OR maybe we begin with: Stop artists like Jim Paredes and Leah Navarro from self-destructing, as they reveal how burgis they are, declaring to the world that the most important issue for them at this point in time is to stop one person from running for President in 2016.
Because you know, not much else is happening in this country.
A mess of a nation
There is so much that’s wrong with THE nation that one wonders why these artists who decided to “walk the talk” against the VP have not walked the talk for other more important issues.
Say, the rising cost of education, the kind that has meant leaving school for many a Filipino student, if not one too many of them killing themselves over high tuition fees. And what about the K-to-12 mess of the Department of Education, that one that’s not just about badly-written textbooks and learning materials, but also about unprepared teachers and students, as well as lack of classrooms and toilets? And surely these artists have heard about the unjust wages we subject our teachers to?
Speaking of wages, what of the majority of Filipino workers who can barely earn enough to cover three meals a day for their families? What of these workers who suffer in the hands of capitalists? Capitalists who have been further enabled by this government to oppress employees with inhumane working conditions and subcontracting?
What about unsafe public transport, that one that endangers the lives of a majority of Filipinos every day? And we’re not just talking about the MRT and LRT either. We’re talking about dangerous streets, unreliable buses and jeepneys, drivers forced to drive like maniacs on the road if only to earn their daily bread. There is no reason to ignore the fact that a majority of Filipinos suffer everyday in the hands of abusive public transport companies when, in fact, safe and efficient public transport is a basic right.
What of the 72 Kentex workers who died in a fire that could have been avoided were the Labor Department strict with capitalists? What of the 397 workers of Tanduay on strike at its Cabuyao Laguna Distillery? What of the Mamasapano Operation of the President and his best pal ex-suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima that killed 44 Special Action Force policemen?
One could go on and on. But, alas, to the burgis who want to #StopBinay, only one thing is worth talking about – and walking for.
Stop Him How?
What astounds me about the artists who spearheaded this “walk” is not just that they have chosen this cause to be the most important thing, given the many urgent concerns of the nation. It is surprising that they did it in this way, via a hashtag that holds multiple meanings. On the one hand, Paredes asserts that this was an expression of disgust at the VP’s refusal to face the Senate; on the other, Paredes also says that “as a presidential candidate, he (Binay) should at least answer the charges against him.” Navarro echoed this when she said that: “We believe that we should tell the Filipino people that no public official is above the law. He must follow the law, answer the questions.”
And if he does appear at the Senate, would they all still be so disgusted? Apparently yes, because the ultimate goal is to stop the VP from running in 2016. But why, pray tell, would Binay listen to 1,000 people? Do they not fall in the “noisy minority” category? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were anti-Binays who might turn balimbing and vote for Binay anyway just to spite the Paredeses and Navarros of this world.
For the rest of us, after all, the corruption in Makati is puny compared to the PDAF funds, the DAP allocations, and the Presidential discretionary funds. To the rest of us who can go beyond personalities and candidates, we know now that what ails this country is the misguided and ungrounded leadership of the burgis, matuwid na daan notwithstanding.
Too: some news reports say that in fact the group of Paredes and Navarro were chanting “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” How’s that for a rally that isn’t politically motivated?
In fact, if Paredes e tal actually wanted to walk the talk for anything, their time would’ve been better spent taking a stand against Charter change, the kind that even VP Binay is pushing for, something that will lose him votes for sure.
Because it’s not true that what we need to improve our industries is competition from foreign capitalists. In fact, if there’s anything that the system failure of this government has revealed, it is that we cannot even deal with transnational corporations that are already here, be it in terms of competition or unfair labor practices.
With the entry of the larger media companies like CNN Philippines – and if the grapevine is correct, BBC Philippines as well – smaller production houses have folded, unable to keep up with the lower cost of producing documentaries and shows within the transnational corporation. It was early in this government’s term, as well, that printers and publishers had to deal with the rising cost of paper, with local paper factories closing down due to competition from paper imports with lower tariffs. The same is true of our agricultural products, and our rice. And certainly any artist would know of how difficult it is to even compete with foreign music, television, and films.
Charter change can only make matters worse, unprepared as we are to even compete at this point, dealing as we do with the crisis that globalization and transnationalization have wrought. VP Binay is absolutely wrong in thinking that Charter change is what we need: it will certainly kill the smaller players in industries that are already struggling under the weight of rising prices and lower tariffs.
One would like to think that the artists who were walking the talk could level up the discussion by taking on the critical issue of Charter change. Then, they could actually inform the voting public about why we must not vote for VP Binay. But of course that will mean saying no to every other candidate who will take a pro-Cha-cha stance, including burgis favorites Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and clean-as-a-whistle Senator Grace Poe.
But that’s what walking the talk, and standing by one’s hashtags, truly means.