Review your Roles

It seems we’re all too busy with businesses we’re not supposed to be busy with.

It had been all over the place. You have to admit; it’s quite a spectacle, something parallel with a crosscountry run, a climb on the walls of a skyscraper or that afterschool brawl between two hormone high prepubescent school kids. After all, it was a challenge. It was interesting enough that Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Salvador panelo, like a man in his own world and words, insistently denies the existence of a traffic crisis. Whatever the definition of crisis is, come on, we know what the word means tby context. Is crisis really a total paralysis? Is there completely no water when we have a water crisis? Was there totally no electricity everyday in the early 1990s power crisis? Was the United States totally paralyzed in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis? Are all economic activities paralyzed in an economic crisis? But I suppose, to each person, his own definition of crisis. But them again, crisis management would have much difficulty if a crisis only becomes so in total suspension of operations. What is there left to manage in such a situation?

What are our parts anyway? I mean, what is your individual part in this performance? Let’s take “presidential spokesperson”. I suppose that would mean, the role is to speak for the President, to relay the message of the President to the people through the media. That would imply that a presidential spokesperson’s statements are and should not be his own, but a transmission of the President’s messages. Therefore, the statements that the presidential spokesperson delivers should not be his own. This official should refrain from personal opinions and stands because his statements would be treated as those coming from the President himself. But with Atty. Panelo’s statements and actions, it seems these are representations of his own and not of the President. It seems that most of the time, he is relaying his own stand on matters.

(Trivia: Did you know that Atty. Salvador Panelo is a Bicolano, a native of Naga City? . It says so in his wiki page. I didn’t know that’s our kababayan up there is taking that challenge.)

Let’s take “party list representative”. I believe the role of such an official is legislation; and since a party list representative represents a party list which should be a marginalized sector, this representative’s role is to make laws for the benefit and welfare of the Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized sector which he/she represents. But at the onset the roles of the party list representative has become blurry since former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza assumed post as one. So, a marginalized citizen had been a mayor of Manila? From what margins is he from? Peasants? Fisherfolk? Persons with disability? Abuse victim? Then, what marginalized sector does Bagong Alyansang Makabayan represent? Militants? I don’t think they’re economically marginalized, not socially, not culturally. I guess they would qualify as “ideologically” marginalized. So, I guess, in that sense, they could be considered as socially and culturally marginalized.

Okay, let it slide. I suppose, the primary role of one representative who is representing BAYAN is to draft legislation in promotion of their ideology or in advocacy of the ideals they espouse. Would that include traffic? Well, I guess, if a person sees a social ill, it would not be good to be selective on the concerns which needs to be addressed. Okay, let it slide; maybe we can accept Representative Reyes’ passion for the traffic. But does his legislative roles include engagement in argument with another official such as a presidential spokesperson, over the media? Sometimes, senators extend their mandates in the guise of “aid to legislation”. But even that requires to be held in the proper forum. But does legislation, representation of a marginalized sector, aid to legislation include initiation of challeng to another government official to take public transport? Since the issue at hand is traffic, I suppose the exercise of the role is to draft legislation to solve problems in traffic.

So, is a presidential spokesperson expressing personal stands and views, and engaging in a verbal dispute with another government official to take public transport still doing his role, performing his job or doing what he really should do? Is a party list representative engaging in disputes with another government official, and taking on an amazing race with another official, still doing his role? Performing his task? Doing what he should do?

Let’s just go back to what we should do.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human” Colossians 3:23masters