Remember the Coco Scam? Was it not a caveat of dark omen?

Whether we like it or not, majority of our people are suffering from poverty. The Dollar rate versus the Peso tells us so. While many countries have maintained their currency dollar values steadily, the Philippines cannot hide the downtrend. As of this writing, the Dollar is pegged to Php 50 something that never had happened before the present dispensation.
Poverty is still in our midst despite government announcement that recovery is on the road. Contrary to official index, poverty is felt in many sectors. Government subsidies such as DSWDs four Ps and the like are not enough to heal the economic wound.. 
Only the unmindful might have forgotten the Coco Scandal which rocked the Maranao society not so long ago. It affected the Maranao economy that has become tragic with the Marawi Siege that started last May 23 this year..
Terrorism, whoever they are, is the reason for the Marawi siege which has shattered lives and properties of our people. It was a devastation of not only economies but of everything especially the hope and the future of the countless many.
In the defunct reso-print Ranao Times weekly of Sarip Batua Meno D. Manabilang, I contributed an article about the Coco scam. An excerpt is printed below with the hope that something may be learnt out of it.
“While it might be true that a few had made a little out of the scam, most involved had suffered. 

“Until now agents of the scam are still running and hiding from their clients who, hoping to make a huge return, lost so much and even incurred debts.

“The clients, the so-called investors to the Coco investment business, were the most hurt. Most of those involved tried to hide the pain, generally feeling somehow embarrassed. 

“By its nature, this kind of scandal surfaces in bad times. It is during economic slump that people, especially ambitious, will defy moral values to do anything in order to survive. Setting aside its moral issue, those investors might have failed to calculate the risk. 

“Hence, only chumps are victims of the scam – these are those who bet their money in the unconscious belief that they are the sons of God and no one could dare cheat them otherwise the cons shall suffer the consequences and that is the wrath of God. 

“Now the scam has claimed countless lives already and probably that is the wrath of God. But still the devastated economy inflicted by the scam has not been solved by the deaths of peoples and loss of properties. 

“Now everyone involved except a few feel the scam’s bad sway. But this is not the real impact. The true wrath of God is still standing waiting to strike anytime and unless our prayers are sincere and solemn enough to be heard by the Almighty God, the worst will come. 

“Indeed, we must ask Heaven to intervene for once the worst befalls, it will not only hit those who are directly involved in the scam; it will affect all. 

“But how can Allah help us if we do not like to help ourselves? He clearly warns us in the Holy Qur’an that “Allah will not change the condition of the People unless they themselves change.” 
Have we truly repented and avoided immorality, or un-Islamic ways? Or we have just worsened defying what our Creator wants us to do and not to do in order to be prosperous in this World and the Hereafter? 
From now, in less than two years time, we will be asked again to vote for our local chief executives. 
I hope that after these sufferings inflicted upon us Maranaos, we all learn from past mistakes. Let us use our sanity in accordance with the teachings of Islam and the traditions of our forefathers to choose our leaders. 
We cannot change from the worst to the better, if not the best, if we choose leaders not because they are really dedicated and concerned to the welfare of their constituents, but because of little money that they give to us during elections day. 
Our condition will never change if we sell our rights, if we sell our future, if we sell our religion, if we sell our homeland, if we sell the blood of our martyrs who died in defending our Homeland, if we sell the welfare of our people, for just a thousand pesos. Wallah, He will ask us in the Day of Judgement, and when time comes, our incoming generations will curse us for inheriting a life so afflicted. 
Panganogonan tano so inged tano go so manga kalumbayan tano. Mili tano sa tidto a kazarigan a olowan sa inged a Ranao, a malaon so agama, knababa baradosa, knba kanoko o Zionism ka malay tindug go malay ranon ko pagtao. (RSP) 

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