The Weekly Inquirer Editorial

August 5, 2005

By Aurelio S. Agcaoili

There is one thing that we can call many of our leaders aside from the fact that they have become an abomination: they are empiric.

They offer us cause-effect analyses that are all without ground in good logic unless they now think of the logic of governance as always-already and only a case of self-preservation and advancing of one’s own self-interest. Charlatans these are—and they have no right to impose upon us what they think is the reason of all our social ills.

In the coming days, the charter change moves will govern our bland, blighted lives as a people. The moves will come in dizzying sway much like a dirty politician’s to-and-fro from one principle-less act to another one. Forget the bayan and the taumbayan—they do not matter. The cha-cha dance movements will one with the movements to assure the leaders of their perpetual entrenchment in power they do not deserve in the first place.

The cha-cha will be a grandiose excuse for the incurable mediocrity of our leaders.

Like the dance moves of the equally oppressed Latinos, the cha-cha will be a spectacle of foot-works left and right, forward and backward, and some splitting and encircling and negotiation of possibilities for accommodating all the actors on the political dance floor. The only argument they can draw up is, “The fundamental reason for all our troubles is that we do not have the correct form of government and that the only solution is to make us enact laws in a Parliamentary form of government.”

Oh well, what can we say? The big prevaricators have declaimed their piece.

The good honorable men and women of the Republic have spoken. Like the absolute power of the Vatican in terms of morals—Roma locuta est, the Pope would intone— they tell us.

As always, theirs is a political blackmail of the most terrible kind. We have a new Rome in our midst even as we watch our poor multiply like flies in summer and like mosquitoes with the dengue virus during the rainy season.

In the meantime, hunger will go on and people will die without ever seeing a doctor or without ever having tasted the fancy cappuccino at Starbucks on the enclaves of yuppies who have forgotten how to think for their people.

Like us immigrants before we decided to call it quits with the home country, the yuppies are busy looking for a way out of this national doldrums. It is now a case of peek-a-boo, or Jack-en-Poy, or “the country loves me/the country loves me not.” The educated and skilled young—the best resource any country can have—are not staying put but are taking the exit route and are going to eke out a life in far away lands.

Well, those who decide to remain, and there are only a few of them left, bravely and boldly take on the cudgels of surviving in a dog-eat-world that the country has already become.

Such is the picture perfect landscape that we have in the homeland—the homeland that has not been a heartland and soul-land for the many that have left: so beautiful in its misery, so miserable in its beauty. Take the ironies, the paradoxes, and the metaphors any the time. They all fit.

With the presidential espousal of the cha-cha, the abominable leaders will again pull the political strings. The curtains will open and the puppet show for the public commences once more. The gullible and uncritical masses will gobble up each praise release that these leaders’ public relations offices will churn out like pan cakes from that other multinational food giant that has damaged forever the taste buds of our children.

We have begun to see a resurrection of those who benefited from the Marcos Parliament during the dark days of dishonor that wreaked havoc on our political sensibilities.

Already we see a slant of the issues from all that bogs us down and doggedly we can only sigh and say, “Here we go again with this masquerade!”

What is wrong with the form of government we have at present is beyond us.

The honorable leaders without the honor have forgotten that they are to lead us into greatness and not to keep on tinkering with the Constitution.

These leaders ought instead to tinker with their brains, if they have; and their minds and souls, if they do still have them.

Like in the past, we are now beginning to suspect if we are electing the right people to represent us in the task of forming a government that takes regard of our common good.

These useless leaders are the problems—not the Constitution.

We may keep on changing the Constitution year-in and year-out but if we do not educate our leaders to lead us to greater heights, we are just wasting our precious resources. We might as well consider banishing those who have not done us any good but only to themselves. They do not deserve to be Filipinos anyway.

We change the fundamental law of the land but we allow the buaya to stay in the same waters, the fluvial fiesta and parade of thieves and liars and cheats will continue to haunt us for a long, long while yet.

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