Voters are allowed to lie, government is not
Well, voters don’t lie, exactly. But they don’t say what they REALLY want when they vote someone into office, because they don’t really know. They are electing an idea, a hope, a desire for improvement in their lives.
When they vote for change and action, they mean to make things work better, not to shoot my neighbor’s daughter and jam our jail cells full of young men who could be doing service for the nation.
Have you seen those jail cell photos? Talk about depressing, young men jammed together with no expression on their faces. The blank stares of lost hope. Talk about a waste of resources. That’s worse than forests being cut down. That’s the nation’s people being cut down.
Voters didn’t really vote for that.
That’s what I mean by a voter being allowed to lie. They vote for an ideal and the person winning the election gets to decide how to provide it. If they do it well, they are cheered, if they do it badly, they fall from favor.
Governments, on the other hand, are supposed to speak the truth. That’s why people demand Freedom of Information (FOI), so the games of the past can end. So government can show the financial books rather than hide them and hide the corrupt who are building haciendas on a hilltop. So people know their elected officials are doing good work, and they can trust them.
Governments are elected to serve the people, not manipulate them. Not serve up a plate of deceits.
That’s why I object to the Duterte Administration’s continuing use of an internet army to influence public perceptions of the President and . . . more deceitfully . . . its opponents.
A President, after all, serves not just his supporters, but those who did not vote for him. Even those who hate his guts. If they are citizens, the Constitution grants them the same rights as his supporters get, and the President takes an oath to fulfill the mandates of the Constitution. He does not take an oath to stop serving the yellows, or to disenfranchise them of their respect or rights. He ought not . . . if he is true to his oath . . . use his troll brigade to declare opponents as substandard Filipino citizens.
He also ought not have the deceivers peddling fake memes or videos because a senator wants to investigate the result of President’s policies . . . a whole lot of killings in the Philippines. He should respect the checks and balances of democracy. That’s the position he was running for. That’s the position he has, President of the democracy.
It takes courage to be honest. It takes conviction that one’s decisions are correct and legal and helpful. The President should demonstrate courage and conviction, I think. That’s what voters voted for.
A senator has rights and responsibilities, and the President ought to be the first guy defending them. He ought not be encouraging or directing a program that tells the people lies about the senator. That is disrespectful of the senator and democracy. And the people.
I also think the President is being dishonest when he demands that drug dealers be killed if they resist arrest, then refuses to visit the coffins of the innocents killed in the crossfire. It is dishonest because he is denying the grief attached to the killings. He seals himself off from it. Calls it drama.
He should learn to live with the grief, because there is a lot of it going around in the Philippines these days. They are citizens crying, to the depths of their soul they are crying. He serves them. He does not make the grief go away by pretending it does not exist, by thinking that his cause is so good that he does not need to attend to the grief.
There are other examples that perhaps this government does not prize straight-dealing. Saying one thing, then saying something quite different later on. DFA Secretary Yasay ought to be saying the same thing to ASEAN that he tells the press here, or that he says to US diplomats, or Chinese diplomats. The arbitration findings either mean something important, or they do not. You can’t cut it both ways.
The nation needs honesty most when it is undergoing the most change. If it is going to adopt a new Constitution, it ought to be written through the honest and earnest effort of independent and non-political experts. Not political game players, ESPECIALLY that pack of deceitful hoodlums in the House. Can you imagine turning the Constitution over to a democratic body that puts in place a fake minority because it can’t handle objections to its agenda? A minority that belongs to the majority?
It is important to have a real minority, a real counterpoint to maintain the checks and balances that keep a government HONEST.
Even if there is only one member of that minority voice.
It is important to be honest and earnest in re-writing the Constitution.
Transparency is good for a core reason, a core value.
Being straight with citizens is one of the highest values a President can aspire to, because then he is truly serving ALL the people.
I think the Duterte Administration needs to be straight with itself.
And stop gaming Filipino citizens.