12/01/2015
Deck chairs shuffling on a sinking ship

I thought I'd be writing a lot of reaction pieces on Philippine politics at this time, but I haven't. I've been juggling a lot of things, more or less: obligations I knowingly got myself into, obligations forcibly shoved down my throat, obligations that get what's left of me excited. That, and, you know, the nature of politics itself.

So, what's happened? Rodrigo Duterte finally decided he'll run for president. If reports are to be believed, some politicians running at the local level have switched allegiances. What I can believe is that there are people who are acting as if he's the Messiah who will singlehandedly save the Philippines from whatever it is it needs saving from.

There was a thought I was supposed to make about that. All this is proof that Noynoy was bluffing when he said the Filipino has a lot more hope now he's in charge. Filipinos, or at least a vocal segment of it, have gotten so disillusioned that they're pinning their hopes on a man with a tough-as-nails reputation, an unfiltered honesty and an un-statesman-like mouth. But, frankly, what do I get from making that argument?

Maybe I'm disillusioned too, but with a different release: an almost apathy towards the whole process, the whole system. Perhaps it's the things that I realized in the past six years, about how merit counts for little to nothing, about how we are being screwed over in a game that favors the rich and powerful. "Ang trabaho ng gobyerno ay gawing patas ang laban," Mar Roxas says on ads running on television and radio; now I've seen a bit more, I can't really see how, more so how it will happen if he gets elected. If Noynoy's camp is to be believed, for one, Jojo Binay is a corrupt individual who enriched himself, his family and his allies during his stint as Makati mayor. And that's the only example they're willing to highlight. A fair fight for everyone?

This disillusionment runs so deep that, with months to go before the campaign period officially begins, we have seemingly anointed so many Messiahs. The excitement around Miriam Defensor Santiago has died down, and doubt over whether Grace Poe can even seek the highest office in the land has clouded over her supporters. And then, tonight, the COMELEC has made a decision: Grace is not a natural-born Filipino, and is not a resident of the Philippines for ten years; therefore, she cannot run for president, much more be president.

Oh, yes, with months to go before the campaign period officially begins, a lot of things has moved around. Duterte is running, although people are not sure if he could. Poe is barred from running, although people are not sure if she ought to be. But, from a political perspective, and to exaggerate things a bit, "this is a game-changer." Everything is, if you look at it a certain way.

When the news of Poe's disqualification broke, I texted my girlfriend.

"Were you rooting for her?" she replied. "I don't wanna vote because I'd rather be [part of] a portion of the population who doesn't care about who's seated, because it'll never change."

And your responses...

Post a Comment