May 24, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on March 27, 2018.)

Perhaps no other people in the world today are more obsessed with money than Filipinos, and it has nothing to do with keeping the economy in shape.
It is more like a personal dream, and the rest of the country can go hang.
To Filipinos, money is the be-all and end-all of life.
Money can send your kids to college, buy a house for your family, and an expensive car for some pretty girl you have become smitten with, but only after ensconcing her in an expensive condo.
You can go on out-of-town trips on weekends, go shopping every other day, and take a twice-a-year tour – one Asian, the other Caribbean or European.


To heal the sick or to defend the oppressed is no longer paramount for doctors and lawyers. There are more important factors to consider, like how much to charge a patient afflicted with a life-threatening ailment, or a client only too willing to spend a fortune just to stay out of jail.
When an engineer secures a government contract, 30 percent of cost is “kicked back” to the governor, mayor, congressman, and district engineer.
That means no infrastructure project is roadworthy. The cement or asphalt is too thin, the reinforcing steel bars are replaced with bamboo poles.


The easiest and best way to make money is to have yourself appointed to a sensitive government position – the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and only recently discovered, the Department of Tourism. And hey, what about the Department of Environment and Natural Resources?
The Judiciary? You have to be very careful. The lawyers out of your loop will spread word that you can be bought, and add some lies for good measure.


What is it about China that our esteemed leader appears to be beholden to the fast-rising world power?
He says he will not go into a war that we cannot win.
We have never really won a war – no against the Spaniards, Americans, and the Japanese, but fought we did, for God, country, and motherhood.


One other big sin of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. was creating the barangays. Look at the batch of candidates seeking barangay positions, they include the bullies of the neighborhood and other toughies like the drug users and drunks.
A kagawad thinks he is better than the constituents he represents. And the barangay tanods enter into an unholy alliance with unscrupulous policemen.
I honestly think that all seeking political positions or applying to become policemen should all undergo psychiatric tests and be certified as sane before accepting his certificate of candidacy.


Aren’t the Tulfo siblings supposed to be reformists? How come big sister got herself into hot water?
Everything was above board, Wanda says, but when you enter into a contract with a brother with millions of pesos, you must, like Caesar’s wife, be above suspicion.