This one is getting ahead of the story. Nevertheless, I just like to dwell on our role, the people, towards guiding our leaders to the right path once they get elected to higher public positions. Like our very own Sen. Mar Roxas. I feel that the way things are turning out, Mar is destined for greater things. Like becoming the leader of our land. If only he played his cards well, many believe that he would be the next leader of 70 million or so Filipinos. But how can we ensure that he would not follow in the footsteps of his predecessors once he becomes President?
Indeed, why do our leaders turn bad after being in office for a while?
The answer could either be because of our defective system. Or we spoil them to the hilt!
Because of this, many of them ended up adopting a stubborn stance when confronted with critical situations, preferring instead to follow their instincts rather than listen to sound advises. They would rather indulge in illusions rather than embrace the “realistic” approach to problems.
…it is very important that we, the people, must serve as pressure to our leaders in guiding them to the right path.
Well, for one, our system is something that is capable of swallowing even the “noblest ones” in the profession called public service. It simply transforms -or it appears — people with the purest of intentions into becoming “manhid” or immune. Manhid to criticisms. Manhid to all the things that surround them. And once they are already in power, the more that they want to have more of it. They cling to it till their last breath. They don’t want, it seems, to exit gracefully. Kapit tuko. Till eternity and to hell with us all!
In short, it appears that running for and winning a public post can easily alter the persona of a particular individual. In short, public office has become so addicting!
And because of our too much admiration to our leaders, we try to be oblivious to their faults or their shortcomings. Pointing out their flaws, it seems, is a no-no. To become sip-sip is okey. Thus, with our condonation of their acts, our leaders can do what they want and are confident of not getting any forms of censure from us. Perhaps without knowing it, through our tolerance of their wrong-doings, we easily make monsters out of them!
That’s why it is very important that we, the people, must serve as pressure to our leaders in guiding them to the right path. Since I believe that public office is an art of compromise, the best we can do is to see to it that our leaders do not get embroiled in scandals of unimaginable proportion (like the P728-million fertilizer scam).
A local official has confessed to me once that he had to “bite the bullet” many times. This is the dilemma of our public officials. Everyday, throngs of people line up outside of their homes and offices asking for dole-outs. Much as he would like to discard such a wrong mentality, the local official said he had no recourse but to give in, especially after seeing the faces of his constituents that seem to be badly asking manna from heaven.
“Patay, bunyag, kasal (death, baptism and wedding).” These are three events which are supposed to be personal. But their “burden” is often placed on the shoulders of our elected public officials. With no extra amount to spare for these “extra activities,” our public officials are left with no choice but to dip their hands into public coffers. The cycle is usually repeated many times until it becomes of a habit for them to regard the people’s money as their own.
Under these circumstances, we the people, have become contributory to the kind of public officials we are churning out.
The late dictator Marcos was able to hold on to his post at all costs because we have allowed him to do so. With open arms, it seems. Until he was removed by people power through the EDSA revolt. But for almost 20 years or so, we the Filipino people have allowed ourselves to be at Marcos’ beck and call. Had we spoken out our minds earlier, enough for the whole sworld to hear, then we could have maintained our status as among the progressive countries in Asia.
Thus, if and when Mar Roxas becomes President, I will be among the first one to cheer and give him by unconditional support. I would also tell my relatives and friends to support him all the way. Having a Capiceño in Malacañang is the pride of all the people of Capiz regardless of their situations in life and regardless of their own biases and prejudices.
But on the same vein, I will also be among the first ones to tell Mar Roxas of his lapses, if there will be any. This, I strongly believe, is one way of “guiding him to the right path.”
Afterall, Mar, like anyone of us, is also human and is prone to commit mistakes.
by: Gerry T. Pagharion, Eye Opener, The Capiz Times
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