Stars in politics-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
ONE phenomenon that could only be true in our country is the attraction politics has to celebrities. The Commisssion on Elections (Comelec) has listed “at least 14 showbiz personalities” as having filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) for the post of members of the 16th Congress in next year’s elections. At least four of them are reelectionists.
An official of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reform said that the influx of celebrities seeking elective posts in the coming elections is not bad or objectionable at all. The only issue against these stars’ entry is that many of them lack the experience. Ramon Casiple, the institute’s executive director said that work in Congress requires “a grasp of both national and local legislative work and requirements.”
It has, of course, been the experience of our people in the past that those who have achieved prominence and made a name in show business are able to gain popular support once they seek an elective position. Examples are past candidates like the late Fernando Poe Jr., Joseph Estrada, Vilma Santos, and a host of lesser stars.
We are a people who attach too much weight on name and public position. It does not matter if the individual did well or not while in the public eye. Thus, it should not be any wonder that many “celebrities” seek public positions now because our citizenry is believed not to mind who they vote for, as long as he or she is a person publicly familiar to them.
But then, there are also showbiz people who deserve to be supported for the particular positions they choose to get. Some of the current aspirants to a congressional seat who are not reelectionist may deserve to have their mettle tested. They include Aga Muhlach, who is an award-winning actor; Imelda Papin, a singer who was once vice governor of Camarines Sur; Shalani Soledad-Romulo, who was a city councilor and is working on television. She has became more prominent as wife of Pasig City lawmaker Roman Romulo.
Other celebrities who our voters next year might want to give another opportunity to prove their capability to serve the country as lawmakers would be Christopher de Leon, a well-known actor who is also an incumbent Provincial Board member of Batangas, and Joel Lamangan, an award-winning film and television director, one of whose films was the story of domestic helper Flor Contemplacion who was hanged in Singapore. And then, of course, there is Joey Marquez, former mayor of Paranaque City.
Indeed, the elections in May 2013 is worth looking forward to, if only to find out whether popular names and politics do make a palatable mix, and spell political success.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2012.