Political strings attached?
by Dave Anthony Sedon
“A statesman is he who thinks in the future generations, and a politician is he who thinks in the upcoming elections”
November 8. When typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayan archipelago, killing hundreds of innocent people, leaving provinces devastated and cutting off electricity and water supply, the unfortunate incident has sadly become the perfect opportunity for politicians to make a move in using relief operations as campaign paraphernalia.
Some relief goods given by the government and foreign organizations were given through the local government to be distributed to various communities. However, some political leaders are using their ‘so called’ political powers in order to gain the sympathy and fame from their constituents—people they need in order to gain enough support for the next elections. Among their many ploys include advertising their names and having their pictures plastered on goods, using gift giving and the press for publicity. Worse, some politicians only help those people who they know supported them in the previous barangay elections.
What do these acts show us?
Putting names and pictures in the relief goods and other materials is not essential because in the first place,those relief goods did not necessarily come from their own pockets. Those came from the money entrusted by our people to the government while others came from foreign aid. Even if the money spent for relief operations came from politicians’ own pockets, still, there is the question of their distorted sense of purpose—to make themselves visible to the public eye.
Also, they don’t need to show it in public using press people. After all, you can help without being a showoff. It only shows that you are only using publicity to get the sympathy of the people and their support. It sends the message that you are grabbing this opportunity in this time of disaster to build up your power and influence, maybe even thanking Yolanda for what she’s caused.
Being a public servant is not a display of power or authority in society. Instead, a public servant needs to be a guide to other individuals, showing responsibility for everything that the community needs especially in time of calamities. They need to show that they deserve the position the people have entrusted them with.
If these things continue, how can people truly expect politicians to contribute to society? Instead, they make the situation a little bit more difficult by making people see what they really are –power-hungry men who only seek opportunities to mark their territory in society.