How they insult us!
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-02-22
From how the candidates are campaigning, we can deduce how low they regard their voters. Sometimes I wonder if the technique to be moronic is a product of a moronic mind or just another condescending stab at voters’ intelligence and capability to discern issues.

Mike Defensor’s TV spot by far stands tall in the category of most inane and senseless. If he had been a greenhorn in public service or even a showbiz personality, I would have cut him some slack. But he used to be a congressman and a Palace chief of staff.

So what’s the deal about projecting a laughable look-alike of Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao while playing Pacquiao’s "Para sa iyo ang laban na ito" song as campaign jingle? Mike wants voters to regard him as "TOL" — the Filipino slang for ‘BRO’ but fails to give a reason why we should vote for him at all. Don’t you agree that if Mike Defensor is running for Senator, he should at least offer us a better reason to vote for him other than being "TOL" and for basking in the reflected glory of Pacman?

Comparatively, former Senator John Osmeña is able to invoke the Osmeña pedigree and its long tradition in government service. That other member of the Spice Boys, Miguel Zubiri at least proffers his bio-fuel program. Alan Peter Cayetano may use presentation devices that cater to the predominantly young voting population but these devices deliver something of value — unlike Defensor’s commercial where the device is the only value.

Joker Arroyo’s TV spot stood on his defense of the Constitution, the Senate and the Bill of Rights. It’s absolutely senseless because he allied himself with the very person who assaulted the Constitution, Senate and Bill of Rights. ‘I only want to serve and help the people’
But the biggest insult to voter intelligence is hearing the candidates of showbiztocracy mouth their spiel to justify their foray into politics. Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano can’t even act like real actors when they mouth their standard line that "they only want to serve and help the people."

Hearing Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano repeatedly saying: "I only want to serve and help the people" reminds me of the ludicrous amateur actor hamming up a melodramatic act but rouses guffaws instead from an amused and unconvinced audience.

Cesar Montano and Richard Gomez want us to elect them to the Senate, the institution that has produced our presidents and some of our greatest leaders. Just what do they have to offer by way of credentials and track record to justify sitting as senators?

In a real and mature democracy, candidates for senator pre-qualify by successfully serving in at least two or three other minor public service posts. Exceptions apply when a candidate accomplished an unusual feat of public service like Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Tony Meloto.

Although in my book, with Tony Meloto’s fantastic accomplishment, natural wisdom, dedication, sincerity and strength of purpose, he should be running for president. No politician today can match what Tony has done or measure up to Tony’s trustworthiness.

Manny Pacquiao takes the cake in insulting our intelligence. Pacquiao has easily US$3 million (roughly P144 million) more to earn in his boxing career and that is assuming that he fights only four more matches. So why is Pacquiao willing to sacrifice his boxing career just so that he too, like Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano, "can serve and help the people?"

For that matter, why should Cesar Montano also forego his claimed P100 million in revenues by running for senator? Is he a saint? Will his love life make the grade for sainthood? Why then the tradeoff?

I was told by one of GK’s top officials that Montano had just messed up the scheduled release of a GK movie where he co-stars with Maricel Soriano. The movie is supposed to hit the theaters in March but Montano’s candidacy has derailed this because of the Comelec’s rule about not allowing an actor-candidate unfair advantage in media exposure.

That GK movie is a fund raiser to build more GK houses for typhoon victims. Companies are all set to sponsor 50 premiere showings of the film. If Montano cannot feel personally involved in ensuring the success of a GK movie fund-raiser for the poorest of the poor in which he stars, why should we even believe him when he claims to "want to serve and help the people?"

In the case of Manny Pacquiao, why would he so easily forego P144 million more in revenues from boxing for a job in Congress which he is not equipped to perform? Assuming that he has noble intentions — we should not vote for him for the simple reason that his reasoning and judgment are flawed!

Anyone who can make such a bad decision should not be trusted with the delicate job of making the laws of the land. We have enough problems already with our present congressmen.

  Previous Columns:

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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