Carvajal: Fools over fools

Break Point

“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”


FIFTY TWO percent of Filipinos just self-rated themselves poor. Their condition is arguably the dire aftermath of political dynasties’ heretofore unchallenged exclusive control of the country’s cultural, political and economic resources. Thus people clamored to no avail for the implementation of the 1987 Constitution’s ban on political dynasties. And now they hope the new federal charter would include a self-executing ban.

But what do fools in Congress do? (I am partial to Anton Chekhov’s definition of a fool as one who “knows everything and understands nothing.”) They propose having no term limits for lawmakers on the assumption that if a patriarch can run for office forever his heirs will never succeed to the throne and dynasty ends.

This is too idiotic to be anything but self-serving. The incumbent can always stop running and ask a wife, son or daughter to run instead. Also, a wife, son or daughter can always run for other positions in government. That is exactly what the Binays, the Tupazes and the Gullases, to name a few, are doing now.

That there is already a built-in limit because voters are free not to vote an incumbent to another term is just as idiotic and self-serving. Dynasty politicians know very well that they alone have the financial resources to entertain, cheat, intimidate and buy their way into the votes of an economically dependent electorate. There is no built-in limit when our (mock?) elections are won by a politician’s dirty money and not by any mature political choice of voters.

It is insulting of fools in Congress to think they can get away with no-term-limits for those two reasons. Yet sadly, they would be right because they know Filipinos have always been foolish enough not to break the chains of their bondage to fools in government who “revere the chains” of their greed for wealth and power.

If the left-right political opposition, the Catholic hierarchy, and mainstream media are silent, they too are fools. It proves that their anti-Duterte stance is for securing their vested interests and not the people’s welfare.

Even President Duterte would be a fool himself not to instruct his allies in congress to kill this proposal. Without a self-executing ban on political dynasties, or its equivalent (genuine party system and proportionate representation) shifting to federalism makes no sense at all.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Fools will multiply when the wise are silent.” We must oppose Arroyo’s folly or we are truly a nation of fools. Fools who “revere the chains” of economic bondage are ruled by fools (political patrons) who “revere the chains” of their greed and ambition.


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