February 2011


In Philippine government, anything could be dawned with weather that legislators all could be desired, manipulating their power, which is disappointing at this point.

If they would only join the reality show Survivor, Philippine government edition, with eyes tight and clever tactic in building allies, the last survivor will outwit all with great power of immunity.

They were sent in a place of trust. Their dismal characters then played in an island away from overwhelming destructions while waking up in a first breathe of the gulf air as if no other people rely on their next unexpected moves.

All of them are tasked to look for the immunity idol in order not to be eliminated. They have to build their best ally; otherwise, enemies will come secretive.

The open chest of pork barrels, longer stay in the game and power were the obvious rewards.

In case of Charter Change (Cha-cha), its first step–constitutional assembly (Con-ass)—requires three fourths of vote of the bicameral Philippine Congress, Senate and House of Representatives (HOR), in order to amend the 1987 constitution. So numbers must put in for large sums.

Senate made more adjustments to this situation.  Senators obviously don’t want to come up in a Cha-cha due to their extinction. They don’t want to include themselves in the whole three fourth requirements because lower congress can outnumber them.

To notice how brains work in the system, congressmen were tagged as GMA’s ally who voluntarily say ayes just because they need pork barrels for their constituents—the reason why they are called representatives.

How come this sensitive issue answers the self-serving motives of congressmen? Isn’t too easy for the lower congress to decide on a House Resolution (HR)?

When HR1109 was proposed, multi-sectoral groups outraged due to Ms Arroyo’s possible overstay in Malacañang palace. But only few understand it.

It is, in fact, better to watch the mainstream media in reporting news about the Cha-cha and talk other constitutional jargons as simple Filipino cannot be able to understand what is happening.

The attempt of GMA’s railway expansion runs so fast that Filipinos don’t realize the risks of speed. But I believe, at some pace, Filipinos are beginning to sway.

Despite the Hello Garci scandal, NBN-ZTE scam, allegations of money laundering, corruption of the first family and abuse of power, GMA stays still in Malacañang while thinking what next moves to run in her line ups, handling all with grace.

No doubt she has her allies in the lower congress.  With the power of their number, con-ass will rise, dawning a charter change for a trip of another term.

The deep sympathy of the nation during the painful days of Marcos’s declaration of Martial Lawera was acknowledged by the People Power revolution. Will there be a third Edsa Revolution?

More to point, the long progress throughout the passage of HR 1109 conveys an idea of great demonstration of disloyalty to Filipinos. Many possible changes wait in the newly revised Philippine constitution.

July 27, set apart as the State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the upturn of Arroyo’s mortality highness as the chief executive of the Philippines, is not only a special day.

Her last possible SONA is at first aiming little more sympathy of her stay than a service for Filipino people. It will result to the burst of undivided popular emotions witnessed in the clashes of Senate, HOR and other involvements.

The day will be dawned with the weather that was all could be desired until people say the final verdict: “Last person voted out in the Survivor Philippine government…Ms Arroyo.”

***

Like a halo-halo in rainy days, Cha-cha is not yet seasoned. The change will later give way after the 2010 election.

Through this medium, I encourage FEU students to stand against Cha-cha. The reason for this: I believe that a close watch in the government might provide future evidences.

Solve this problem. Show your complete solutions at raffychris_dominguez@yahoo.com

When I still do campus journalism in FEU Advocate, a Literary writer gave me a sheet of paper with an old-paper texture. There, a Tagalog-poem was written. Her hand had a good penmanship, I must say. I was not able to ask her why she gave me that paper. She just said that it might be her last poem for the school paper (the poem was not published) and she will be resigning soon.

I took it without hesitation. However, she left me a situation that invites challenge. She left me an untitled poem and that problem made me worry for days.

Is this a poem about words and thoughts that were left unsaid?

***

Parang nasunog na sinaing
Hinugasan ko ng maigi,
at ng may buong pag-iingat
hanggang sa nawala
ang mga butil ng bato
at pinili ang mga bigas
na hindi angkop.
Isinalang ko sa apoy hanggang sa
kumulo. At hinayaan kong
mainin hanggang maluto.
Ngunit nasunog ito at kumalat
ang amoy sa buong kusina.
Nalumbay ako sa nanyari, at
Pinagpasyahang itapon ang nasunog
Na sinaing. Ngunit kinabukasan,
paggising ko ay naroon pa rin
ang amoy ng tutong, ang amoy
ng maitim na kanin

Ang midya ay kailangan ng mga pulitiko – katotohanan na dumadatal sa talamak na pamamaraan ng sistemang ito. Sa pagkakataong nalilimutan na ng midya ang tungkuling gumitna sa pagiging balanse at totoo, ano na ang ipinagkaiba  nito sa magulong pulitika?

Tuluyan nang hindi mapipigilan ang pabugso-bugsong presensya ng dalawang sanga ng pamahalaan. Ang pulitika at midya ay mga waring lintik na magdadala ng kaliwanagan at katotohanan o kaya naman ay pagkatakot at badya ng kasiraan.

Isa sa mga kaugnayan ng dalawang magkaibang ideyolohiya ay ang pagkakataon para sa isang mamamahayag na pumasok sa pulitika.

Pinakamagandang halimbawa nito si Bise-presidente Noli De Castro.

Ang dating ABS-CBN newscaster ay pumasok sa pulitika sa kabila ng pagguhit ng limitasyon sa dalawang propesyon.

Naging host si De Castro ng arawang TV Patrol at Magandang Gabi Pilipinas.

Bagaman bahagi na ng kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ang magulo at kontrobersyal na pulitika, naging daan ang ABS-CBN upang maluklok si De Castro sa posisyon.

Bukod kay De Castro, naging bahagi rin sina Senador Loren Legarda at Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista ng ABS-CBN.

Dito pumapasok ang kahalagahan ng pagiging parte ng midya bago pumasok sa pulitika. Para kay De Castro, Legarda at Bautista, nagsisilbing positibo ang madalas nilang paglabas sa television screens ng mga programa ng network.

Napapanood sila at anuman ang ikilos ng mga personalidad sa telebisyon, mabilis nakukuha ng manonood ang loob at simpatya.

Sa pagiging mamamahayag at artista ng mga nabanggit na personalidad, naging natural sa mga pulitiko na makuha nila ang loob ng mayoryang Pilipino gayong nakakapaglingkod sila¾at ito ang depinisyon ng midya para sa mga pulitiko.

Nagiging daan ang midya para sa mga pulitiko na makuha ang mga paniniwala ng kanilang pinaglilingkuran.

Susog ang ganitong pamamamaraan para sa lahat ng pulitiko na sumailalim sa nakasisilaw na entablado patungong kasikatan. Para sa mga tao, ang pagkiling at pagsandig ng pinaniniwalaan, pwersahan man o natural, ay responsibilidad ng midya.

Dito papasok ang tunay na limitasyon ng midya sa pag-eendorso alinsunod sa mga nakahanay na ethics ng kani-kaniyang networks.

Samantala, ang mga natatamaan at nakararanas ng halos parehong kalagayan ay ang mga mahihirap. Hayaang gawing halimbawa si dating Pangulong Joseph Ejercito Estada.

Tumatak sa mga mahihirap ang linyang “Erap para sa mahihirap”. Narating niya ang opisina ng Malacañang bilang president noong 1998.

Lumabas sa isang pag-aaral noong 2004 na unang pagkakataon ito, mula sa taon ni dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos, na gumuhit ang boto ng karamihang mahihirap. Marami dito ang mula sa classes D at E, kategorya ng mga tao sa lipunan na may halatang higit na pangangailangan.

Ngunit dahil napatalsik siya bunga ng corruption at plunder, lumalabas na kasalanan ng mga mahihirap ang mga nagiging lider ng bansa.

Sila ang may kasalanan kung bakit hindi nagiging patas ang eleksyon sa bansa. Nagiging kahinaan nila ang pera kaya maraming pulitiko ang humahanap sa kanila, mabili lamang ang iisang boto.

Ayon sa isang pag-aaral ng Philippine Center for Inverstigative Journalism (PCIJ) noong 2004, “The poor, who make up the bulk of Filipino voters, have been blamed for the sorry state of electoral politics and the low level of election discourse. The masa vote is popularly perceived to be dumb, unthinking, and prone to manipulation.”

Ngunit kung mayroong mas malalim na basehan sa mga behavior ng masa, itinutuwid na ang mahihirap ay matalino ring botante ayon sa isang focus-group discussion na isinagawa ng Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC).

Naging basehan ng masa ang mga sumusunod: edukasyon, experience, plataporma, at track records.

Kahit papaano, ang midya ay napapanatili ang responsibilidad sa adbokasyang patas at balanseng pamamahayag.

Sa kabila ng isang pang problema na hinaharap ng midya, ang mahihirap ay kumukuha ng mga inilalabas sa telebisyon at mass media na parating naglalabas ng hindi kumpletong detalye ng mga kandidato.

“The IPC findings thus confirm the perception of political parties and campaign staff that the media are emerging as the main electoral arena,” ayon sa report.

Hindi rin naman makawawala si Presidente Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dahil utang na loob din niya ang mga boto mula sa pinakamababa at pinakamahirap na antas ng tao sa lipunan.

Anuman ang dipinisyon ng midya para sa mga mamamayan ng bansang Pilipinas at pulitiko, lalatay sa mga pinanghahawakang responsibilidad ng tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan nakasalalay ang ikauunlad.