Unprincipled Iloilo politicians

By Alex P. Vidal

“What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.”—Angela Davis

IF they deserted their former political parties and transferred en masse to the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) in order to kiss the ass of PFP boss, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., some Iloilo elected officials who took an oath under the PFP at the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel in Iloilo City June 2 have only succeeded in joining the infamous list of “unprincipled politicians” in the country.

We have nothing against the turncoats as long as they don’t steal and compromise their worthiness, effectiveness and credibility as elected leaders.

But like Pavlov’s dogs, some of these excited newly PFP converts will soon queue and salivate for favors from the new demigod, President Marcos Jr., in response to an arbitrary stimulus: I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.

Philippine politics is replete with political demagoguery and chimerical loyalty and subservience.

No principles. No independence. No shame. What a shame.

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Iloilo elected officials who stayed with their old political parties and refused to be swayed, intimidated, tempted and overwhelmed by the glitters of pelfs and Malacanang bonanza deserve accolades and respect from the Ilonggo community.

Few but quality and principled compared to plenty but would-be moronic asslickers and subservient toadies.

Politicians who are weak morally and have the temerity to easily discard political parties that pampered them not based on principle but principal, are no better than the Israelites who worshipped Baal, Astarte, Asherah, Chemosh, Dagon, Moloch, and Tammuz.

Four years of “happy days are here again” are enough for the opportunists and rapscallions and too short for independent, morally upright, dedicated and principled public servants.

Even if they are outside the kulambo, so to speak, loyal Ilonggo opposition partymates who refused to blink vis-a-vis the leading administration party’s grandeur and dominance think less of themselves and more of their constituents.

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They view public service with genuine erudition, profound humility and commitment to serve and sacrifice. They quickly eschew any mass recruitment to abandon the ship for self aggrandizement.

These loyal Ilonggo opposition partymates see their primordial role to prioritize the people’s well-being bigger and higher than personal ambition, political security and convenience—the malady that’s eating up the moral carcasses of most politicians in the country today.

We salute these Iloilo elected leaders who opted to remain in the opposition party.

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Senator Francis Tolentino is not a good role model.

In fact, if it is true that he used—or has been using—motorcycle-riding Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personnel as escorts when he travels, he is really abusive and a shame and embarrassment.

When these escorts were recently arrested by the police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) for moonlighting and for “impersonating cops”, the senator blew his top and condemned the arresting officers.

Tolentino must be thinking he is above the law and special.

In Hiligaynon, we call his haughtiness and brashness as “waslik poder” or abuse of power.

Even President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has restricted the use of sirens and blinkers to the official vehicles of law enforcement agencies, the military, ambulances and fire trucks.

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

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