Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The rule of mediocrity in Philippine democracy

IN a democracy like the Philippines, the majority rules. If the majority is mad, then the sane should be institutionalized – unless the sane people boot out those who persist in making this a mad country.
A true hero of EDSA 1 (it’s no longer called EDSA People Power Revolution for obvious reasons), retired Lt. Antonio Sotelo, said that while there is corruption, mendicancy and mediocrity in government, these can be overcome if the people show outrage. Here’s his brief on the kind of government that we have to bear with:
“Look at our national government. It is full of liars. It can’t run a train whose technology dates back to the 18th century. It takes six stops with long queues in six stations to travel 1.5 kilometers. The roads it repairs are washed out on the first rain.
“We send athletes abroad, win no medals and the Head says they had done a good job. We are content with mediocrity.”
Ouch! Has our hero become a fault-finder? He was full of hopes and dreams when he led his squadron of fighter pilots to defect to the rebel side in 1986. He may still have his ideals but it looks like the hopes he nurtured after EDSA 1 have gone by the wayside. Why?
“Our country is a joke – a reflection of the quality of leaders we had and have,” he argued. Amen I say to this. When we have a BS for a president, what else can we expect?
|Then looking at the Mamasapano Massacre, General Sotelo said that the operation by the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police was “a comedy of errors from beginning to end” and that it exposed “the kind of people we are and the institutions we have.”
He questioned if the PNP could be expected to do a good job with such a serious task as going to war. He went on to cite the many controversies besetting the PNP, including reports that most of the rifle grenades used by the PNP-SAF in Mamasapano were defective.
“The PNP buys helicopters but it can’t even distinguish what is brand new from the used one. How can the PNP buy the proper armament when it can’t even purchase a usable rubber boat?” he lamented.
He urges the Filipino people to demonstrate their collective outrage at the ongoing corruption and mediocrity and government. However, he stopped short of telling how they should show their outrage. BS Aquino The Last has already indicated that he will cling to his post until his term expires on June 30, 2016. Can we, should we wait that long?
The Name Game
A bill in the House seeks to require the use of the middle name of a person in any government transaction not only for better identification but as a sign of honor and reverence to one’s mother. Sen. Franklin M. Drilon doesn’t need a law to do so. In all his press releases and official pronouncements, he always uses his middle initial “M.”
High officials usually use initials so in the case of Senator Drilon, he usually goes by the initials FMD. Unfortunately for him, “FMD” is better known as the initials for “Foot and Mouth Disease,” an ailment that’s associated with pigs and carabaos. Of course, some naughty minds also link FMD to politicians, but this was before Senator Drilon came around.
If there’s a government official who could be affected by the proposed law on the use of middle initial, it’s President Benigno Simeon Aquino. Note that he has never used his middle name “Cojuangco” or the initial “C.” Well, I’m sure many won’t complain about this. By insisting on using Benigno Simeon, he justifies the use of the highly descriptive and appropriate initials “BS.”
Incidentally, a bosom friend, fellow retired congressional reporter Bert de Guzman, made this observation on the names of sons of top officials:
“Ferdinand Marcos has Bongbong. Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino have Noynoy. Vice President Jojo Binay has Jun-Jun. Why is it that they’re so enamored with using double names?”
Search me. I really don’t know. Perhaps, I’ll have to ask Bernardo Bernardo. FB: Efren Limos Danao

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