HomeCommentaryPoverty. Misery. Catastrophe.

Poverty. Misery. Catastrophe.

Without the least intention of fomenting deep discontent, instilling downright anger and pursuant rebellious disposition among a truly big majority of the people in this “Pearl of the Orient Seas,” there is an urgent need to call and wake up the supposedly brilliant, credible and dependable public officials concretely assigned to look after and promote the honest-to-goodness national socio-economic development of the Country — with its People as the first and foremost beneficiary.

Hunger and destitution, hopelessness and despair — these are the combined root cause of anger, discontent and riot even, with the thought that “An empty stomach has no ears.” Without enough food, decent shelter and wearable clothing — it would be rather incongruous and even dumb to expect that the wanting and suffering people would keep quiet and stay still at all times, in all occasions.

When so many families live by the canals and under the bridges, when gathering garbage remains a practice and when scavengers are still a common site — it is inanity if not downright insanity to even but think that “Everything is OK.”

Governments come and go one after the other. Different political colors appear and disappear now and then. All possible grandiose propaganda machines notwithstanding, despite many unending heavenly survey results and consonant political pronouncements to the contrary, the truth remains that a markedly big number of people are destitute, hungry, sick — all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.

Below are certain questions basically addressed to those relatively few wealthy, healthy and happy individuals and families, the truthful and sincere answers thereto could make those concerned to question themselves how come they live so comfortably while so many others are miserable, why it is that they do not worry at all about the foods they eat, the shelters they live in, the clothes they wear as a matter of course while others are starving, living by the sidewalks, wearing dirty and tattered clothes?

  • Do you really sweat and toil for what you have?
  • Do you have much while many others have practically nothing at all?
  • Do you simply waste what others are in dire need of?
  • Do you love your possessions more than you love the needy?
  • Do the destitute have no right at all to what is yours?
  • Do you help the hungry and miserable only during Christmas?
  • How do you help yourself help those in need?
  • How do you help the needy eventually help themselves?
  • How do you help without you being neither loud nor proud for it?

Poverty is not a blessing until one makes the vow to be poor. Misery is not humane. Catastrophe is not an option.

This is the last blog post of the late Archbishop Oscar Cruz following the call of the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference for “healing” amidst the spate of killings and human rights abuses as a result of the government’s “war” on drugs.

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