A Modern Malolos Republic

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Pia A.
Kasaysayan 1: Philippine History
Reflection Paper
A Modern “Malolos Republic”: A Reflection on M. Guerrero's "The Underside of the Malolos Republic"

It’s generally acknowledged among Filipinos and some people around the globe that the Philippines is among one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In 2012, the Philippines ranked 105 with a 3.4 Corruption Percentage Index in Transparency International’s compilation of data from 176 countries. The CPI score ranks countries from 0-10, with 0 indicating that a country is perceived to be highly corrupt, and 10 means that a country is perceived to be very clean (Transparency International, 2012). Corruption proves to be that longstanding problem that Filipinos and Filipino politicians always face. Of the many means of political corruption in the Philippines today, believed to be among the most rampant are graft, bribery, embezzlement, electoral fraud, backdoor deals, cronyism, and nepotism (Conde, 2007). Just by taking a look at the politicians currently holding office can the last type be evident. One family sometimes holds a seat in office for generations, ranging from barangay captain to the presidency. The political arena in the Philippines is largely comprised of and governed by ruling political dynasties, instead of political parties (Eder & Vallarta, 2007).

Corruption truly remains rampant in the Philippine society. What astounds me is the fact that it has been so rampant for so very long. According to Milagros Guerrero’s “The Underside of the Malolos Republic,” political corruption has been with the Filipinos since the very establishment of a republic in our country. Emilio Aguinaldo’s term as presidency seemed at-par with that of modern-day Filipino presidents like Joseph “Erap” Estrada or Gloria Macapagal “GMA” Arroyo in terms of its cleanliness and transparency.

Where Aguinaldo’s term exhibited cronyism, or appointing longstanding friends into positions of authority regardless of...
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