Tuesday, September 16, 2008
HONORABLE CONGRESSMEN - A DYING BREED?
"How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards." - Spanish Proverb
It always seems to many of us Filipinos that our legislators are always busy everyday tackling matters of national interest. Meetings here, meetings there. Well, that's not all entirely true. Truth is, many of these congressmen spend more hours talking about pork barrels, mistresses and golf. They also talk about the latest SUVs and interest rates, not to mention the latest color designs of Lacoste, which really is their brand of choice. I wonder, does that tiny crocodile on the shirt have a direct link to their lifestyle? Most of the time, we see them on our streets with flashy imports and gas-guzzling SUVs bullying their way through traffic sporting #8 plates. It will be a cold day in hell when I actually see a #8 vehicle obey a traffic light. So, lawbreakers in disguise as lawmakers? A congressman's normal life is a life of luxury and influence. He gets the best table in a restaurant, the best seat in a theatre, the best tickets to a concert and the best looking umbrella girl. He gets the first billing in a wedding invitation, which means that he is also one of the first VIPs to kiss the bride. When in a bank, he doesn't get to fall in line like the rest of us ordinary bank clients. He is a "preferred client," as BPI proudly advertises it. He gets the immediate attention of the bank manager, otherwise, he gets to deposit his millions to the bank next door. A congressman isn't subject to a body search whenever he enters a mall. He is saluted snappily by security guards on duty. He gets a steady supply of Viagra and Cialis from his personal physician, and always, the best room with the best view in a 5-star hotel. No wonder many make it a career in life to be a congressman, spending huge sums to buy votes and air time. To get elected no matter the cost, because when elected, can easily get back that money spent via pay-offs, bribes, kickbacks and of course - pork barrel! Oh, he also gets to be addressed as "Honorable." Of course, I find this very difficult to just swallow hook, line and sinker because most of the time, they do the exact opposite. And by the way, the only time they tell the truth is when they call each other "Liar."
(Image from http://bbc.co.uk/)