The game is on-A A +A
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NO OTHER game can be as entertaining but yet as deadly as Filipino-style politics. Its claim to uniqueness rests on the fact that the players always win while it is the spectators who lose by just watching.
What politicians play with and toss around is the ball of the power to control people’s lives for the politician’s own enjoyment and benefit. Every now and then the ball goes out to the spectators who then get a chance to hold the ball momentarily before throwing it back to the players so the game can go on. And so it does endlessly even as the spectators are getting hungry and restless on the sidelines.
How to win in the game is quite easy. You just spend as much of people’s money on yourself but reserve enough for projects that would lure people, with temporary relief of their suffering, into voting for you in the next elections. Opposing teams also make sure no spectator from the sidelines gets into the game so only the original players and their descendants get to play it.
As one can readily see, the more you numb yourself to the reality of your people’s suffering the better your chances of amassing wealth. And the more moneyed you are the faster your shame and self-respect go away and the more ready you become to go for the bigger and higher stakes in the next stage of the game.
Some people throw in their lot with the players in an effort to get a share of the loot. These would be the protégées of politicians and the vested interest groups politicians are working for. Most others, however, are content with watching the game.
They are the ones who stand to lose the most as politicians play with people’s jobs, education, health, houses and lands which disappear before the latter’s eyes as they ironically become the game’s cheering victims.
When does the game end? It doesn’t. Instead it is constantly and imaginatively being enhanced (party-list, anyone?). The only time it will stop is when spectators finally wise up and say, “enough.” A few are already saying it like the anti-epal and dilaab movement crowd among others. Unfortunately the great majority simply continue to look for their own little ways of benefitting from the game.
Meantime, as the game goes on, 246, 000 street children are being abused or subjected to child labor daily in the country, 41000 families of informal settlers, in Cebu City alone, are without safe, decent housing (as of Monday, World Habitat Day), basic social services are most inadequate, hunger stalks the countryside… to mention a few of the problems politicians leave in the wake of their game.
But tell that to the wind because the game is on, this time with a lot more fanfare and with old familiar names playing.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2012.