“TAYO na, baguhin na natin ang bayan,” states a campaign ad wherein presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte prods running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano to bring about change in the country.
“Tayo ang bukas.” This is the claim in the television ad of Sen. Bongbong Marcos who is running in the vice-presidential race that similarly enjoins every Filipino to move forward.
Here is my rejoinder: “Isama na rin ninyo ang millions of Filipinos in this campaign.” Because if you do not do that, the challenge will stay as a campaign ad since it would take the entire citizenry in a concerted effort to effect change.
Political ads of Duterte and Marcos speak in general terms, lacking in specifics. Why do you think the slogan “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan,” in the early months of martial law was effective? The urgent call cut through the heart of every citizen of this country.
“Basura mo, responsibilidad mo,” is just one of the several one-liner reminders that would bring about change in this country if strictly enforced. A lot of changes from all fronts including the way a Filipino thinks and view situations.
How often do we hear arguments or justifications like:
“Would you prefer us to steal instead because you are prohibiting us from peddling on the streets?”
“I was forced to rob people because my family had nothing eat.”
“I needed to push drugs because my child is in the hospital.”
These kinds of narratives will continue as long as our fellowmen wallowing in poverty think that the end justifies the means.
We as a people are too complacent. We expect the government to do everything for us.
The “cradle to grave” assistance wherein politicians are expected to respond to every personal need of their constituents creates insecurity among politicians that if they do not render financial aid, they are bound to lose their votes. This “padrino” mentality also has to change.
Duterte’s call adopting a super-hero persona seems to suggest waving a magic wand and all the ills of society will immediately disappear. Should that happen … “eh, di wow!”