In a recent discussion on one of my visits to call on potential advertisers for this paper, I was reminded and encouraged (I often hear kind and encouraging words for us to pursue the paper, not to stop, etc. )
This Chamorro lady who was educated in the mainland whose name I shall not mention, reminded me that Chamorro culture is not confrontational and that according to her, they know how bad (that bad) certain things are (in terms of shady corrupt deals, etc) although they are not expressing it in public the way some western societies do. However, they as a family or a clan talk about it among themselves and will certainly show their indignation on the coming elections.
A Senator I spoke to also lamented that the current administration has reduced things to near levels of mendicancy for a lot of the have nots.
Another mayor pointed out the very bad road conditions in the villages, in the interiors. If you don’t enter into the interiors you may not exactly know the actual road conditions.
Many, many more comments I have heard which I would rather not print for being too brutally frank. Having heard this, my comment is as always, what is happening to the Guam I have spent most of my life in?
At any rate, this columnist within the next couple of months will come to a conclusion on whether or not my fellow Guamanians are ready for a free and vocal press. My basis will be the support this paper gets, and I don’t just mean moral support and words of encouragement. So far, we have had plenty of that. What we need at this point is advertising revenue, so those who pledged and are taking a wait and see attitude, do consider the saying that goes “put your money where your mouth is.” We have to remember that nothing is free in this world, even the air we breathe is not free. If we pollute the environment, then we breathe bad air and the costs are greater.
The question now is, what is the cost for a Free Press? Is it worth it to have a Free and Vibrant Press? Do we not want an independent press that will keep us informed accurately and truthfully as possible, or are we willing to take a chance and wake up one morning not knowing what hit us?
Just look at the extreme endemic corruption in the Philippines. Are we not headed in that direction with the style of this current administration? Certainly those few privileged contractors, their paid lackeys and businesses that are getting some benefit from the current administration are content with the status quo. Some have already duplicated the Pinoy style of doing business with government and these types couldn’t care less if the whole of Guam freezes ten times over for as long as they get their mucho dinero. Those types will not, for one second, hesitate to prostitute even their own mother.
This week alone, I came into contact with several of these types, those who are simply ruled by mammon, yun sinasabing ang diyos nila ay pera. Marami sa atin mga dating kababayan ang ganun. I say dating kababayan because a lot of them are of Filipino heritage (and use and claim it when convenient) but in essence they represent simply the lowest form of the western species.
I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to voice and express myself in a candid manner and a paper that aims to do so as candidly and forthright as possible; however, I do sympathize with a lot of members of media (employees of media companies) whose hands are tied and cannot just simply say (on radio/TV) or write what they feel should be told to the public, unless they risk getting fired. I do believe a good number of them are earnest in their profession and would want to live up to the lofty ideals of the fourth estate. That unfortunately is also the reality in media (as well as in politics). The nuances are what dictates how one has to carry himself. The press may be touted to be free, but in reality the owners of media outfits and their government alliances are the ones calling the shots. How free can you get?
I do recall the face to face debate between the current governor and the former governor Gutierrez and running mate Garry Gumataotao when the former Governor asked the Calvo tandem, “can you tell us how much tax credits your family-owned businesses have availed of and/or have been benefitted from?” As I recall, the current governor was dumfounded and could not answer the question. Nagkamot ng ulo!
Tax credits per se are not wrong. Tax credits actually hasten the return of funds and/or earned benefits to the taxpayer, the problem is how are these tax credits dispensed with? The how and the who are being blessed with these tax credits should be everyone’s concern. Can the dispensation of these tax credits be manipulated to favor certain highly blessed individuals or companies? I am admittedly still in the raw on the subject of tax credits. Perhaps I will drop by the office of one of my favorite senators, the Hon. Mike San Nicolas and request for a quick lecture on this tax credits business. Likewise, I will have this paper’s researchers look into it. Once I am fully informed, I will let you know as we all need to be educated on the matter, and most of all, we don’t want to be taken for a ride.
I have long ago given up on Philippine politics. I would often say, Philippine politics has gone to the dogs, but that would be an insult to man’s best friend.
You tell me, will we just sit back, watch the show and let some of these thick faced officials steer Guam politics into Philippine politics style?
As I understand it, Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. just very recently had sent a letter to the Governor asking him to file a petition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow the Philippines to be granted visa waiver for Guam. Let’s see what the stand and action (if any) the Governor will take on this. The way I see it, should the visa waiver be granted, we stand to loose nothing but all to gain, more so the tourism sector. I will be watching keenly on what action the governor will take! As for the young and bright Senator Rodriguez, Kudos and Mabuhay!
My fellow kababayans join me in the group – FRIENDS OF BONBONG FOR VICE PRESIDENT-GUAM, USA. For details go to my Facebook