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By Col Dencio Acop (Ret), PhD

While people debate public issues through chat groups and other social media, pressing public issues continue regardless of what these people say. It does not really matter what people say through various chat groups. If such do not lead to resolute actions that help solve public policy problems. There are even lengthy suggestions shared through the membership as though it was the Cabinet that can adopt them as policy action or Congress that can pursue them as public policy. Mostly, chat debates merely serve to boost a bruised, needy ego or rationalize an untenable personal bias. Hopefully, they are not just the shallow articulations of trolling narratives.

While silly and self-serving discussions flourish through social media, they do not diminish the fact that much larger public issues continue to happen. The pandemic still haunts the world and appears becoming even worse with mutating variants deadlier than the first. China shows no signs of slowing down from its imperialistic tendencies. Economies around the globe continue to suffer. Poverty incidence is at at an all-time high. Inflation is rising. Natural disasters are intensifying. Global warming continues. The world is not farther away from international conflict. In fact, China’s aggression especially in the South China Sea gradually pushes it to the brink of another world war. In the Philippines, a maverick president’s actions appear headed toward surrendering the country to the orbit of China. Killings have continued and the illegal drug problem is as bad as ever. Such have reached thousands in suspected murders landing the current Philippine leadership in an investigation by the International Criminal Court. Corruption is still as bad as ever with many claiming it has become much worse under the Duterte administration. Morals have sunk much owing to the example of an amoral national leadership. This list goes on and how I wish discussions of any kind among the people reflect more articulations of our core values as a nation and how they can lead to helpful resolution of our public policy problems.

We are indeed a nation divided. Our national politics and leadership sentiments clearly divide us. Many citizens who want to see corruption eradicated still look the other way when it involves Duterte and his minions. They instead adopt the scapegoating mechanism and deflect attention to the previous administration whose sins there are too, for there is no one who is sinless, but none compared to the extent committed in the current administration. And the corruption alluded to here is not merely material but moral as well. Such would therefore include the thousands of extra-judicial killings never perpetrated by any administration before Duterte except Marcos. Many of us are Christians but do not find anything inconsistent with the gospel in a leader who blasphemes the Lord and wantonly admits violating the Ten Commandments. Many officers profess honor but are dishonorable in their acts. Many unfaithful still proclaim faithfulness to their spouses and children. Many worship but express no worship in their deeds. Many claim truth, honesty, and integrity but practice just the opposite. Many, most definitely, tolerate those who lie, cheat, and steal. Too many fence-sitters. Too many hypocrites. Too many cowards. Too many who rationalize treason instead of seeing one for what it truly is. Too many who cannot look beyond self. To the overall, eventual detriment of an entire nation.