By Jesus Sievert
THAT quick, crisp punch that unexpectedly landed on the head of 20-year-old Christian Kent Alejo, a waiter at Biggs Diner in Albay, courtesy of Ang Probinsyano Rep. Alfred de los Santos, could only come from one already drunk of power.
Suffice it to say that a politician who is drunk of power is even more dangerous than one who is under the influence of alcohol because in the latter condition, more likely than not, the politician is apt to hurting himself only and not intentionally inflicting pain on others, for no other reason than to show off his influence.
And we are talking here of one who has just been elected as a party-list representative and who aims to improve the lives of those working in the provinces. He has not even warmed his seat in Congress, so to speak, because de los Santos is still celebrating his victory, yet he is already walking around with an inflated ego. This is what makes this neophyte congressman dangerous.
What is even ominous here is that de los Santos vented his ire at the very person who typifies the Ang Probinsyano profile, one that is eking a menial, yet decent job, at a restaurant in the province of Albay. Indeed, what a way to lead a crusade that tends to alleviate the plight of the marginalized in the provinces!
Thus, it is encouraging and reassuring at the same time that labor groups are one in condemning the atrocious behavior of de los Santos and demanding that he resigns. It is only right and just that the group not only denounce the abusive demeanor of the young and neophyte congressman, but punish him for what could be an unwarranted flare of anger that reflects the kind of person he really is. Truly, it does not speak well of a public official and a newbie at that.
No amount of apology can change the perception about what de los Santos has become now that he has achieved fame and clout. The public has seen what he did and seeing who he was with his apologetic face, it was all the more unconvincing, with many probably cursing him under their breath.
Hopefully the victim of de los Santos’ ire will have the courage to accept the urges from the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines to “proceed and file a complaint” against the bully, saying it was willing to extend “legal and political support,” rather than cower in fear or, at the least, agree to a settlement of any kind that will still make him a member of Congress.
Penalizing abusive elective officials is the only way people can be assured of a responsible representation, reflective of a servant leader, who will truly consider the interest and aspirations of his constituents.
A political bully, whether young or old, experienced or not, deserves no second chance whatsoever.