Lungsod ng Kawawang Muntinlupa — Using Social Media to Change Governance
I recently came across a Facebook page (it's actually a user page instead of a page users can "like") called Lungsod ng Kawawang Muntinlupa.
The administrator of the page posts grievances and allegations about the current administration in power. From what I hear, they get their information from whistleblowers within the administration itself. One of them, supposedly already in a witness protection program, my sources say.
The allegations are actually very grave from crony suppliers, hundreds of millions in unexplainable spending, undeclared assets and liabilities and many more.
I am not saying that these allegations are true. What I am saying is that they are very serious and should be investigated. And, if proven true, let those who are accountable face the consequences of their actions. Stealing and abuse of one's power as a public servant is one the most disgusting crimes and should be dealt with in accordance with the law.
We've seen the power of social media bring down tyrannies and dismantle corrupt governments in Lybia and Egypt and so what more in a small city like Muntinlupa.
This kind of attitude, this outrage for corruption, should be encouraged. The ability to petition and question your government is the foundation of a democracy. It is a reflection that those in power are governing only at the consent of the governed. And now, with innovations in new media and social media, the ability to disseminate information, to engage in citizen journalism and activism, has become as easy as a click of a button.
People should continue creating pages or forums like this where people can freely assemble and exchange information. We should demand a speedy investigation from the Ombudsman. We should demand for transparency from our government, perhaps petition our own congressmen to pass the Freedom of Information Bill. Only when we become conscious and active about these things can we ever change governance in our country.
It's interesting that my very first post in this blog is actually about this giant Christmas tree that the current mayor bragged about on national television (see The Government's Spirit of Christmas). Muntinlupa is my home city and it has had a long history of corruption and bad governance. The citizens deserve prosperity and we should never allow anyone to enrich themselves at the expense of this prosperity.
My appeal to the mayor is to release a formal statement explaining the issues and allegations raised in the page and that he resign if he's not able to provide proof that he is innocent. The burden should always be on those in power. Remember that he is a public servant and the citizens are his master and not the other way around.