We have an old joke back in our dormitory. One day, a kotong cop apprehended a clueless, moneyless motorist, and asking for “lagay”.
“Sir, wala po talaga eh,” he said. “Sige 200 nalang.”
“Wala po talaga, eh.”
“Boss, pasensya na po, wala talaga.”
“Sorry po talaga.”
“SIGE NA NGA, PAPITIK NALANG SA TENGA!”
* * *
Election time is nearing. And each prospective president declares battle against corruption. Well and good. But before we prevent the ZTE Broadband kind of corruption, why don’t we take a look the very basic problem of corruption in our society — kotong cops/MMDA/MAPSA/whatever-their-municality-calls-them. This problem is a reflection of who we are as a people. A people that is willing to feed the corrupt, intimidated by the corrupt, and is willing to be corrupted for a whooping P100 bill. That’s sick.
One of my most famous blog post is “Swerving is NOT a violation, and other petty MMDA abuses”. It’s so popular that after I shared my experience with MMDA operatives, a bunch of other people shared theirs. And they found this entry through the search engines. People are looking for ways to vent their ugly emotions against this simple yet profound act of corruption in the government and its people.
Take for instance this poster’s experience:
I just changed lane, and i’m very sure of that. An officer apprehended me… swerving daw. After minutes of discussion, we ended up “kotong”. The worst is… ang sabi sa akin ng officer, ma’am wag po dito… escortan kita hanggang dun sa chino roces, marami kasing nakatingin dito, dun mo iabot, ibalot mo sa tissue”. Wow, grabe… kapalmuks.That was in south superhighway buendia. Nagkalat ang mga talamak na officers dun.
Whenever I see MMDAs on the street, I would jokingly tell my wife, “I want to run these people off”. I know that’s wrong. WWJD, eh! But hey, mine is angst towards the very simple corruption in our society. And because I am frequent in the streets, I can feel the pain every single day.
You can help fight corruption in the streets.
1. Know your rights. Don’t let MMDA/Cops/MAPSA intimidate you
2. Don’t bribe. Even if it’s really tempting. (I’m preaching to myself).
3. I know this may be wrong, but I have decided not to give my license to them especially if I know I am right. I noticed that your driver’s license has become their “bargaining tool”. If they have your license, the next question would be “Pano natin aayusin to, Sir.” Defend your right with dignity and grace. Don’t give in.
And finally, rejoice! Bayani Fernando’s day is nearing to an end. (On the side note, I wonder why Bayani Fernando keeps pushing himself to run for president. Eh, yung mga bata nya hindi nya masuheto. Pano pa yung mga Chinese ZTE officials pag naging presidente sya?)