Ang Mga Dahilan sa Pagpasok sa Pulitika

Ang Mga Dahilan sa Pagpasok sa Pulitika
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Sa darating na panahon ng eleksiyon 2016, babaha na naman ng pera sa Pilipinas, lalakas ang buying power ng mga Pilipino, at lalaki ang kita ng mga negosyante, kaya gaganda na naman ang report sa survey tungkol sa pagkabawas ng gutom sa bansa. Aalingawngaw na naman ang mga pangakong ampaw. Magkakaubusan na naman sa botika at grocery ng alcohol na gagamitin ng mga plastik at makatao daw o makamahirap na mga kandidato kaya panay ang yakap at halik sa mga tindera sa palengke, magsasaka, street sweepers, mga sanggol sa iskwater, mga batang yagit, atbp.

Maririnig na naman ang mga litanya ng dahilan ng mga hangal na kandidato kung bakit sila pumasok sa pulitika. At ang pinakatanyag na dahilan ay “gusto kong makatulong sa aking kapwa” na palaging sinasabi ng isang kongresman ng isang lalawigan sa Mindanao, ganoong palagi naman itong absent sa mga session at ang dahilan ay may ginagawa siyang “mahalagang bagay” para sa kapakanan ng bansa. Gusto pa niyang maging senador, at kung maaari nga lang ay Bise-Presidente. Siguro iniisip niya, makakakuha naman siya ng matatalinong staff. OMG!!!

Sa sobrang kayabangan nitong tao, ginagamit na rin ang Diyos upang ipakita sa mundo na siya ay may malakas na pananalig sa Kanya. Ang hindi niya kinatakutan ay ang karma na unti-unting dumadating dahil sa dami ng mga kasong isinasampa laban sa kanya. Bilib na sana sa kanya ang mga Pilipino, subalit nasobrahan naman ang pagkabilib niya sa kanyang sarili na umabot sa puntong lahat ay gusto na niyang pasukan kahit alam ng lahat na hindi niya kaya.

Hindi na dapat pagdudahan ang kanyang kakayahan sa isang larangan na ginagamitan ng tiyaga at lakas ng katawan, subalit sa larangan naman na ang dapat gamitin ay utak, ibang usapan na. Tumatakbo ang kanyang opisina pero dahil sa mga suwelduhang tauhan na matatalino, kaya kahit wala siya ay may naisa-submit na report, nakakagawa ng mga proyekto dahil may nagagamit namang budget, at may naihahaing mga panukala sa kanyang pangalan. Ibig sabihin, sa sitwasyon niya, para siyang nagpa-franchise ng kanyang pangalan para magamit sa pulitika.

Gusto daw niyang tumulong sa kanyang mga kababayan, kaya handa siyang tumakbo sa mas mataas pang puwesto sa pulitika. Kung ang pagiging kongresman nga lang ay hindi niya magampanan ng maayos, mas mataas na puwesto pa kaya? Sana may puwestong pangdekorasyon lang ang gamit, at dahil tanyag siya, doon siya angkop. Magagamit kasi ang pangalan niya bilang bahagi ng Kongreso o Malakanyang!

Hindi kailangang pumasok sa pulitika upang makatulong sa kapwa. Ito ay napatunayan na ng maraming pilantropo na ang ilan ay ayaw magpabanggit ng pangalan. Napatunayan din ito ng nagpapatakbo ng mga bahay-ampunan para sa mga bata, may kapansanan, at matatanda. Napatunayan din ito ng ilang grupo na nakakarating sa mga liblib na isla ng Pilipinas makapamigay lang ng lapis, papel at iba pang gamit-eskwela, pati na tsinelas at damit. At ang isa pang halimbawa ay si Mother Theresa at ang kanyang mga kasamang madre na kahit kapos sa pondo ay nagagawa pang makapamahagi ng tulong.

Marami na akong narinig na mga dahilan kung bakit may mga pumapasok sa pulitika, na ang pinakatanyag nga ay ang una kong nabanggit na pagtulong sa kapwa. Subalit kung katapatan din lang ang pag-usapan, ang pinakabiniliban ko ay ang walang kagatul-gatol na sabi ng isa na, “it runs in the family”. Yan ang tama, dahil nga naman lahat sila sa pamilya ay may puwesto, mula sa pagkakongresman ng tatay, pagka-gobernador ng kapatid, at pagka-mayor ng nanay. Ang nakausap ko ay tatakbo namang kagawad muna dahil puntirya niya ang puwesto sa pagka-mayor na inuupuan pa ng kanyang nanay.

Ang iba pang mga dahilan na hindi dapat kalimutan ay:

1. Ayaw maging hamak na empleyadong inuutusan lamang.
2. Upang mapalawak at mapalaki pa ang mga negosyo ng pamilya.
3. Upang mapatunayan sa sariling kaya niya…(magpayaman?)
4. Upang makaganti sa mga umalipusta sa pamilya nila….(delikado!)
5. Upang maisulong ang adhikain ng grupo…(talaga?)
6. Undergraduate kasi, at walang mapasukang trabaho.

At, ang “pagtulong sa kapwa”?….para yang SUNTOK sa buwan!…hindi na kapani-paniwala!

Kung sa seryosong usapan, ang pagpasok sa pulitika ay nangangailangan ng talino SANA. Pero sa Pilipinas, iba ang kalakaran dahil pera at katanyagan ang gumagalaw, maliban na lang siguro sa pambihirang nangyari sa Davao City dahil ang ginamit ng mga namumuno doon na mag-amang Duterte ay prinsipyo, katatagan, at tapang – hindi pera at katanyagan. Tinupad nila ang pangakong lilinisin at patatahimikin ang Davao City na nangyari naman.

Maraming mambabatas na kahit utak-tungaw ay nakakaupo sa mga bulwagan ng batasan. At, hindi na dapat pang itanong kung ano ang dahilan at sino ang may kasalanan…dahil alam naman ng lahat! Para sa mga nagmamaang-maangan na inosente kuno, basahin lang ulit ang unang talata o paragraph.

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The Failure of Democracy in the Philippines

The Failure of Democracy in the Philippines
by Apolinario Villalobos

The first abuse of freedom, perhaps, could be what is told in the legend about the Paradise. God supposedly put Adam there and later from his rib, Eve was created, so that he would not be lonely. They had free will, freedom to do what they wanted. Unfortunately, Eve abused this when she gave in to the temptation of the serpent who told her about the “tree of life” in that Paradise. As the legend goes, she partook of a fruit with which she tempted Adam who readily gave in, using his free will.

Today there are free countries, ruled with democracy which is perceived to be the best because of its principles rammed down the throat of adherents. But in reality, it has many weaknesses, as its very principle made it prone to abuse of all kinds. Because of freedom supposedly as its essence, people are left to practically do whatever they want. Of course there are laws that are supposed to curtail their acts, but because of corruption, indolence and indifference, they are not implemented – a very unfortunate reality.

In this world, when it comes to governance, man is left with either, democracy with its freedom, or socialism with its dictatorship. The character of each is not free from the taint of abuse and corruption. So, what is left is a choice for the least evil between the two.

The problem with democracy is that criminals for instance, are presumed innocent unless proved guilty, even when caught in the act or despite evidences pointing to the commission of guilt! To prove such commission, a process has to be followed in which witnesses have to issue statements under oath and lawyers must be hired… woe then to the victim who cannot afford to hire a bright lawyer! The government provides free services of its lawyers for the poor, but most often, they are not as reliable as the hired ones in view of the obvious reason.

The Philippines as a young republic seems to have been forced into “maturity”. The haste did not give time for the essence of democracy to be properly inculcated in the mind and heart of the Filipinos. Enthusiastic, after having been freed from the clutches of the Spaniards who for long subjugated the islands, the early leaders went ahead in copying the “democracy” of other countries, without giving much thought on the nature and temper of the Filipinos as an Asian race.

While cuddled by America, a country with a federal system of government, the early leaders opted for the presidential form of other countries. Today, as the diverse regional differences of the country is emphasized when the people began to protest loudly due to the unfairness in the distribution of benefits and services, some sectors realized that the Philippines may have been better off with a federal system of government than the present one that is treading on uncertainties and volatile ground.

The uncontrolled surge of corrupt practices due to lack of control and defective operating system of the government, are now blamed on the location of the central government and the dissected state of the country, being an archipelago.

Corruption has been the issue ever since the country had its first president. This reality has been stressed during the time of Diosdado Macapagal and the same was used by Ferdinand Marcos to win the sympathy of the people. His intelligent perception made him use the issue as the centerpiece of his administration, giving him an alibi to declare Martial Law. Unfortunately, instead of using the new set up for the betterment of the nation, he also abused it that eventually spelled his downfall. Instead of healing the wound of the people the dictatorship became the proverbial salt that aggravated the tingling hurt.

The Marcos dictatorship was toppled by the “People Power”, a mass movement that has become a trademark of the Filipinos in the world of politics, although, for a short period of time. It has purportedly become an embarrassment later for the Filipino people as those in the know were saying that it was a sham movement for democracy – a manipulated one, by the opportunistic people who habitually change their color to blend with whatever administration holds the reins of the government. Its sparkle waned after just four commemorations as those “originally” identified with the movement, carefully kept their distance from the people behind it, ashamed and feeling guilty that they have been part of the sham.

Today, corruption has just worsened, assuming a “free for all” semblance . The series of corrupt act starts at the time politicians campaign for position during which vote buying has shamelessly became the norm. This is followed by the blatant manipulation of budget involving non-governmental organizations, up to the point of padding of budgets for major infrastructure projects – all done by those whose seat in the government has been practically paid for in cash during the election.

While there are investigations going on, the barrage of accusations and denials that fill the airwaves and pages of print media is even made more circus-like by hearings that the Filipinos in general doubt will really achieve their goal. What the people perceive is the use of this hype in the legislative halls as tools to earn media mileage in favor of ambitious political personalities who would like to sit in the Malacaῆan Palace.

To make it short, democracy as supposedly an ideal governance failed in the Philippines.

Philippine Election: A Choice between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Philippine Election: A Choice between the Devil
and the Deep Blue Sea
by Apolinario Villalobos

The murky Philippine politics is such that the Filipinos are always left with a choice between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea…both bad enough, at the onset of election. The worse that can happen is inaction or abstinence on the part of the voters, which robs them, on the other hand, of their right to exercise their ultimate authority as citizens.

The eager candidates who are currently holding sensitive positions in the government who already want to earn mileage of exposure at the earliest allowable time, shamelessly use these to their advantage. The opposing parties on the other hand, move heaven and earth to demolish their reputation by bringing into light past graft cases or build new cases against them, based on allegation of cohorts. As a result, the valuable time of these officials are charged to the taxpayers while seemingly endless self-serving investigations go on, although, they reveal helpful information, at the same time. What is glaring is that both the investigated and the investigators have shares of guilt.

Part of the dirty tactic during election that has become a traditional practice is vote buying which made running for any position very expensive as those interested need to have millions to spare during the campaign period. Those lucky enough to get favorable results in this venture, try hard to recover whatever they have spent and even more. This gave rise to the popular adage that the easiest way to get rich is for one to enter politics. This could be true because those who joined the race and got blessed with overwhelming votes become rich even after just a couple of years in their position.

My statements may be general, although I know that there are still some in the political arena, very few who try hard to maintain a clean image. These are those who do not survive the rigorous occupation eventually, hence, bow out after just one term…I have talked to them.

Never Learned Lessons from the Past

NEVER   LEARNED   LESSONS   

FROM    PAST   MISTAKES

 

By   Apolinario Villalobos

 

The     most    significant   turning    point   in   the   history   of    the   Filipinos   was   the  toppling    down    of      the   dictatorship    of   the   late   Ferdinand   Marcos,    by    the    so-called   “People   Power”.   Many   Filipinos    regretted    their   lack   of   concern   and   failed    to   discern    the   creeping   onset    of   the    dictatorship.   There   was    no   vigilance.   The   trusting    culture   of    the   Filipinos   is   such,     that    they  allowed   an     authoritarian     to   rule   their    lives   for   more   than    ten    years,    before   they    were    jolted    from   a   deep    indifference    and    realize    their   mistake.

 

 

Posthaste,   Cory    Aquino,    the    opponent    of    Marcos    in   the    presidential    election,      and     wife    of    the   assassinated   Ninoy   Aquino   was   installed   based    on   the   election   results    that   were   supposedly   rigged    to   favor   Marcos.    But    not    all    participants    to    the    political    tableau   were   satisfied.    Those   who   showed    disgust   were    open    about   their     apprehensions.    They   expected    that    the    inexperience    of   Mrs.    Aquino    in     Philippine   politics       would   just  be   exploited    by  the   seasoned  and    shrewd     politicians    who     have      hidden    and   selfish    agenda.   True   enough,    the    good      impression     on   the   Cory   administration   did   not   last   and   those   with   hidden  agenda  were   unmasked.   After     Cory   Aquino,   came    Fidel   Ramos,   Joseph    Estrada,   Gloria    Arroyo,   and   currently,    Benigno   Aquino   III,   son   of    Cory   Aquino.   

 

Today,     the    Filipinos     are  practically   wallowing   in     misery,   and  for  that  they are   blaming   the   government.   But   who  put   those  greedy  people  in  their  posts,  anyway?  Filipinos  failed   to   put   to   good   use   one   important   tool   of   democracy  –  election.    That  tool   is   supposed   to  give   them  the   power   to  choose  the   right   people   who  are expected   to   champion  different   causes   of   the  various   ethnic   groups   that   comprise     a proud   race.   That  power puts everyone  on    equal  footing  regardless of  social   and  financial   status  in society.  Unfortunately,     that    opportunity    is    blown   time    and   again    because    of    the    greedy    desire    to   exchange    such   “power”    with   a   few    hundred   of   pesos    every    election    day.

 

 

Filipinos    refuse    to    see    the   truth,   that     their     decision   come  election  time    is swayed   by   either   money  or  impression.   When   before,  Filipinos   in  general,   look  at   electoral  bribery   with  disgust  and  discussed  only  among      peers  and  used   as  a  dirty   accusation,   after  the  Marcos  administration,   such  subject   has   become    a  common topic  during   campaigns,   with  constituents  comparing  amounts  given  by  candidates.   On  the   other   hand,  those   who  belong  to  the   financially  better-off   group   of   voters,      base    their   impression      on  the  eloquence  of   candidates  in  mumbling   promises,   aside   from   the    tract  record  of     their   families    in     the    political   game,  a   practice    conveniently   tagged  as     perpetuation     of     political   dynasty.

 

 

Filipinos    are   emotionally  carried  by  sad     stories     about   “martyred”   father  or   mother     of     candidates    for  the  sake  of   the  country.     They      are   captivated   by   fluently   delivered   speeches   in      different   dialects.   They      are   mesmerized   by   the   seemingly   permanent   smile  of  pretty      candidates.     They    are   spellbound   by the  regal   bearing  of  candidates   who      suddenly   emerged    from    the  glittering   show business       world.     They      are   awed   by   the   mathematical   geniuses   who   promised  billions,   even   trillions  for   the  government’s   coffer   if   given   the   chance   to   steer   the   country   towards   the     vast   international       commercial  arena.

 

 

And    speaking    of    commerce,   there   is   a    fast    advancing    move    of    the   congress    to   amend    the   economic    provision   of    the   Philippine   Constitution    by    inserting   the   “unless,   otherwise,   provided    by   law”.    That    simple    amendment    is    supposed    to   invigorate    the   apathetic    performance    of    the   nation’s    economy,    as   foreign   investors    are    expected   to   flock   to   the   Philippine   shores,    by    then.    It’s    funny,    but    even    without    such    amendment,    foreigners    have   already    been   flocking   to    the    shores    of    the   country   for    the   black   sands    and   nickel –rich    soil    transported    out    on   big   ships    to    China.  So,    who   are   these    congressmen   fooling?    Who   formulates    the   law,   anyway?   What    will   stop   them   from   formulating   laws    that   will   favor    their    interests,    and   worse,    extend    their    term    by   inserting   fine   words      that    will    indicate    the   “economic     necessity”    of    such    extension?

 

 

The   ongoing    investigation   on   the   anomalous    dispensing   of   the   people’s    money,    known    as    the   pork     barrel    scandal,    says    it   all.   Lately,    even   the   people    that    surround    the   president    doubt    if    the    investigation    could   be   capped    with     the      departure      of      Pnoy   from        the   palace    by-the-Pasig     river.   Will     the    next    president    have    the   heart    to   go   on   with   such    investigation?    Some   observers   are    looking    at    the   investigation   as   some   kind   of   zarzuela,   where    participants    deliver   speeches   with   a   wink.

 

 

Law   makers    will   always    find   a   way   to   get    hold   of   the   people’s    money   by   all   possible   means.   Despite    the   declaration   of    the   Department    of    the   Budget    and   Management   (DBM)     that    the    pork    barrel   is    a   thing    of    the   past,   the   Congress   circumvented    the   blocking  restrictive   system    as   manifested   in   the   already   approved    budget,   by   coming   up   with   a   deceptive    form   which    the   representatives    can     fill    up    to   indicate    their    recommended    beneficiaries    of     their    projects    and   preferred    implementing   non-governmental  organization  (NGO).   Of   course,   the   congress   leadership   vehemently   denies   it,   despite   the   form’s   having   been   shown   by   a   seemingly   “honest”   congressman   on    TV.   Noticeably,    the   form    which    has    already    been    distributed   among   the   congressmen,   according   to   the   whistle   blower,     has    no   letterhead! Most    importantly,   who   will    know    if     conduit    NGOs     have     handed    out    cash    rebates,   perhaps,   a   few    months   after    the    liquidation   of    project   expenditures?   Unlike   bread,   cash   does   not   become   stale    despite   months    of   safekeeping.

 

 

Again,   all    that    the   Filipinos      can   do   now   is   mumble    a   painful     regret  and      draw    a   heavy   sigh   for   the   mistake    committed….again.   Good    thing    the   Filipinos   do   not   have   the   painful   habit    of   beating    their   chest,   or   their   head,   or   pull    their   hair,   or   cut   their   skin,   every   time   they  are  in     distress   brought   by   a    regrettable   act    or   sorrow,    otherwise,    most    of    them   would     have       been   disfigured   or  maimed  a   long   time    ago,   yet.