A brighter Congress Christmas

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Thursday, December 19, 2013

MAY the star of Bethlehem shine upon Congress so that our legislators will emulate the Messiah in thought, words and action. Their hour of redemption should come like an apocalyptic sword so that they can be co-redeemers in restoring faith, unity and prosperity for the Republic of the Philippines that legally belongs to the Filipino people.

A good friend told me that 80 percent of our senators and congressmen are graduates of UP, Ateneo and La Salle. Sixty percent of them have finished Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree in Harvard, MIT, Sunhearts, Oxford and AIM. We would like to believe that 87 percent of our top bureaucrats are Career Executives (CESO, CSEE, and MNSA). How are they performing in office? We are just asking with honor.

This is Christmas Season and the Celebrator is Jesus Christ. Can our legislators be like Christ? In a birthday celebration, like Christ’s birthday, we always ask ourselves, “What could be the best gift for the celebrator? What does the celebrator want?” In Christ’s birthday, he wants us to sin no more. He wants reconciliation with justice. He wants forgiveness with kindness. He wants us to be like him. We cannot celebrate Christmas if we do not share the hopes, dreams, wishes and aspirations of the Celebrator.

Our bicameral legislature, the Philippine Congress (a lawmaking body) is composed of two houses, the upper house (Senate) and the lower house (House of Representatives). Each congressman in the lower house represents his district and he brings the concerns of the residents in the HR to be addressed through legislation. Our senators represent the collective Filipino people and address the concern of the entire country.

This is Christmas season and we want our legislators to offer the Filipinos a credible Christmas present not just this December but for the next 365 days and other sets of 365 days to come. Could we expect the genuine brand of service? It could be based on what Albert Einstein said, “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.” Can our legislators be an Einstein in their life?

We want congressmen and senators to live a life of value. Patriotism and nationalism or this “love of country” could be imparted without looking at own political parties. We can start loving our country by asking our conscience how government funds will be used. Friendliness doesn’t just mean alliance for a common interest. It could also mean leaving the interest of a friend for the Filipino people. Creativity should go with how you impose taxes. The poor and the underprivileged have suffered so much. The rich and the famous should also pay what is due them.

Sacrifice could also mean working for good laws without maneuvering on how you can have pork barrel again. You have to fast from flesh and material desire to extend sympathy to those who have been victims of circumstance. Fairness is the equal distribution of budget. This country is not only populated by the investors and the consumers. We have the indigenous people and the Bangsamoro who have been neglected because of the economics of Metro Manila.

Honesty should not just be a game of thrones. It should be the way in Congress. Patience should become an ingredient in the 2016 elections. Don’t be like the Borgias who killed for honor. Integrity should be the candle of life of all politicians. You cannot preach what you don’t live.

You have to walk your talk. Team work is necessary to reach a goal. Those who fail to work as one will end by losing a precious opportunity to showcase the work of many. Humility should be the flavor of leadership. The last should be the first and the first should be the last. Jesus Christ demonstrated humility before the world and before his father.

We pray that our senators and congressmen could be like lighted Christmas candles. The darker the night, the brighter they shine. They do not make noise about their brightness and do not lose their brightness by sharing it with others. Let nothing overwhelm your light. Keep on burning and inspiring your constituents. You are the light of Christ.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 19, 2013.


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