The Art of Government-A A +A
As I See It
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
THE late Msgr. Jose Silverio is always remembered for his impassioned sermons. His febrile statement against graft and corruption would sometimes send politicians out of the church during his Sunday mass sermon. Msgr. Joe was the parish priest of Silay (Parroquia de San Diego) from November 1987 up to May 20, 1988.
I could very well remember that one time we were in Sicogon Island Resort to help settle the dispute between the management and the fishermen. Both of us were volunteers for the BINHI-Chito Foundation Inc. "Our work here could have been the work of the people running the government. Where are they? Ah, they are there out working for their reelection. Politicians do not have art for art's sake." I could not understand him. "What do you mean by that?"
He started delivering his homily in front of me. "There should be art in everything. That art does not have to serve purposes taken from politics, religion, economics, and so on. Many of our politicians who are now running the government do not have skills in settling disputes. If the policemen cannot control the mob, they would send their private army. That is the way of the pagans, of the stone age people, of the beasts."
I admired his oratorical skill. "Art in government should have that intense desire to serve and it should be expressed with a politician's delight in God's will, not his own. The politician running the government should not only speak the right word in the proper place but also to abandon what was not said which is wrong at a deceiving moment."
I smiled at him so that he could release his tension. "Are you not aware that it has been programmed that politicians at all times should also think of self-preservation and their own survival?" He paced back and forth. "If a politician is not stupid, he will not just think of constructing basketball court, of distributing relief goods, of crowning pageant queens, and of shaking the hands of the disgusted population. He must have bright ideas for the survival of his constituents through employment, education, good health, and better facilities to boost economic activities in the area."
He added, "I am against the conversion of our farm lands to commercial and residential areas. We need good farms to be productive. We have to train our children to be ambitious farmers. We need more food. We are starving now and we will be starving more in the future. Malls and factories are good but they are just for fancy living. When we go hungry, we cannot just admire each other. We have to harvest farm products to continue living and existing. I do not want to see that the children of the future generation butcher each other just to see another day."
"Our government officials should also be meditative. They should not pray for comfort and wish for the destruction of their opponents. They should pray for guidance and for enlightenment. I do not want that their political greed to be the cause of their damnation. Bad politicians can only grow old but they will never grow up." I thought he would end there but he still made his final remarks.
"Art in the government can only be achieved if there is commitment in the heart, when there is beauty in the character, when there is love in the home, when there is order in the country, when there is peace in the world." Yes, we could have art and peace when we start now. After all, we are the government.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 23, 2013.