From time to time, Filipino domestic helpers (DHs) in Hong Kong are looked down by certain misguided elements in this city, just like a recent advertisement by Hong Leong Finance. However, racist acts on this city’s foreign maids were often resolved quickly after public denunciations followed not infrequently by apologies of errant parties.
Yes, Pinoy DHs — about 150,000 of them — perform some of the most menial tasks in Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading financial centers.
But they, in my view, are more honorable and respectable than Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who are now both in jail after anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found enough evidence to charge them with plunder or theft of public monies. Because of his frail health, 90-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile is in hospital detention on similar charges.
Scores of Pinoy DHs work their butts out until after midnight and rise early the following day. That’s honest, decent and respectable work.
Outside law-making, work done by the three senators, specifically the alleged theft of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money, was clearly dishonest, indecent and detestable.
Farmers and the poorest of the poor were supposed to benefit from the monies allegedly stolen by Estrada and company. So, think of malnourished babies and children deprived by the three senators of medicine and proper medical care in public hospitals across the country. Think of poor farmer families without three square meals a day.
Pinoy DHs in Hong Kong readily apologize for shortcomings in the workplace. They own up to their errors and mistakes, and vow to do better. Not so with Estrada, Revilla and Enrile who can’t muster the guts to admit their wrongdoing and apologize to the Filipino people – despite voluminous documents and whistleblowers’ testimonies pointing to their kleptomaniac ways. In this regard, these lawmakers are totally shameless and pale in comparison with Pinoy domestics in Hong Kong.
These senators should never ever be called honorable again – even if Estrada and Revilla run again in 2016 as vice president and president, respectively. There’s no honor in big-time thieves whose lawmaking workmay just be incidental or secondary to large-scale theft of public monies.