‘That sounds like a bulls..t’

By Alex P. Vidal

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”— Plato

THIS story I summarized from “Aristotle and the Aardvark Go to the Washington” is timely for Filipino politicians who would soon be penalized if the law against balimbing or turncoatism was passed in congress.

There is no need actually for this bill, sponsored by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo known as Anti-Turncoatism bill, to be tackled in the House of Representatives.

It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and time which can be best utilized for other meritorious ad urgent pro-people and pro-progress measures.

Mrs. Arroyo explained in the bill’s note: “Our history tells us that political parties in the Philippines are normally used only as political vehicles to win an election. Hence, most political aspirants change political parties for convenience rather than because of conviction.”

Dr. Maugan Mosaid confirmed in MindaNews that a similar bill dubbed “Anti-Balimbing” (Senate Bill No. 3214), co-authored by the late Sen Edgardo J. Angara and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, has been pending in the Senate since 2012. Mosaid said Sen. Angara expressed the opinion that the present multi-party system is confusing and encourages turncoatism.


“Since party alliances are allowed it is easy for any politician to switch to the political party in power. As a result, political loyalty or adherence to political ideology and conviction is not the guiding principle of the turncoats but partisan interest,” wrote Mosaid.

Both bills seek to impose stiffer penalties for turncoats and to prevent them from running under their new political party in the election immediately succeeding such transfer. They are likewise prohibited from holding public positions under their new party.

What springs to our minds–and occasionally our lips–just about every time we hear a politico or pundit deliver a speech or give a press conference or hold forth on some Sunday-morning show is “that sounds like a bullshit!”

It was election time again, so a senatorial candidate decided to go to the local reservation to gather support from the Native Americans.

They were all assembled in the council hall to hear his speech.

As the candidate worked up to his finale, the crowd was getting increasingly excited. “I promise better education opportunities for Native Americans!” he declared.

And the crowd went wild, shouting “Hoya! Hoya!”

Encouraged by their enthusiasm, the candidate shouted, “I promise gambling reforms to allow a casino on the reservation!”

“Hoya! Hoya!” cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

“I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for Native American!”

The crowd reached a frenzied pitch, shouting, “Hoya! Hoya! Hoya!”

After the speech, the politician was touring the reservation and saw a herd of cattle.

Feigning interest in the livestock, he asked the chief if he could get a closer look at the herd.

“Sure,” the chief said, “but be careful not to step in the hoya.”


“You can lead. Just like me.” — Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, delivering an inspiring farewell speech on April 5 as she bid goodbye to politics. Announcing her surprise resignation in January, Ardern said she had “no more in the tank” after five years in power and would not seek reelection in the October polls.

NBA’s Miami Heat sheds FTX from its arena’s name. The team’s home arena is getting rid of FTX in its name, months after the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange collapsed in a dramatic fashion.

CNN has reported that Rupert Murdoch’s engagement with Ann Lesley Smith is called off. Less than a month after announcing their engagement, sources say the 92-year-old media mogul and Smith are no longer tying the knot.

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