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EDITORIAL: Good vs bad politicians

BY NOON of June 30, 2019, the newly elected local officials, from the governor to mayor and members of the provincial boards and city and municipal councils shall be taking over their posts, even at this time that it falls on a Sunday. The posts will be vacated by the outgoing local officials, as provided for by the Local Government Code that specifies the terms of office of these elective officials. Their offices, especially for the executive officials, such as governor and mayor, shall not be left abandoned or vacant and the incoming ones should henceforth be held responsible for any eventuality that may transpire within that period, though not necessarily those regular administrative functions that may be discharged as they were under normal conditions.

Now that we have new incoming officials and old ones that we have re-elected, it doesn’t mean at all that we have better things coming, relatively better than the last administration. For such was the same prayer that we recited when we put in place the now outgoing leadership or administration.

To be sure, the four kinds of Filipino politicians that we are aware of will be taking over the various posts in the different provincial capitols, and municipal and city halls throughout the country. These are the old (from traditional political families) and conservative, old and progressive, new and conservative, and new and progressive. To which kind your governor or mayor belongs, God bless your community.

In the present context, our politicians (that now will be occupying their respective posts) are categorized either as a genuine alternative politician (guapo) which is rare, or trapo, meaning traditional politician that we hate (but could not get away with because of their power and wealth on one hand and the lack of discernment and wise use of the ballot by majority of our voters on the other).

A trapo, that never runs out of supply, is described by the Institute for Popular Democracy as self-centered, creating laws favorable to oneself, abuses power to gain property or grab land, and put relatives into office (Does that speak of your governor or mayor or even municipal or city councilor?) A guapo (or pogi) on the other hand, leads by example and involves the entire community in the decision-making process of governance.

Be that as it may, it behooves upon our citizens to be critical of our local officials in the discharge of their duties and in making decisions using or expropriating our taxpayers’ money. At the same time, it is also incumbent upon us, as citizens, to be productive partners of the government by, for example, obeying religiously all the laws and ordinances, paying our taxes honestly, and observing discipline inside and outside of our homes. Governance should always be a two-way street so that there would be peace and order and true progress, with those going astray to suffer for themselves the dire consequences.

It will be good for us to be optimistic and positive thinkers sometimes, hoping that some good things will come our way. While it is true that many of our leaders are in politics for personal gain, there are also those who enter politics with the real desire to serve the public. In fact, one’s ambition to step into a higher level of public service should be motivation enough for a politician to do his job well.

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