The kind of politicians we have

We are looking for some needless in a haystack, if we are looking for politicians in this country who are imbued with high ideals. Many politicians assume we are an ignorant public. This is actually happening. If the political landscape is a garden, you can see very often butterflies changing their colors depending on the season. In this country, politicians seemingly are already immune to any feeling of embarrassment when they change political parties. They change for convenience. It is baloney if you hear them saying they entered politics because they want to serve the public. The truth is they are there for the money and influence. At least many of them. They think they can take everybody for fools.

They switched political parties as they change their neckties. And that will depend who is the tenant in Malacanang. And because today President Rodrigo Duterte carried the banner of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Bansa (PDP-Laban) many wanted be in this party. It’s the ‘Birthday Party’. All wanted to get a slice of the cake.

Looking back, in the early years there were two main political parties. The Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Liberal Party (LP). And now with the multi-party system, many of them go to where the bread is buttered. During the many years that Marcos was president, sans for few they were into the powerful Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL). And when Marcos was forced to live in exile in Hawaii and Corazon Aquino was swept into power, many became chameleons.

Fidel Ramos was partyless but wanted to run for president vs Ramon Mitra, a close associate of the widow’s husband, the former Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. who was killed at the Manila International Airport tarmac. Ramos, who was her husband’s jailer when martial law was proclaimed in September 1972 got the support of Cory. Of course PDP-Laban members were furious. Many thought Cory should have supported Mitra instead. But just like in any drama, there was that twist.

Ramos in need of a party, supporters founded one for him, and won the presidency. It was the Lakas -NUCD, a brainchild of his kabalayen, Speaker Jose ‘JDV’ de Venecia. And those ‘furious’ PDP members switched their loyalty to Ramos. And then came Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada. From the vice presidency, he was catapulted to the presidency under the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). So many jump ship and wanted to be identified with Erap. Then EDSA Dos, Erap was dislodged and was succeeded by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and stayed in Malacanang until 2013. GMA’s party was the Lakas Kampi. More than two thirds of those in congress sided with GMA and took their oath of allegiance.

GMA’s reign ended and Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino became president because Cory died months before the presidential elections. The outpouring of sympathy of the people was translated into votes for the son despite a small revived Liberal Party which only account with few members. They only grew in number when the election results showed Noynoy won the presidency.

And today, the PDP-Laban served notice that henceforth there will be a cut-off in accepting members. Almost all politicians, big and small wanted to join. Well the reason is obvious.

Now the question that we can profound is if our country will really move forward with the kind of ‘leaders’ we have in our midst.

Editor’s Note: Formerly newspaperman of Daily Inquirer and other major dailies; former TV and radio Broadcaster.

Former Director of various corporations like Clark Development Co.; and a former City of Angeles Councillor. Now a regular columnist of Sun Star Pampanga