Caring only for one’s turf, term

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    EARLY in his incumbency, President Duterte warned foreigners who are perceived to be the sharks in the sea of illegal drugs trade not to set foot in the Philippines for he himself will kill them. Not here and not under my watch, the President warned.

    Duterte gave the same warning to drug traffickers in Davao City when he was mayor. Not to be outdone, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said criminals in Manila should better leave the city for Manilans because it now has a new no-nonsense mayor who has resolved to drive away these hooligans.

    Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, talking with a television personality, said he knew Oscar Albayalde was relieved when he was Pampanga PNP director for command responsibility since his men were involved in a questionable drug operation. But Dela Rosa still recommended Albayalde to replace him as PNP chief because “he did not have a pending case yet.”

    “Yun nga lang, kinalkal ‘yung past, dun siya minalas, ano ‘yung past niya na ‘yun, wala na ako dun because it did not happen during my incumbency as chief PNP,” Bato said.

    And now comes Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who accompanied officials of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in filing cases of illegal gambling, game fixing, point shaving etc. against players and coaching staff of the Soccksargen team, Pacquiao’s own region.

    On this occasion, Pacquiao said you may cheat in other basketball leagues, but not here (in my league). It was Pacquiao who organized the MPBL.

    What is the thread that connects all these pronouncements and actions of many of our officials in government? It is the culture of caring only for one’s turf and term. “Not during my watch.” “Not here, do your thing somewhere else.” This aspect of contemporary Filipino culture is pervasive as it is pathetic.

    In the anti-drugs and criminality war, it is as if the crime is OK if done outside one’s territorial jurisdiction. In the PNP appointment, past malfeasance and misfeasance may be swept under the rug because “it did not happen during my time.” In basketball, cheating may be condoned elsewhere but not in Pacquiao’s turf, the MPBL.

    It’s a society of caring for mine and mine alone. Where is the spirit of human solidarity, brotherhood and cooperation?