PAMPANGA

Sula: Angie's wish

Commentary

I BUMPED into Councilor Angie Hizon over the weekend at a breakfast reunion with old friends in the city government, mostly allies of Dr. Rey Aquino, former city mayor, former congressman and former PhilHealth president. (Disclosure: He is not running but an unverified report from a colleague says he's secured a COC form. It must have alarmed some people).

Anyway, over a menu of tuna fish, fried eggs and the lowly tinapas, the conversation suddenly drifted, as usual, to politics, given the conducive season and some of the people around who were either has beens, never beens or wannabees.

For some reason, Angie expressed hope that better people would be leaders in public governance.

I jumped right away into the fray and bluntly commented that the kind of people she wished were in government were not in politics but could be probably found in the church.

And I wasn't referring to any particular denomination but rather being figurative of the place where she could probably get the answer to her longing for the right people.

I could somehow sense where she was coming. Angie, if am not mistaken, is a descendant of a Kampapangan hero, Gen. Maximino Hizon.

The genes must have bothered her conscience. Her wish could only be interpreted as an oblique commentary on the state of affairs in governance where she is at. Or it's just pure, even biased, perception in which case, she could be wrong. She'll be running for vice mayor next year.

Whether that's part of realism or idealism, it's hard to say. I overheard someone say, with more women joining politics, Angie might as well work on an ideological theme of women empowerment to get to where she wants.

I cautioned that, in today's politics, especially in local settings, running on the basis of ideology is a zero sum game. Most electorates, especially in the light of the last barangay elections, vote with their stomach or pockets. Otherwise, forget it.

Someone joked that it would be a battle between hotdogs and "kuryente" in the vice mayoralty race. What it means is that, idealism will have to take the backseat for a while to give way to realism or real politick. (Translation: Your idea is good but we need cash or kind).

Back in the day, good people (that is, principled and uncorrupted) entered politics with the same kind of idealism that Angie wish we have. Well, there still are. The problem is politics. People who get into it come out of it tainted, rightly or wrongly. (Corruption isn't just about money, but it's a give-away). A simple barometer is wealth. Honore de Balzac has an eternal clue: Behind a great wealth is a great crime. You don't have to look far.

If Angie wins, she has a lot of things to do, considering the whispers, to make her deep wish come true. Charity begins at home.


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