Senator Risa Hontiveros’ comment on Vice President Sara Duterte’s attacks against the former’s crusade on the “confidential funds” issue should make us all pause and think about why the heck are we treating our public officials like people who can do no wrong.
“Hindi kayo special.” Just three words that have underscored how ordinary Filipinos have become so fanatical at their defense of their idolized politicians that they have become blind to their faults.
One thing about Filipino politics that I do not like is that how we have devolved into “kampihan” and “fan-based” politics where battles are fought not over principles or ideologies but on personalities.
Ang labanan natin sa pulitika ay hindi na nagiging labanan ng tama o mali kundi para nang labanan ng mga fans nina Nora at Vilma. (Sorry for that antiquated analogy, but that’s one perfect analogy I could find in our political situation.)
We’ve seen instances, here and abroad, of how fans of certain showbiz personalities tend to become blind to their idol’s faults and would vigorously defend him or her, no matter how strong the evidence of wrongdoing was.
Tragically, that’s what I’ve been seeing here in some posts supporters of certain candidates for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections here in Laguna.
Nowadays, any charges of graft and corruption (or any criminal charge or accusation, for that matter) are treated by die-hard supporters as attempts at character assassinations by the opposing camp.
And it’s always the opposing camp who gets the brunt of the abuse these supporters throw at, whether on social media or in open confrontations.
In effect, tila nalason na ang utak ng mga supporter ng ilang mga kandidato. Para bang wala na silang kapasidad upang isipin kung totoo nga ba talaga ang mga akusasyon laban sa sinusuportahan nila. Sa halip, todo-depensa pa sila at ayaw umamin na kumampi sila sa mali.
This attitude of seeing our public officials through rose-colored glasses is a factor in why many politicians continue to abuse the power and privilege vested in them. They know they can do whatever they want because they know the public will not only fail to take them into account but, in essence, worship them as gods of perfection.
I know I’m going to ruffle a lot of feathers here, but let me say it here: public officials – from the national all the way to the barangay level – are people like us. And when they commit a wrongdoing, it’s not just our right but our duty as tax-paying citizens to tell them they’re wrong.
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