Thursday, April 15, 2010

Covenant among the presidentiables?

Failure of election is the name of the game. This early, the minds of the people are being conditioned to a scenario that there would be a failure of election in the Philippines. Already, bomb blasts had taken place in Basilan province where scores of people were killed. The military pointed to the Abu Sayyaf as the likely suspects in the series of bombings that killed innocent people, including some soldiers.

With the national elections past approaching, the administration can only hope for another hold on power by declaring a state of emergency or failure of elections. Consequently, those who are in power would still be in control of the government. And who wouldn't cling to power? The likes of top government honchos in Malacanang Palace who don't want to relinguish their posts, believing that once they do and back into civilian life, the new administration will run after them for their misdeeds.

In short, the fear of being deluded with a lot of criminal cases in courts is persuading President Gloria Arroyo to seek a congressional seat in her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga in central Philippines. It so happened that this is also the place of one of the country's top gambling lords --Bong Pineda, whose wife Lilia Pineda has been declared winner for the post of governor in Pampanga, after her request for recount was granted by the Commission on Elections.

This is politics, Philippine-style. Those who tasted the fruits of corruption, which led to enriching themselves at the expense of the taxpayers' money, still want to hand on to power. Power and influence of officials are good when properly used. But there are negative effects when they are abused by those who had been entrusted by the people to take the rein of government. Yet, there are rumors that they want to cling to power. For what? To further empty the coffers of government?

I think, Noynoy Aquino was right when he told media that should he win the presidency, he would go home to Times Street in Quezon City, rather than stay in Malacanang Palace. Without a family of his own, he can do this. Besides, it would be more economical for the government in so far as utilities are concerned, which are draining the government a large chunk of its budget. It seems a pragmatic way to decongest Malacanang Palace as a beehive of public functions and other activities, but when dignitaries come for a visit. In this way, the people will know that their president doesn't abuse his power by taking advantage of the Palace's conveniences and amenities. This is also a good example to the millions of constituents that the president can go home to his house, and take with him important papers that require his signature, after office hours. Although, it is common knowledge that any president works long hours, attending to the country's problems, not to mention his often hectic daily schedules.

If whoever wins the presidency can do these things and live a simple life, it would be a plus factor for good governance. For me, I always believed that staying in Malacanang is not the barometer of the country's successful social, economic and political growth. But whoever the president is, it will be incumbent upon him to lead the country towards growth and prosperity. That must be his goals when he takes the new rein of power from the crooks.

Perhaps, there should be a covenant to be made among the presidentiables. Whoever wins in this election contest should observe "word of honor" by dissociating himself or herself from any business dealings with the private sector. And that immediate families, relatives and friends of the winning candidate should not engage in any secret business transactions, if only to avoid negative publicity against the president. Likewise, the winning president must also divest himself of any business interest in the family-run companies, if there is any. Whoever violates this covenant should be a big slap on his face and a total black-eye to his administration. I don't think the people would like to have another kind of administration whose image was totally tainted with so much graft and corruption. As part of their responsibility, the youth must initiate a move to ensure that this coming elections will be honest and clean. Otherwise, there is no more hope for the country to improve socially, economically and politically.

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