The clowns are coming
I’VE LONG hesitated to write this for fear of being accused of intellectual arrogance and because it’s sure to hurt the sensibilities of the people who would feel alluded to. I just hope they will not take this as a personal affront and will understand that it is a comment in good faith on a matter of public interest.
I find the current slate of senatorial candidates, containing some movie and sports celebrities laughable, but when I think about the present state of our country and the need for progressive laws to accelerate our economic development, I feel more like crying. My memories could not help but hark back to my younger days when, as a student, I viewed the Senate with awe, composed, as it was then, of intellectual giants like, most notably, Claro M. Recto, Arturo Tolentino, Lorenzo Tañada, and Lorenzo Sumulong.
If the movie and sports celebrities win—and they are sure to—they will, added to the incumbent senators who are likewise celebrities, turn the Senate from an august body into a big joke. Most likely, they will just be mere ornaments in the Senate and members of the committee on silence, with nothing positive to contribute to the conception and enactment of much-needed legislation for the development of the country. For how can these people intelligently deliberate on the Senate floor such complex laws as the Anti-Trust Law or the Securities Act, which, even to the Ivy League graduates, defy easy comprehension?
I do not, of course, fault them for running because the people will surely vote for them, albeit for the wrong reasons, and their victory is almost a forgone conclusion.
I do not also blame our voters who are not sophisticated enough to vote for the right candidates. That our electorate are not literate enough to vote for the qualified candidates is a lamentable fact; this we simply have to accept. (At least for now, until we can effect a transformation through education.)
But I must heap the greatest blame and condemnation on our political parties that, for selfish political interests, in complete disregard of the welfare of the country, take advantage of the gullibility of our people.
—ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, law practitioner
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