A Poor Country’s Leader’s Dinner

One issue that has been discussed over and over again is the dinner that took place in New York.  It has involved a 3rd world country leader and her entourage which included congressmen.  Thanks to a local paper abroad, it has come to the country’s attention.

I’ve always wondered how much does a regular street child or beggar makes in a day or if they are able to spend it on food or medicine or other basic necessity.  I’ve always wondered if they make enough on the streets to actually have a decent meal.

I always liked to think I’m a budget queen.  And everything I spend, I write it down – including the alms that I give out.  I am no saint since alms are only given when I have saved some for myself first.  The extras of the extra goes to the street people.  Even in my own selfish ways, I do think about other people especially those who are so impoverished.

And then I hear in the news about the leader of our country (in which there is more than 80% of the population that is living below acceptable means) had dinner during her official trip abroad in a very expensive restaurant.  I don’t mind her eating, I just mind the way she spends.  It’s not my money to care this much, or is it?  Everyone should care on the lifestyle of our leaders.  It is our business especially when they cannot do their job.

It is a slap in the face for each Filipino that the leader who promised from the start that the well-being of each of her people will be her priority, who has bragged every year in her SONA (state of the nation address) and implied that she has done so much for her people, has spent almost a million pesos for a single meal.

If that is how our leaders allocate the country’s money, it’s no wonder that the number of the poor has not changed significantly, that they are still having the same problems now that her term is almost over.

This is how they budget OUR money.

Of course, she denies that the money she and the rest of her entourage (some of our national leaders) used were from the country’s budget.  One official who was defending this lavish dinner of the leaders of the country said that they couldn’t let the president eat at a hotdog stand in NYC.  Well, why not???  It could show a little empathy to the people she left behind during her trip for international relations.

Why is she making so many trips lately?  She’s too concerned with international relations when the people she’s supposed to serve has not been given the attention she needs.  And she rubbed it in when she ate and spent without conscientious the money of her people.

Oh yes, she and her entourage can deny to death.  No one will be able to believe that they spent it out of their own pockets.

I would understand if that (almost a) Million Peso Dinner was spent for more than hundred or so of our country’s leaders.  It would still be an acceptable expense.  But for a few of them, it is outrageous.

One official (I think a congressman) who was one of those who joined the million-peso dinner said that they ordered a regular meal that composed of an appetizer, a main dish and dessert and some drinks.

The news revealed otherwise in which staff of the said restaurant were interviewed and revealed that the President and her entourage ordered a number of delectable dishes like lobsters and filet mignon.  It did not matter whether they ordered the simplest dish or not.  But one thing that caught my attention and confirmed that my leaders live a luxurious life far different from the people who yearns for their help was the bottles of expensive wines they ordered (according to the interview).  It’s probably the aged wines that cranked up the bill.

The aftermath of it all are endless discussions of the people and numerous denials of our leaders.  Lest we forget, our president denied that she asked the commissioner on elections before to help her out during the elections.  After time, she admitted that she actually did.  And I’m wondering why do we allow her to be in this place again – deny a wrong doing.  In the first place, why did we allow her to be our President after she blatantly admitted to cheating on the last election.  After this, our leaders will be at it again.


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