Carvajal: Praktikal

Break Point

“MAO ra man gihapon. Bisa’g kinsay imong iboto, korap ug way silbi. Adto na lang ko sa pinakadaku’g hatag nga kwarta. Praktikal na lang ba.”

You have probably overheard this, as I did from some Filipino voter. It saddens me to realize that we are where we are, in a most depressing political (elite rule), economic (non-inclusive) and cultural (dependency) place because enough voters (simple and otherwise decent folks forced to go on survival mode) go to the polls riding on the wings of this earthy and, yes, “praktikal” but fatal attitude.

This does not bode well for the results of the coming elections. I hope to be wrong, but the likes of Imee Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla are most likely to win in the coming elections for the simple reason that they have the resources to outbid rivals for the vote of “praktikal-na-lang” Filipinos.

They will win and will naturally recover their huge campaign expenses by siphoning to their deep pockets money that should go to improve the lives of not-so-practical-after-all Filipinos who voted for them.

Then there are Catholic bishops who, in a most facile manner, enjoin Filipinos to vote for honest and competent candidates. They completely overlook the fact that their medieval otherworldly way of teaching Catholicism has not produced servant leaders of unquestionable integrity. Moreover, as they exhort financially struggling voters from their comfortable residences in cloud nine, they might as well be talking to the birds that do not have to worry where the next meal is coming from.

One archbishop even went as far as to claim that God has told him people should not vote for Duterte’s candidates. The god that whispered this (if indeed some god did) to Archbishop Villegas has to be the stupid god President Duterte accuses bishops of worshipping. Villegas’ god has to be pretty stupid not to know that there are corrupt self-serving candidates also in the opposition’s slate. How can this god imply to Archbishop Villegas that the Magnificent 7 and Yellow candidates are saints we should vote for and Duterte’s candidates are devils we should steer clear of?

Anyway, I don’t think any god whispered anything to Archbishop Villegas. God knows better than we do that both the opposition’s and the administration’s baskets contain a mix of good and bad eggs. It is really just that an archbishop presumes the sheep under his care are dumb enough to believe that the stupid words coming out of his mouth are from God. How pathetic is that?

“Praktikal” voters are a problem. But “out of this world” bishops are hardly the solution.


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