Dateline seattle: Politicians as wolves in sheep’s clothing
When I was growing up aeons ago, the politicians I knew were men and women of character. They entered public life because they wanted to serve. They were principled and, for the most part, men and women of integrity. They disagreed among themselves, but they did not sell their souls even to the highest bidder. The names that come to mind are Soc Rodrigo, Jose Diokno, Lorenzo Tanada, Raul Manglapus, Tecla San Andres Ziga, Ramon Diaz, Jovito Salonga, Cesar Climaco, Emmanuel Pelaez, Ambrosio Padilla, to mention a few. They were not perfect, but they were not vindictive toward those who opposed them with vigor. They were truly concerned with the country’s welfare. Nowadays politicians in general strike me as playing games. They run for higher political office to gain power. Once they are elected, they are more interested in their own political survival and whatever financial gain they can get rather than serving their constituents. It hurts me to say that the majority of them are not worthy of public trust. Of course, there are a few exceptions, and they are indeed very few. It is a heartbreaking fact that many politicians today follow their leaders blindly. In many cases, their votes on many issues are decided via backroom deals. Perks are often promised by the leadership and the Filipino trait of pakikisama immediately comes into play. It’s the kind of pakikisama that is unprincipled, solely based on one’s self-preservation. This is the reason why I see in my crystal ball that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will be impeached. The “honorables” who will judge their “guilt” are not as honorable as they appear to be. The congressional allies of the president will never vote against the will of the latter, or it will be political suicide for them. They will never be guided by their conscience but by their political alliance and self-interest. Political isolation is the prize for not playing the game. And no brave soul will oppose the ruling party except for a few principled souls. But then they are in the minority. Many of these opportunist politicians do not think of what the adverse effects of their decision is. What matters to them is that they keep their committee chairmanships and that they are politically secure for the next election. It’s actually a case of “buy the people, fool the people and rob the people.” This is the game that many politicians play. It happens in the Senate, in the House of Representatives and down to the various local government units (LGUs). People know who these politicians are because they are easily corrupted. They lack the moral fortitude to resist fake news, fake charges and misleading pronouncements. If politics was once an honored profession during the time that I was growing up, now it is a game that many politicians play to satisfy their selfish ego. Prick their egos and they will come after you with vengeance and with their guns blazing. They think they can do anything they want because of the impunity accorded them. They are like wolves in sheep’s clothing with insatiable appetite for power and wealth.