Opinions

Of Political Cynicism and Everything in Between

image courtesy of dutertecayetano.com

Political cynicism is recognized as an important political sentiment, only a handful of Filipinos know and realize this.

Cynicism defines as:
An attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others’ motives. (Wikipedia)
Political Cynicism defines as:
“Mistrust generalized from particular leaders or political groups to the political process as a whole – a process perceived to corrupt the persons who participate in it and that draws corrupt persons as participants.” (Cappella and Jamieson)

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Political dynasties, nepotism, bribery, abuse & misuse of government resources, premature campaigning and a lot of other prohibitions are already prescribed and stipulated in the constitution. That being the case, all public servants, whether elected or appointed are expected to adhere to it, yet reality tells us that most, if not all of the prohibitions are not followed by the public servants.

This necessitated the filing of the “Sincerity Bills“. Unfortunately, our “Brilliant“(sic) legislators seem to have conveniently forgotten to pass them for enactment, for several years now. The thing is, if it is already stipulated in the constitution, then all it requires is implementation. But since our public servants have mastered finding workarounds, thus, what was mandated by the constitution got trashed.

To make things worse, the electorate do not give a damn if the public servants make a mockery of the constitution. For them, having their chosen candidates win is of utmost importance. They would even defend their candidates from criticisms for violating the constitution. The irony here is that, they say they want “change” that’s why they chose those specific candidates, much to the chagrin of Filipinos who know that the constitution is supreme and above all and must be followed to the letter.

Realistically and cynically speaking, even if the “Sincerity Bills”(FOI, Anti-Political Dynasty, Anti-Premature Campaigning & Anti-EPAL Bills) are passed, there is no guarantee that it will be enacted and implemented. Just look at all those legislated bills that were never enacted until now. And to complicate matters, there is this thing called: vetoing powers of both the Chief Executive and the Legislative.

For example, the “Magna Carta for the Poor” and the salary increase for nurses were already legislated and were just awaiting enactment, but former President Aquino vetoed those bills at least twice.

There is also the Judiciary that determines whether a bill is constitutional or not. For the information of the people, sometime in 2013, the Supreme Court issued a final and executory verdict that it is constitutional for NAPOCOR to pass on their 6 billion debt to the consumers, even though the poor consumers had nothing to do with NAPOCOR’s contract with its suppliers.

The same thing goes for our MERALCO bills. This explains why our electricity bills are quite exorbitant. If you would look at your MERALCO bill, you would see a lot of charges and taxes imposed upon the consumers. You’d be surprised to find that you’re also charged with missionary tax, whatever that may be.

So am I saying that there is no hope for us children of a “lesser God”? Of course not. I am merely pointing out prevailing realities in our current socio-economic & political scenario.

Now here’s the good news. Through a people’s initiative, the people can exercise the power to legislate bills which they deem beneficial to them. Such bills can be drafted, signed by millions of Filipinos and submitted to Congress for legislation and enactment. If say, a bill was signed by more than 16 million Filipinos, this will compel both the Executive & Legislative branches to immediately act upon it. It is easier said than done but it is viable and doable.

Personally, I prefer to have all public servants sign a covenant treaty which stipulates among other things:

  • All public servants, elected and appointed are required to uphold the constitution and the prevailing Laws of the Land at all times to the letter and that non-compliance merits automatic corresponding penalties as prescribed by Law.
  • Violation of the covenant shall also merit perpetual disqualification from seeking public office.
  • The public must be furnished with copies of the signed covenant or must have access to see them.
  • The people must have access to whatever allocation of public funds on projects. Public funds expenditures must not be hidden from public scrutiny.
  • All public servants are required to submit a detailed Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the past five (5) years prior to assumption of public office and the public must have access to the information contained in the SALN. Non-compliance shall be meted corresponding penalties as prescribed by Law.

Now, with this in place, it will compel all public servants to act accordingly and put them in their rightful place.

Sounds good does it?

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