WHEN the country’s top two public officials inject street lingo in their formal speeches, and their spokespersons hurl insults against each other in gay speak, what do we ordinary folks get?
Will they just hunker down and trade barbs until the 2016 elections are over? Is this the legacy that they want to leave behind?
I won’t be surprised if President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s sixth and final state of the nation address (SONA) will be remembered for his curt “E ‘di wow” retort to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s slogan “Kay Binay gaganda ang buhay,” and not for the long litany of his accomplishments in the last five years of his administration.
In his July 27 address before a joint session of Congress, Aquino said: “Siyempre po, kahit kaliwa’t kanan na ang ebidensiya ng pagbabago, mayroon pa ring kontra sa Daang Matuwid. Ang hirit nila: Mabagal daw tayo. Kapag sila raw ang naging Pangulo, sigurado, gaganda ang buhay. Sa mga medyo may-edad po, ang isasagot dito, “Ah, ganun?” sabay taas ng kilay. Para naman sa kabataan, ang sagot natin sa ganoong pahayag: E di wow.”
Without naming Binay, he further said: “Ang tanong natin: Paano nila gagawin ang mga pangakong iyan? Ang sagot nila: Basta. Nasaan ang detalye at kongkretong mga plano? Basta. Paano ninyo ipatutupad ang inyong mga pangako? Basta. Pakiramdam yata nila nadadaan sa basta-basta ang solusyon sa ating mga problem.”
And then, he acknowledged: “Wala pa rin talagang gamot na naiimbento para sa mga nagbubulag-bulagan at nagbibingi-bingihan. Ang payo ko nga po: Maganda siguro, kapag ganitong harapan nang iniinsulto ang talino ng Pilipino, ilipat muna natin ang channel, at baka mas may mapala pa tayo sa panonood ng mga sitcom.”
To these potshots, Binay’s response was “Wow na wow” and claimed he did not feel alluded to.
A few days later, Binay delivered what he called the “true Sona,” which has been given the abbreviation “Tsona.”
In his speech before college students assembled at the gymnasium of the Cavite State University (CvSU) in Indang, Cavite, the Vice President addressed issues that Aquino missed out in his July 27 Sona, and saluted before a mural of the 44 elite policemen who died in the January 25 botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Edwin Lacierda, a lawyer from I don’t know where, described Binay’s speech as “charot,” a gay lingo for a joke or something that should not be taken seriously.
Then, Joey Salgado, a former journalist, replied: “Imbey ang fez ni secretarush dahil trulalu ang spluk ni VP. Pero ang Sona ng Pangulo, chaka ever sa madlang pipol dahil hindi trulalu.”
Salgado means: “The Secretary is irritated because VP told the truth. But the President’s Sona does not sit well with the people because it is false.”
By injecting street lingo in their formal speeches and communications, the President and the Vice President may probably be trying to get the attention of the unschooled or the ordinary people.
Not long ago, Binay wrote a letter to Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd and dared him, “Magpakalalaki ka!”
But what does engaging in “beki speak” in statements to the media convey? Is it in recognition of the fast-growing population of the lesbian-gay community?
The exchange did not end there. A few days later, Salgado advised Lacierda to “chill” and stop drinking coffee because the “mere mention of the Vice President Binay’s name apparently makes his blood rise.”
Lacierda shot back and said: “I don’t DRINK coffee; I drink Coke Zero. So, you know, please get your trivia straight. Sabagay… I understand that he cannot get my trivia straight because after all he could not get his facts straight in telling the truth when it comes to allegations of corruption against him.”
The next day, Salgado said: “I stand corrected about your favorite drink, sir… Kami po ay umaamin kapag nagkamali. Hindi namin sinisisi ang iba o pinagtatakpan ang katotohanan.”
Salgado warned that “aspartame and artificial sweeteners found in Coke cause high blood pressure and cancer.”
The exchanges provide entertainment, if at all. But where’s the beef?
The public has access to all forms of entertainment on television, social media, and in small gatherings. Public officials, including those who could not win elections even in a neighborhood association, should judiciously use taxpayers’ money instead of squandering them with inanities.
We don’t need entertainment from government. We need efficient delivery of basic services like transport, water, electricity, health and sanitation, education, and so on.
Leave “charot” and “chaka” to the gays. It is not for a “presidential” spokesman to say.
We need substance, not “bekimon” lessons from the spokesmen of the country’s top two government leaders.
The Vice President, even if he had declared himself as the head of the political opposition, remains the country’s second top official who has been going around the country using the resources of government, even if he claims he is not campaigning.