Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hubris, or Simply Freebies

In May, 2007 national and local elections were held. In October, 2007 SK and barangay elections are to be held. Not only are the two elections held on the same year; in fact, in some cases, especially in San Jose, I see semblance of campaign strategies and political antics employed during the two elections -- for example, motorcades, pestering posters, tarps with computer-repaired faces of aspiring public servants, and jingles of varying tunes.
I just cannot have a definite view as to the process that these elections have gone through -- the level of politicking in the SK and barangay improving up into the level of that of the municipal, provincial and even national, or the latter degenerating into the level of the former?
What's my basis?
Of course, I do not mean that the level of governance in the barangay and even among the sector of the youth can be below the standard. For the level of the political undertaking is immaterial, and what matters is the quality of public service that our elected leaders can actually dish out.
But consider this -- JTV, the convicted murderer of the Quintos brothers, running as Barangay Captain of Bubog. This is, to a certain extent, very well anticipated. By and large, immediately after JTV launched a failed mayoral bid in San Jose, a confirmed report coming from the mouth of his allies -- in particular, the socialite council-women of San Jose, Vicky Villarosa -- that indeed JTV was contemplating the possibility of joining the barangay elections. The motive is quite clear, accordingly: JTV wins the barangay election; then, he runs as head of the association of barangay captains in the municipal level -- which he could win considering his political clout and his money; then, he vies for the position of a representative of barangay captains in the Provincial Council. In that way, he's going to find his way to the top..
Since Friday, the talks were confirmed. JTV indeed has run unashamedly as barangay captain of Bubog.
I've been asking people especially those residing in Bubog about the prospect of having a convicted criminal as their barangay captain. While most of them consider the influence that JTV still has -- especially since his wife is still in the congress -- and that he can actually "buy" the voting public in his barangay, there are voices that tell about the repugnance of having an absentee barangay captain (because JTV is still in Muntinlupa, although there are talks about his release for whatever reason). More importantly, these voices say, they cannot accept such a character -- a convicted murderer/politician -- as a leader. I suppose their word do not apply to all the convicts, but only to the aspiring barangay captain as a convicted criminal.
One may ask: what is really in political posts that the likes of JTV would leave no stone unturned just to be on the race and win the race?
I suppose I knew a couple of reasons: one is hubris. It is the unquenchable thirst for power. He who leads, and who can direct is powerful.. He who can decide over others is notches above his neighbors. Some people simply enjoy being in power..
The second reason is the freebies that go along with the post. How much is barangay captain's monthly remuneration? Hardly gets over 5,000 or 10,000 for such barangay as Bubog.. But it is a public knowledge in the Philippines that even a pauper who wins an elective post before he is replaced gets rich. And this is magic, no an almost accepted fact in Philippine politics. Definitely, the affluence that gets alogn with political position is not because of the monthly take home pay of a politician..
More on barangay and SK elections of 2007 ---
An ilk of JTV, formerly a Provincial Board Member Ulyses Javier runs as barangay captain of Pag-asa. Another former San Jose councilor Polding dela Cruz -- whose candidacy in the last elections for seat in the municipal council was also a failure -- runs as barangay captain of Mapaya.
A former school administrator, Abe Macaraig, is Ulyses Javier's opponent in Pag-asa. I don't think he should win. When he was in the school, he was involved in the non-remittance of the employees' share for mandated statutory contributions to GSIS, etc. by his teachers and non-teaching personnel alike. The amount involved was millions of pesos!!! He flew to US of A to evade the case. I just do not know the progress of the issue. The last item that I knew of is about the death of one of the should-be beneficiaries of pension, whose death overtook her enjoyment of the fruits of her labor. And now Mr. Macaraig is vying for another public position!!!!
In Bagong Sikat, at least 17 are the candidates for barangay captain...
Bumabalik ako sa aking tanong: bakit ba talaga sila tumatakbo sa mga posisyong di naman talaga malaki ang suweldo?
Sa isang banda, masuwerte tayo kasi marami ang gustong maglingkod!!!!!

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