Friday, February 15, 2008

Where are the Filipino Youth?

Where are the Filipino Youth?
by: Harvey S. Keh

The past weeks we have witnessed yet another political scandal that has rocked our country, the ZTE Broadband Scam wherein former COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos with the apparent blessings of the First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo was said to have asked for a commission of US$ 130 Million or a whopping 6 Billion Pesos in exhange for his influencing our government's decision to award the broadband deal to ZTE, a Chinese Telecommunications Company. To make this happen, the ZTE Broadband Contract was greatly overpriced at US$ 329 Million and worse, the government to be able to make this deal push through would have to loan this amount from the Chinese government. In short, the US$ 130 Million kickback of Abalos and his cohorts will have to be paid for by our tax money.

To make things even worse, the govenrment tried its darn best to cover this deal by pressuring Joey De Venecia, the first star witness to stop talking abouit this in the Senate and in public, Joey didn't want to cover up the truth thus, MalacaƱang led by the congressman sons of President GMA led a revolt at Congress which ousted Joey's dad, then Speaker Jose De Venecia. The next star witness whose courage we so admire, Jun Lozada initially didn't want to go to the Senate and take part in their investigation because as he said, if he ends up in the Senate, he will be forced to say the Truth. Again, our government tried every trick to ensure that Lozada wouldn't be able to testify in the Senate, leading to his alleged kidnapping as soon as he arrived from Hong Kong where he hid for a few days. Two men picked up Lozada as soon as he got out of the plane and brought him around Metro Manila and even to Laguna against his will. If that can happen to Jun Lozada, that can happen to every Filipino in this country. In Jun Lozada's words, when he was picked up against his will, he already thought about the late Bobby Dacer who at the height of the Erap impeachment was also picked up by unidentified men and after weeks of looking for him, they finally found his body along with the body of his driver.

I can go on and on about this but the point is, this government has continued to steal our people's money from under our nose and they continue doing this because they know they can get away with it. Just look at the many scandals that have rocked the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which we already have no idea what happened like the 1 Billion Peso Fertilizer Scam and the Hello Garci Scandal. As Jun Lozada further said in his testimony at the Senate, the Standard Operating Procedure in our country now is that every government contract is overpriced by 20%, the 20% goes to the pockets of our government leaders who helped in pushing the deal. This is indeed very disappointing since 6 Billion Pesos can help build so many classrooms for our public school students, it can provide so many college scholarships to deserving students, it can help build public hospitals so people can receive proper health care and it can provide adequate housing to thousands of families. But in this case, 6 Billion Pesos will just end up in the pockets of one or maybe a few families and worse, we will all have to pay for their greed.

Nakakainis at Nakakagalit ang nangyayari sa ZTE Deal na to, harap harapan na tayong ginagago ng gobyerno natin and as one of my students in class said, he wouldn't be surprised if another scandal comes out within the next few months... it seems that MalacaƱang is already so used to scandals because they know they will eventually get away with it once media and the public grow tired of hearing about these scandals. Pero para sa akin, mas nakakalungkot na parang walang pakialam at walang ginagawa ang karamihan sa kabataang Pilipino sa mga nangyayaring ito, it seems that the Filipino Youth which led the charge in EDSA 2 is nowhere to be found. Could it be that the Filipino Youth has given up all Hope for making this country great again? Could it be the Filipino Youth has given up in its fight for a clean and effective government? Has the youth given up on our future? I hope I am wrong because what is at stake here is not just my future or the future of the poor, it is our shared future that we have to continue to fight for. Ayaw ba natin na dumating ang araw na bawat Pilipino pwede nang magkaroon ng kalidad na edukasyon? Ayaw ba natin na dumating ang araw na hindi na natin kailangang mag abroad at mahiwalay sa pamilya para magakaroon ng magandang trabaho? If we can all work together and join forces, we can show this administration that we will not just sit idly while they continue to corrupt and destroy our future, remember that in 2010 the Filipino Youth will be able to elect the next President of our country.
Let us not wait till then to make a change, let us act now, our country needs US Now!

If you want to help and be part of a youth-led initiative that will push for genuine and lasting reforms in our government, please email me at or you can help by forwarding this email to your friends who might be interested to help. Let's meet, Let's Talk and Let's all work together for our country.

*Harvey Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship of the Ateneo de Manila-School of Government and a Lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University-Loyola Schools' Development Studies Program and Department of Theology. Harvey is also Executive Director of AHON Foundation, a corporate foundation of Filway Marketing, Inc. that helps build public elementary school libraries.

1 comment:

HeartMagic said...

Please consider this moral appeal on your blogsite since we have the same vision and objectives:

A Dollar Moral Crusade Against
Graft and Corruption

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS*
Chairman, Filipino United Network (USA)

How would you like to launch a historical fight against graft and corruption in the Philippines and bring good governance, morality, transparency, and accountability in our government --- all for just One Dollar?
You and I have always abhorred the pervasive corruption among many of our government officials in the Philippines and deplored the sad state of our country, where more than 30% of our people wallow in massive poverty. So, would you be willing to invest a dollar --- yes, one single US dollar, and more importantly your support and commitment --- in the fight against graft and corruption in the Philippines?
Our inspirations in this battle for national transformation are a man of God, the Reverend Father “Among Ed” Panlilio, the newly elected “Miracle” Governor of Pampanga, a man of dignity and integrity, and Tony Meloto, a champion of the poor and marginalized Filipinos, the dynamo and power behind Gawad Kalinga.
What happened in that Pampanga is amazingly unbelievable. A humble priest, without political experience, without a bank account, without a political machinery, beating two “unbeatable” seasoned, well-funded, and powerful political giants. “Impossible,” said the political gurus when “Among Ed” first started his crusade. But the Greater Power above obviously had a grander plan for “Among Ed,” and proved the pundits wrong. The people had awakened. Suddenly, there was hope for the Philippines.
Armed with his unblemished character, moral ascendancy, love of country, and a strong commitment to honesty and transparency in government, “Among Ed” handily won the election, in spite of widespread vote-buying and rampant cheating. It was evident that a visionary leader with integrity can truly inspire and bring out the best in the Filipino.
The billions of “missing” revenues from the Lahar collection in the past, which Governor Panlilio has exposed since he assumed office June 30, 2007, is only the tip of the iceberg of the invasive cancer of graft and corruption afflicting every level of government in the entire country.
Unfortunately, an honest man makes some people uncomfortable, so there is now a move to eliminate “Among Ed, or oust him thru a Recall, Recount, or, as rumored (hopefully not true), by “Requiem.”
Governor Panlilio has adopted Gawad Kalinga as the pillar of his vision for Pampanga and the nation. His crusade is gaining speed and momentum, and like the honorable Tony Meloto himself, and his GK, Among Ed and his mission for good governance will soon be unstoppable. Filipinos around the world are rejoicing and rallying behind him. And we want you to be a part of this historical transformation.
Come and fly high with this historic Dollar Moral Crusade, to get rid of plunderers among our government officials. Our country and our neglected poor need heroes like you in our battle for morality in government, for justice and dignity for our people. This is, indeed, a revolution. Not a revolution of arms where blood will be shed, but a revolution of ideals and of principle, where dreams and vision, sweat and tears shall bathe the nation clean.
A tall order? Yes. An impossible task? No, not with the Divine Providence and with YOU and people power! With these three components, nothing is impossible.
All this moral crusade needs is your personal commitment and moral support, an investment for the future of the Philippines. Let’s not miss this opportunity. Let’s use our power to help change our country for the better and lift our suffering fellowmen and their children out of the gutter of poverty, helplessness, hopelessness, and indignity.
The Filipino United Network Drive (FUND) for HOPE is a commitment of overseas Filipinos to rally behind the crusade against graft and corruption in the Philippines. We invite you to be a patriot and join us in this historical revolution.

Please make your donation payable to: FUND FOR HOPE, c/o Dr. Ale Ragaza, M.D., Multicare Medical Center, 232 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT 06460, USA. In the Philippines, any contribution to FUND for HOPE may be sent to BCI Buenaventura Office, 62 E. Osmena St., Guadalupe, Cebu City, 6000, Philippines.
For your convenience, whichever country you are in, including those in the Philippines, you may also donate thru PayPal with your credit card, a globally accepted, encrypted, and very secure online mode of payment managed by eBay. (Please visit and click on the orange DONATE button. For transparency, all donors will be published on this website, unless the donor requests for anonymity. No amount is too small or too large for this vital revolution. We are all together in this moral crusade.
More than the dollar or peso, your commitment and support are what we need. Kindly include your full name and email address for our Historical Archive. Be a patriot. This will be the best dollar/peso investment you'll ever make, and help in this revolutionary nation building crusade. Please do visit the FUN website at

Each token dollar or peso "invested" symbolizes one Filipino patriot who is coming to the aid of our country, and is committed to support this moral crusade for a better Philippines.
FUN is extending its full assistance to Kapampangan Marangal, Inc. (KMI), a benevolent group supporting this moral crusade in the Philippines. They will be used to purchase media time and space (local and national newspaper, radio, TV), for printing of flyers, posters, newsletters, brochures, etc. needed in the crusade against graft and corruption. The Filipino United Network is also a staunch supporter of Gawad Kalinga in its noble program of providing land for the landless and building homes for the homeless and the poorest of the poor. Part of the fund will also be used for the purchase of computers for public high schools, with programs to educate the students about good citizenship, honesty and transparency in governance, vigilance, voting obligations, self-reliance, industry, and other proactive and progressive disciplines.
The time is ripe for this moral crusade and national cleansing. Join this revolution, help our country and our people, and leave a proud and lasting legacy for our children and the future generations to cherish with honor and dignity.

*Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana, USA, trained at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, is Chairman of Filipino United Network (FUN-USA), Vice Chairman of Filipino American Leadership Council ( and Vice President for Far East of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America (, Wichita, Kansas. His email address is
Be a patriot. Join this moral crusade.

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