POLITICAL SOUND BYTES
Years ago, then President Ferdinand Marcos promised, “This country will be great again!” Thereafter, he declared Martial Law and hell broke loose. Succeeding leaders followed suit with their respective vows. Former President Cory Aquino swore to restore democracy while wielding dictatorial powers through a revolutionary government. It was President Fidel Ramos who was the only chief executive who made it big without issuing guarantees, and yet his government shielded the country from the backlash of economic disaster in the region.
Former President Erap Estrada crowed during his inauguration that his administration will not kowtow or compromise with anyone, be they friends, relatives or family. Well, he was removed from office and even incarcerated because of them. His successor President Gloria Arroyo pledged to make the country a strong republic only to see her minions allegedly take advantage of government coffers thereby weakening the nation’s moral fiber.
Sometime ago, Senator Miriam promised to kill anyone first who threatens her. Of course, her camp would reason out that it was just one of several jokes and punch-liners of the feisty legislator. This was followed by the exhortation of President Aquino that he would volunteer to be run over by train should the proposed railway system fail to become a reality. The railway never materialized but his spokesman insinuated to those who heard the presidential promise that it should not be taken literally.
During the campaign period, the people are treated to a coterie of these expressive promises, ranging from one mother statement to another. Even political ads contain brazen claims that are more fiction than real. Sound bytes from candidates resort to morbidity to catch attention, at times bordering on the macabre to up the ante.
At the end of the day, when it is time for reckoning, their respective camps would just issue a rejoinder or possibly ignore their constituencies. But if they cannot respond to an in-your-face expression, they would just quip and advise the people not to take the promises literally.
If nuisance candidates or those with questionable credentials spoke these matters, it would be understandable since nobody believes in them anyway. But if these are promises made by those considered as serious personalities, they who are elected or appointed in government service, in other words, they who are sustained by peoples tax money, then it would only mean that they are merely trying to fool their listeners. And this does not auger well to people whose future, peace and destiny they have cusped on their hands.
It would only be an invitation for people to get back at them, well, not in a violent manner like what the rebels and insurgents are doing, but more subtle like mocking them, poking fun or if one is considered an active netizen, to just invent some memes and there goes bashing. They will be pictured as unscrupulous, dishonest and deceitful. As a matter of fact, they are all of the same feathers anyway as the communal belief goes.
They all wanted to transform the Philippines into a developed country where people will be prosperous, peaceful and with a flourishing economy. But none in their pledges talk about these concerns except prayers that once they are elected, things would bind in their proper places.
One candidate promises to use his former turf as template as if it is possible; another wants to continue parental entertainment legacy; another invokes an uninspired straight path policy; another is plain and simple genocide. Of course, these are merely battle cries or propaganda materials. It meant nothing at all to address how the country should be governed properly.
There are no references on how they will govern the country to achieve a developed status. It would just be a rehash of an old script in bodavilandia. There is even no attempt to explain why countries like Israel, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, all of them on league with us sometime past, suddenly surged to become advanced and now, these countries would even challenge to share limelight among the world’s superpowers.
The most that we could hear from candidates when their backs are forced against the wall for an explanation and could no longer discuss how they will make the country prosperous, is to blame his countrymen, “ugaling talangka kasi tayo”, “puro kurap kaya mahirap”, “walang disiplina kasi tayo,” so on and so forth.
That blame game is of course diversionary. Jews as they say are also “ugaling talangka” but look at Israel today. It is one of the most advanced, prosperous and powerful nations in the world. Its economy is moving, surging ahead even if it is involved in war! China and Korea are saddled with issues on corruption but they are leading in the field of technology and on the verge of affluence for its people.
Filipinos are stickler when it comes to discipline. They are the most forthright citizens in another country. They subscribe to norms, rules and laws like instinct. They can even act and mimic anything from bird sound to Elvis Presley. Walang disiplina ang Pinoy? That is wrong.
He can only be blamed for electing people who do not know anything about governance. And BTW, that is his curse.