By Netnet Camomot
“I THINK I am doing my job. They can say whatever they want to say. I am sure nga daghan gaka-suya kay ulitawo man ko,” said a Cagayan de Oro congressman. He was referring to his 11 trips abroad in the last two years, his luxury cars, P1.4-million Rolex watch, and so on and so forth—attached to all these is of course the word “alleged.”
I gotta feeling he doesn’t get it. Gaka-suya kay ulitawo siya? Hmmm. What has ulitawo got to do with the suya? Unsay connect? He should try other words like gaka-ulit, but without the “kay ulitawo man ko.”
If he doesn’t want to be questioned about his assets, he should emulate the example set by some politicians who live simply when they’re in their hometowns. They don’t flaunt their luxurious lifestyle. They don’t wear their branded whatever that make them look like multi-million walking mannequins.
But once they’re out of their hometown, that’s when they flaunt their newly acquired assets, possessions, cars, clothes, accessories, ad nauseam. No one knows them out there anyway so their lavish lifestyle doesn’t raise the eyebrows of their new neighbors in an exclusive gated village somewhere in, say, Metro Manila, or how about Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris? Or why not build a mansion in every planet in the universe!
If their new neighbors would care to ask about the new mansion’s owner, some nosy chismosa would eventually find out that it belongs to a congressman. And that’s enough to explain why this monstrosity is suddenly sprouting like a poisonous mushroom next door. But an alien-neighbor may just beam them back to Earth for behaving like as if they own the alien’s planet already.
Meanwhile, clueless constituents back home continue to vote for the politician since they see no evil and hear no evil, giving them no reason to speak any evil. He becomes the epitome of the ideal politician who really cares for his country and countrymen—serving others, and not his own pocket, his family and friends; implementing projects that are really needed by the community and not just for photo ops purposes; building infrastructure projects that are not limited to basketball courts, for how many basketball courts can fit in one barangay anyway?
There’s a basketball court here, you walk a few steps and there’s another basketball court there, you go a little bit further and there’s another one somewhere. And then all these barangays will have their summer basketball leagues and guess who will sponsor all of them? The politician of course.
That’s why my already very toit, er, tight budget goes berserk during summer. All those solicitations for trophies, uniforms, and prizes—and I’m not even a politician or planning to be one! Then someone would inform me: You’re popular there, the barangay captain keeps announcing your name as major sponsor. Uh-oh. Puede anonymous na lang?
What happens is, you give this year. And then the next year, they ask again. And the year after that. It becomes tradition. The problem is, unlike politicians who can rely on their humongous pork barrels, the only pork I have is the one in the fridge, in the kitchen, or on the dining table, and that’s in addition to the piggy collection and my body weight that’s starting to catch up with the piggy’s. Oink!
The congressman who thinks we’re gaka-suya is probably celebrating now, grateful for the publicity he’s getting. Bad publicity, but it’s still publicity. He goes to PNoy’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) with a starlet, and TV cameras were aimed at them both. If only the national media could get his name right. But that failed. They misidentified him as Congressman Rufus Rodriguez who by the way doesn’t need the help of starlets and bad publicity. I just don’t understand why the national media would even consider Rodriguez as the Cagayan de Oro congressman who brought a starlet to the Sona. Oh well.
Meanwhile, I think I can now sing the national anthem of China. It has been replayed over and over again in the 2012 Summer Olympics, no thanks to their athletes who keep winning gold medals. My head is now filled with that familiar tune since the winner’s national anthem is always played during the awards ceremony after each event. I can’t imagine the sacrifices they had to make, the injuries and pain they had to endure, and the many hours spent to reach perfection, in order to win in the Olympics. Maybe Pinoy politicians and political wannabes should go through the same rigorous training so they could at least see that leadership is a great responsibility that should never be taken lightly. They’re supposed to be our leaders, and not the country’s alleged robbers.