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EDITORIAL: The Task is Simple

NOW that the dust have settled, and winners and losers have been exposed to be recognized, with new faces and old ones emerging to establish a new chapter in our worn-out political landscape, it is time for our people to hope for the better, or let them suffer more until the next election comes.

With rhetoric and promises of better days ahead already repeatedly aired, with various political platforms presented, and problems discussed as if solutions have been found, the people are once more left saying that they have heard them before, a déjà vu of awful things to come, and yet the vicious cycle is as sure to come as the next high tide because abnormal things have become the norm.

Certainly there were calls from both sides to, shall we say, end corruption while vote buying and other violations of election rules were rampant in the days prior to the actual voting. These new faces say they will bring hope and reform if they get elected, an old song that many have heard before in so many past elections, such that it makes doubtful whether a renewed call would bring any difference at all. Yes, promises of reform were echoed during every political exercise such as the election, only to be buried soonest by allegations of graft and corruption among the newly-elected occupants of, say, Malacanang, the House of Representatives, the provincial capitol, or the city hall.

The people needs more than just pledges to stamp out misbehavior and corruption. The newly-elected public officials must make an impression that indeed they mean business by translating their rhetoric into genuine political will. No grandstanding, but simply living and governing by example.

Our political leaders must realize that despite many elections nothing has changed but things have actually gotten worse with more people having no food to eat, no roof on their heads, and not even a shirt on their backs, with many dying because of malnutrition and disease, drugs and alcohol abuse out of despair and absence of decent work.

Our politicians always say that their utmost thrust is to overcome poverty and uphold a stable and prosperous life for the most number of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized. And that the bottom line is to continue to bring about more sustainable and equitable development. Such plain rhetoric. On the other hand, things could have been easier for our people’s prayers to be addressed and heard if our elected officials simply just do their jobs. No monkey business there, like robbing us blind and plundering our scant resources until the next election comes.

And we do not need smart or genius politicians to do our bidding. Their task is simple: do things that will help uplift the lives of our people. Nothing more complicated than that. When people are well fed, when they have house to live in, and enough income out of their decent employment to send their children to school, then there’s no way that politicians can buy their votes. As a direct result, corrupt practices and other malfeasance will be minimized into eventual oblivion, if not thrown out into outright cessation.

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