The Philippine Senate: “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog”
It seems to me I can either zip my lip and remain silent, as so many notables do when regarding VP Binay’s escapades. Or I can stand up and speak for values, for ethics, for principles, for good and honorable deeds.
I mean, I’m wondering. Are you as disgusted as I am about the lack of character demonstrated by the Senate here in the Philippines? Does it seem to you to be a pack unprincipled, self-serving, non-performing hypocrites?
Like they are working for someone’s interest, but it isn’t yours?
It seems that way to me.
- They let an artifact who should be in jail dominate their agenda for political revenge. He and a few ambitious people seeking the presidency are about the only people in the nation who want to climb through the Mamasapano grief once again. In the name of politics. Meanwhile other important laws languish, the internationally acclaimed BBL being one of them.
- The senators play politics. Politics, entitlement, impunity. That’s what they do. Politics over principle, over service, over moving the nation up. It’s what they did in a SET ruling that ignored Philippine law in favor of international law. Even the best of the best, the most principled of them . . . Senator Bam Aquino . . . gave way. And along with his vote, hope for a different kind of national leadership dimmed.
- It looks like we will never get a National Land Use Law. It steps on too many entitled toes for the pandering political senators.
- Senator Pia Cayetano raged about the plight of poor women after a few of her stealthier colleagues, including a woman by the name of Senator Legarda, stripped 1.1 billion pesos and a lot of health out of RH Law funding . . . for the sake of their religion. Senator Cayetano is the same woman who is silent about presidential candidate Duterte’s crude behavior toward women, his philandering and objectifying and molesting. What nation do these women senators serve, I wonder? The Catholic nation only? The re-election nation? Or our nation?
- We see Senators Poe and Binay undermining Philippine institutions for political gain. They attack the Ombudsman, the courts, the DOJ, COMELEC, or any body that goes against their will. And at the end of the day, when we ask, “what does the Senate have to show for anything”, we find a raft of flawed, wordy, overly detailed, half-baked laws that they pawn off to Executive to execute, and then the senators stand back and snipe. How about working on a well run Senate institution before lecturing others on how to run their business? How about writing some really good, really important law.
- The senators passed a social security raise of P2,000 per beneficiary per month but stripped out the funding mechanism, thereby undermining the solvency of the fund. They let President Aquino bear the political heat defending the nation’s best interest because they did not have the courage to do so. They saw the bath water of political expedience during an election year and dumped the baby into the President’s lap. “Here’s a foundling bill, Mr. President.” Born of political game-playing.
- It is a body of actors and daughters, thieves and coup masters. As near as I can tell only four – Senators Angara, Villar, Recto and Aquino – are at least half-dedicated servants of public good. The rest . . . well, they show up if the television cameras will be there . . .
- Senator Pimentel’s political party would give us a murderous, lascivious autocrat as president and Pimentel has the gall to criticize Vice President Binay about stealing a few billion? As if money were more important than lives, laws, decency and human rights. I fully expect the PDP-Laban platform to read “Coming soon, a Death Squad in YOUR town!”
- I don’t even have to mention Senator Cayetano, trailing around behind Duterte like the clowns following the elephants at the circus sweeping up their sizable emanations. I wonder who will star Cayetano in the movie to be released soon entitled “The young and the ambitious”. Subtitled “Unprincipled self-dealers who can rationalize anything”.
- Two of the esteemed senatorial body remain in jail, even though the third escaped by playing the Supreme Court for a pack of fools. “He’s too old and frail to keep in jail”, the highest court in the land declared. They let him out so he could ransack the nation’s dignity. And the court’s integrity . . . in favor of entitlement and impunity. And people wonder why it is so hard to get people to follow laws hereabouts.
- Senator Sotto is leading the field of candidates for senate in 2016. He’s the plagiarist who put sotto-copy into our dialogue, stripped poor women of contraceptive protections, spends his lunch time being ridiculous on television and has written . . . what legislation, exactly . . . to build the nation? Not too far behind him in the polls is a boxing champ. Boy howdy, that will move the nation dramatically forward.
You know, while I’m being blunt, let me tell you that I’m sick of that diversionary argument. It is a dumbing down of the discussion. If the US Congress is a pack of self-serving puppets to corporate America, does that justify Philippine senators being self-serving and negligent, too?
That is the age-old trick of rationalizing bad behavior. Of doing the old “everyone else gets away with it, so why not us?”
Stand up. Face up. Deal with it. Integrity and accountability are what you assign to yourself. There is no comparison needed, other than to your own behavior, and your own principles, and your own accomplishments.
Can we kindly end this nationwide trend of trying to avoid accountability? Can we, ourselves, at least make an effort?
“Okay, so what do you expect, JoeBoy? You’re so smart.”
It’s not what I expect. It is what YOU ought to expect.
No, it is what you ought to DEMAND!
- You should demand that the Senate behave like the most sophisticated and advanced domestic diplomats on the face of the planet. Like a real upper house, like people of integrity, dignified, principled, ethical, where the well-being of the nation and respect for the principles of democracy are more important than the senators, as individuals.
- You should demand that they chair an Ethics Committee and hold themselves to proper behavior. You should demand that members who make their way to jail are stripped of any influence over any laws, for the shame they bring to the institution . . . and to keep them from having any say over the rest of us.
- You should demand that they stop spewing forth long lists of individual legislative claims that rarely happen. You should demand that they annually . . . collectively . . . draft a statement of highest NATIONAL PRIORITIES that stops old geezers and political opportunists from hijacking the agenda whilst the well-being of the nation goes suffering.
- You should demand that they figure out how to make laws more meaningful by focusing on profound policy. By stripping out the mind-boggling details and putting them into an agency so that laws keep up with the times. Like, kindly get the building code out of the national law and let an agency say what size nails we should use.
- You should demand that they be brave and do tough, important work instead of pandering to the entitled. Demand that they pass a National Land Use law that preserves open spaces and resources and puts some order to development and zoning regulations that are so haphazard today that it is risky to walk down the sidewalk of most cities. If there is a sidewalk.
You should demand that they work with a measure of honor, of patriotic priority, like soldiers in battle. Willing to sacrifice their own greed and ambition for us.
It isn’t that hard to do, really.
It’s just new for them.