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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, October 11, 2018
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with Benjamin Calderon


Rock & Refuge

Politics refers to the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power and can include a person's opinions about the management of government.

Politics is part of our daily life and interest on political affairs begins to become more interesting as scheduled elections come closer.

In the local scene, the contest for the congressional seats and governor have been settled using the equity of the incumbent rule. Concerned leaders decided among themselves that it would be of the best interest for their constituents that the elections be held with no opposition or no choice for the affected offices. In my opinion this is a convenient way of weakening the power of the ballot and the exercise of suffrage. There seems to be no opposition nor strong reaction to this move. In effect, our midterm elections will focus on the senators and local government officers.

The political move by the leadership in the Lower House of our legislature in submitting Resolution No. 15 of both Houses which proposes a draft federal constitution to replace the 1987 Constitution and change the government to a presidential-federal setup was very revealing as to the nature and character of the leadership of the Lower House. It also awoke citizens to the danger and risks related to being not caring or not interested in what our political leaders’ objectives are. These can be seen in the salient features of the draft that include the following: No 2019 elections; vice president out of succession; no term limits; and no antipolitical dynasty provision. These features, in my opinion, are objectionable and need to be carefully considered as the political development of our country is greatly affected. The editorial of a national daily commented, “Akbayan Youth’s Justine Balane precisely pointed out, ‘The least trusted official of the country [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] is pushing for the least issue of concern to Filipinos [Charter change]’. Bagay (It figures).”

I agree. What do you think?

This anecdote encourages us to be very careful with politicians (at the expense of the good ones): An older couple had a son, who was still living with them. The parents were a little worried, as the son was still unable to decide about his future career. So they decided to do a small test.

They put a note on the front hall table that they had left. Around the note they put a $10 bill, a Bible and a bottle of whiskey. Then they hid, pretending they were not at home. The father told his wife, "If our son takes the money, he will be a businessman, if he takes the Bible, he will be a pastor, but if he takes the bottle of whiskey, I'm afraid our son will be a no-good drunkard." So the parents hid in the nearby closet and waited nervously. Peeping through the keyhole they saw their son arrive. The son read the note that they had left. Then he took the $10 bill, looked at it against the light and slid it in his pocket. After that, he took the Bible, flipped through it, and put it under his arm. Finally, he grabbed the bottle, opened it, and took an appreciative whiff to be assured of the quality. Then he left for his room, carrying all three items. The father slapped his forehead and said: "This is worse than I could ever have imagined!" "What?” asked the wife. "Our son is going to be a politician!"*

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