The system is the enemy-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
A FEW weeks ago, Visayan Daily Star columnist Modesto Sa-onoy wrote an article where he wondered how come some candidates of the Liberal Party in Bacolod City, myself included, could have thought of joining forces with Mr. Monico Puentevella's Pamilya MKK and how we could, as he coyly put it, dance and sing the same music and sleep in the same bed with him.
Like the rest of us, Mode Sa-onoy is free to voice out his opinion, more so because he writes an opinion column. But that question he raised does deserve an answer. Here it is.
There are only two candidates for mayor in the lone district of Bacolod - Thaddy Sayson and Monico Puentevella. We all have to choose between one or the other because one of them is going to be mayor after May 13, 2013. There was nothing personal in the choice that I took. It was strictly political, but not the way Mode saw it.
I have watched Monico's MKK and Thaddy's Grupo Progreso during the previous elections and I have always thought that there must be a better and cheaper way to get elected. The traditional way is fabulously expensive, way beyond what is legally allowed, but candidates have been told it's the surest way to win the election. Maybe so, but it also places many candidates in hock from the day they win the elections; and it's a very deep hole that the System pushes an erstwhile honest and idealistic candidate into.
Secondly, it deprives many people of a real freedom of choice, their votes being unduly influenced by leaders who are employed by the candidate. Thirdly, it enslaves even Mr. Candidate himself. After being sucked up by the System I daresay it's almost impossible to get out of it, never mind how strong one's idealism was in the beginning. It's not the best set-up from which to develop good governance and attempts must always be put forward to change it with something better.
Now why Monico and not Thaddy? Whatever may be the accusations of corruption or charges of impropriety against him, which Mode Sa-onoy is the first to admit has not yet been proven in court, Monico will be entering the Government Center clean - without campaign and political leaders employed under government payroll in confidential or casual/job-order positions, without the usual political and administrative baggage that a candidate who has already spent three terms inside the bureaucratic maze is inevitably prone to. For aspiring councilors like myself and for many of us in the Liberal Party, it will be easier to try to come up with a better system with Monico as the Mayor. We will at least be checking and balancing one person, and not have the whole, entrenched and well-oiled System-and-their-leader against us.
Thaddy Sayson is a decent man, I grant him that. But he is not the enemy, he is not the issue, he is not the problem. The System that has swallowed him is. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to dump the system without dumping everyone in it along.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 18, 2013.