really know how bad things were with the PNP?

    Attila is right. People think of elected officials as royalty rather than public servants. Those people should be treated like slaves, imho.

    I think the people are lost, really. What's the function of government? I think it's one of the reasons why the current system doesn't work. The common man does not have a clear idea on how it's supposed to be. The pa-pogi agenda goes first because no one is pushing the people's agenda.

    And people hate those noisy left-leaning protesters. Strip them of that reddish tinge and ask yourself, who else shouts for the masses? What do some people want to do? Tweet gov't to submission?

    The good thing with street protesters? You can't switch them off like a cellphone or computer.

  3. brianitus, yes, political events can get Filipino blood going, a coup here, an Edsa there. But social advancement seems beyond people's passion. Indeed, many in government need to be taught humility. They wear no crowns.

  4. Remember that the majority of voters made Estrada president. And despite impeachment, they nearly voted him in a second time. What are the voters looking for in a president? Or their government? Not much. When will that change? Not in my lifetime or my children’s. It’s depressing so I try not to think about it. Thanks for reminding me, Joe.

  5. Greg, always happy to lead loyal readers into the pits of gloom, doom and despair.

  6. Greg:

    Estrada who said in his speach that "“We have become so dependent on the Americans that we have not learned to be self-sufficient. Our country has been seen as a nation of beggars, a nation of prostitutes, a nation of cheaters, a nation of domestic helpers. And if we do not assert ourselves today, we will also be known as a nation of cowards.
    If Filipinos are thinking the way this idiot does by linking the American dependance to all their problems than you have a right to be depressed. They will be a nation of all that with or without the Americans.


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