A rose amongthe thorns - well done, megan!
The Philippines is in the news today – I am so happy for Megan Young. She has become the first Philippina Miss World. What’s more she is a lovely, bright and caring girl. Anyone who watched her interviews can have no doubt of that. It was nice that, for a short while, the more saddening and worrying news from the Philippines has been overshadowed – but it will not go away.
Anyone who has any connection to the Philippines cannot fail to have noticed the attention paid to “the Pork Barrel Scam.”
Long suffering Philippinos must be weary of scam after scam, bribe after bribe, lie after lie. It would seem that the powerful politicians and business leaders have a total disregard for decency, honesty and integrity – and the welfare of their own citizens.
I have been associated with these beautiful islands for many years now and some of my Philippino friends have been totally bewildered by the astonishing thefts perpetrated by a rich elite. These acts largely go unpunished as most of the lawmakers have all got their snouts in the trough too.
To assist my friends, and to illustrate that the larger than life scenarios I right about in my book, ‘Deadly Election’ CAN and DO really happen, I will try to explain simply this latest financial scandal.
‘Pork Barrel’ is an imported US term for the budget given to senior politicians for them to use, at their discretion FOR THE GOOD OF THEIR PEOPLE. The system has, of course, been abused for decades and has only come to light as always when some gets their nose put out of joint and becomes a ‘whistleblower’ (an occupation nearly as dangerous as journalism in the Philippines).
The audits and checks you would normally expect are largely absent as the people who steal this money are, of course, the people making the Laws. Bribery is endemic – most officials will turn a blind eye for a few pesos, issue false receipts with impunity, and lie tirelessly when it will benefit them. The Philippines has long been criticized internationally for refusing to pass banking security laws and transparency laws – the current politicians never will – they WANT to be able to carry on their money laundering and theft.
The current scandal is only different from the others in its size. So far 38 people – including very senior figures, are charged with various offenses – and there will be more.
The fraudulent schemes are quite simple. The politicians could not be seen to take the money and put it straight into their own pockets – so, through an enterprising businesswoman , many fake charities, companies, projects etc would receive the money. They would then of course pass it back through various routes to the corrupt politicians and their business partners.
There, that’s it. It really is as simple as that. In any country that REALLY wanted to get it’s act together it would never have occurred, but even now it seem there is little effort to really change things.
If you are not a Philippino why should you worry? I’ll tell you why. Most of this money originates in foreign aid funds, from the US, UK and many other developed Countries. Why do we keep on feeding these rich pigs of politicians while the majority of the good Philippino people continue to live in oppression and poverty?
If you want to know what the state of corruption is REALLY like in the Philippines you should read my book – and sign up for my blog. I’ll keep you as up to date as I can about the sad state of affairs there.
It is a beautiful country full of beautiful people – run by ruthless and greedy powerful family clans. This has to change, I hope it will be soon
'Deadly Election' is a novel. It's not a comfortable read. It's hard hitting and gruesome in parts. The events depicted are fictitious, but they could so easily have happened in this corrupt and volatile country. It's a land where foreigners should beware. Many have lost their money, their family and their lives. Click on the cover to find out more.
I make no apology for the heavy tone of my blog this week - it needed to be said. I will be just as forthright about other social and political issues in future blogs. Readers beware. But we must never forget that despite all this the world can be good and enjoyable. I will not let you go without a smile - here are the usual funny animal pics. Bye for now.
EMAIL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter - www.twitter.com/arthurcrandon
Facebook - www.facebook.com/arthurcrandonauthor
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/arthurcrandon/boards/
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/116929482513437171745/posts
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6622140.Arthur_Crandon
Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
STAY IN TOUCH
Subscribe to the blog and don't miss out on regular features, offers and help - as well as a bit of humour!
My thriller - Deadly Election - is now on sale at Amazon. Anyone who buys the book and leaves a review will get a signed paperback. Please subscribe to my blog and newsletter here