Most writers often point out the fact that Bam Aquino does not deserve a seat in the Senate because he is inexperienced in public governance. Neal Cruz of the Inquirer, for instance, has written that Bam’s uncle Ninoy served as municipal councilor, then municipal mayor even before he became senator. President Benigno Aquino III served as congressman, then senator before becoming president. The minions of Bam Aquino, the Bam-believers, point, in an irritatingly standard way, Bam’s remarkable academic record: summa cum laude, Ateneo valedictorian, Harvard-educated.
Nothing of the above impresses me. Jesus Christ did not own any degree. It is not his award-winning Hapinoy program that the country needs in order to liberate the masses from the exploitation they suffer from the hands of the rich and landed few. Given that his Hapinoy reportedly helped thousands by giving them livelihood, then why is he running for the Senate if he is truly successful in helping Payatas women through this project?
If he is indeed all-too successful as a private citizen in contributing to national progress, does his brilliance not tell him that it does not follow that he will automatically succeed as a public official? This is simple and elementary logic. I do not question his qualifications. I question his motive and his interest in running.
The reason why I do not share the enthusiasm of several thousands of Bam-believers and supporters, both young and old, is that in my 20 years of involvement in small-town politics, I have seen that the way forward must not begin at the top. It takes a lot of work down here in our barrios to be able to achieve an all-inclusive growth for the country.
The only way for this country to march out of its noninclusive economic expansion is to break up the monopoly of power of its oligarchs. While the towering skyscrapers in the metropolis and in the southern cities of Cebu and Davao are a welcome development, it should be mandatory for well-meaning men and women to reflect upon the exclusivity of this form of progress.
We often blame bad governance for this social malady, but we can also point out to the way the elite have manipulated social policies that cater mostly to the rich and take away from the poor their rights and ultimately, their dignity. You cannot expect someone from the ruling class to save the common man. Should there be someone who would open doors for our poor children, it must be someone who is not born with a silver spoon. It must be someone who is one among us.
Mind you, this Bam-sensation is no more than another pharaoh in the making. How can he end, in this regard, the slavery of the masses?
—CHRISTOPHER RYAN MABOLOC,
faculty, Ateneo de Davao University,