I don’t have much to say about you. I actually am one of those Filipinos who isn’t much into politics. We have different reasons for not being too involved. Some are just extremely busy. Some may just want to be ahead of the game by getting involved in other ways. Some just don’t get politics. Some had just given up. I believe I am a mixture of all four.
Janet, I don’t know if you have the slightest idea how popular you had become in the online world. I used to not really care about the lives of celebrities and politicians that appear on my timeline, but you had consistently been there in the past few days. Your name is all over the place. I think it even trended on Twitter too. Your photos had been used in so many memes. As a social media marketer, I know how difficult it is to make someone or something popular online. But yours was a curious case for me. You are hated. You are supposed to be “unpopular”.
Janet, you have angered the people.
You have touched a very sensitive part of their souls. Them, the taxpayers. They were just busy working for their lives one ordinary day. Until, your story.
Janet, I have so many questions for you right now. My mind is racing. I want to ask, where did the money of the people go? What were you thinking when you were spending them? How did you get hold of them? I want to ask you all of these things. But it doesn’t really matter now. I know that one day, these questions will be answered. Or maybe not. I don’t know. But one thing is certain, you are already under the law.
By surrendering yourself to the head of the state, you have spoken volumes, Janet. You are different from others who sought refuge in another land. By surrendering, it means you are willing to subject yourself under the due process. Something that others won’t even allow for themselves.
I believe in justice. I believe in due process. I believe in peaceful and orderly proceedings. I believe that there is something good that will come out of your surrendering. You surrendered to the government that sought after you. You surrendered to the government that has a stand against corruption.
The current government is far from perfect. In fact, I do not believe that there had been a single one in the world that was. Each of them had their own share of flaws. But something good is happening to this country that I can’t ignore. A corrupt head of the justice system was toppled down. The country had achieved investment-grade status this year. And then you, people like you, were discovered. And then, surrendered.
I do not believe in going after you and making fun of you, Janet. What will happen if I create a meme of your face that is Photoshop-ed to look like a pig’s head? What will happen if I continue sharing articles about your wrongdoings online? Does it promote justice, peace and progress? Or does it only promote anger, discord and rebellion?
I believe in going after justice, peace and progress, Janet. I know people like you will continue to exist in the government. Sin is of the world. And the government is still of the world. But for as long as there is option for justice, peace and progress, I know which way to go. Hatred will only beget more hatred. Peace will beget likewise.
You may have inspired rebellion here and there, Janet. But you will never steal from my people again. You may have stolen from our purses but you will never steal our hope that something is truly happening in this nation. I may just be one of those who had given up on politics, on the system. But I am not yet one of those who had given up on hope.
There is hope. And my prayer is that the anger that my people feel toward you won’t eat them from the inside. Instead, let it be an anger against corruption that shall propel them to live in righteousness and to never tolerate that evil again. Not even in their own bodies, not even inside their own households, not even above or below their work desks. Real change begins from the inside. You’ve heard this before.
Thank you for being a lesson to all Filipinos, Janet. Because of people like you and the people who are like you who went before you, I believe that my people had learned how to think. We have learned how to search for the truth and to recognize the truth. Because of you, we have become agents of change in our own small ways. Because of you, we have learned how to make better choices.
Thank you for being a lesson to all of us, Janet. May you be a reminder that justice will reign, no matter how long we hide. That no secrets will remain inside the closets forever. Everything must come out in the open and surrender.
I am glad that you made a choice.
Your fellow Filipino,
*This letter is a response to Janette Toral’s article that can be viewed at http://www.bloggingfromhome.com/2013/09/janet-lim-napoles-benhur-luy-merlina.html.