A dislike for politicians

By Alex P. Vidal

“I don’t like politicians, and I don’t like politics. I definitely don’t want to be associated with any of them.”—Steven Wright

WE beg to disagree with those who were quick to exhort President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to appoint an educator over a politician to be the next secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).

But we empathize with the fact that they have overriding angst and misgivings about politicians. The education department, for them, is a serious learning institution, not a parlor game.

Those pushing for non-politician prospects definitely do not want another Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is being groomed by her allies to be their standard bearer in the 2028 presidential election in the Philippines.

Because of her tag and reputation, Vice President Duterte-Carpio has been zeroed in as a politician through and through.

They want an educator who rose from the ranks and who will never tackle and indulge in political issues and activities except purely about education? Fine.


Politicians are also good except that society has been largely biased against them owing to their inferior public approval ratings. The problem is politicians are deemed to be corrupt and self-centered.

They are always suspected of using the cabinet portfolios to deodorize their image for future ambitions in higher elective posts first, and to promote the interest of the agency or department they represent second.

As cabinet honchos, politicians always almost attract negative vibrations.

But, in fact, it’s okay if another politician will take over the reigns of the DepEd as long as he or she is qualified and won’t digress from the policies and programs that geared toward the real issues and needs of the country’s educational system.

A politician as DepEd chief is fine as long as he or she will not bilk the national treasury with funds in the guise of “improving the quality of learning and educational infrastructure in the country.”


A politician in the helm of DepEd is acceptable as long as he or she will not demand and insist on obtaining dubious and irregular allocations like the scandalous and much-hated “intelligence fund.”

A politician could be an ideal DepEd boss if his or her family does not agitate to foment insurrection and undertake pesky rallies and annoying activities that humiliate and slander the president of the republic if they didn’t get what they wanted.

A cabinet position, after all, is not a permanent job. Cabinet officials serve at the pleasure of the president as the sole appointing authority. Thus, the appointment of an educator or career official isn’t mandatory in the cabinet; it depends, of course, on the discretion of the sitting president.

It’s okay for educators to be relegated to the deputy titles as long as they can buttress the office of the secretary with their expertise and knowledge and help make him or her as effective member of the president’s cabinet.


We can understand where the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) stand on the subject matter.

As educators, their basic principles and inherent values practically ranged opposite the direction of politicians like Mrs. Duterte-Carpio.

Let’s review TDC’s statement issued on June 20 where the group insisted DepEd must be led by a non-politician, or an individual not actively involved in partisan politics so the department can be “spared from political bickering” and “divisive political fighting.”

Benjo Basas, TDC chairperson, said he hoped the next DepEd secretary would have actual classroom experience and “whose heart is truly a teacher’s.”

He said: “Aside from this, the next secretary should be an excellent manager since that person will be managing the largest bureaucracy in the country, with the most personnel, the most geographically dispersed, and the greatest resources.”

Loud and clear.


A DANGEROUS HUSBAND IS A DANGEROUS FATHER. A husband who does not punch and kick his wife when he is extremely angry (especially when he is under the influence of liquor or drugs), can be the best and model father because he will never lay a hand on his children. A wife beater can also be a child abuser. Physical abuse in family must stop. Even animals don’t deserve brutality.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)