More insidious than pork
In his July 18 column, Conrado de Quiros wrote: “During the last elections, only the senatorial candidates of Ang Kapatiran Party spoke out against it. They were Rizalito David, Marwil Llasos, and JC de los Reyes, and what they found execrable was the pork barrel. No other candidates, from left to right, did so…. If you abolish the pork barrel, you will discourage people from running for senator and congressman? That will be its most salutary effect yet. Then it will leave the field to candidates like the ones from Kapatiran.”
He was probably right when he noted that the Ang Kapatiran candidates, David, Llasos and Delos Reyes, campaigned against the pork barrel during the last May elections. De Quiros, however, made it appear that it was novel and noble of Ang Kapatiran to spouse such cause as if its candidates were the only ones to stand on that platform. Nothing can be further from the truth.
This issue, this controversy, is not new. As a college student 20 years ago, I was already pretty much aware of the dangers of letting corrupt lawmakers get hold of so much money with so little control and audit. In fact many ordinary Filipinos also see through the stupidity of dispensing pork barrel.
And the truth is Ang Kapatiran is a theocratic party. It is not your normal political party. Ang Kapatiran candidates only used the pork barrel issue to camouflage their real intentions for running for the Senate. They may promote politically correct issues here and there, but their real motivation for running for office was to promote Catholic dogma. Tucked away from sight were their bigoted and impractical stand on reproductive rights, homosexuality and divorce. Like the Catholic Church to which they belong, this is the same political party that wants the Catholic faith into office. Reginald Tamayo, member of the National Executive Board of Ang Kapatiran, even said that “I believe that the Church is God’s living voice. I am confident that Brother Lito will remain a part of that voice and continue to evangelize politics either in or out of the Senate hall.”
Of course, I can’t fault De Quiros for this oversight. He seemed oblivious of this fact. And I think he has given Ang Kapatiran more credit than it deserves.
Electing theocrats into public office is more pernicious, more insidious and more immoral than the issue of pork barrel. With theocrats elected in public office, not only do we surrender our secular government, we surrender the very fabric of democracy itself.
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