Ridiculous politics

OPINION
By JESSE E.L. BACON II
May 22, 2019

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Philippine politics and its practitioners, more often than not, have always been ridiculous, albeit sadly, since elections were introduce in these parts.

Try to think of this. Every administration candidate for senator in the last elections did their best to win a seat by doing the ridiculous. Then candidate Ramon “Bong” Revilla, for example, did not do anything in his tv ads other than dance but in all likelihood, as of this writing, may win his previous seat despite being jailed for plunder though he was acquitted.

He did not explain what his plans are but still he is likely to become a senator again. If this is not ridiculous, pray tell what is.

While the administration did its best to win all the seats that were up for grabs, the fear that the senate will become a rubber stamp to Malacanang resonated. It morphed into an issue that such scenario will not be good for democracy because check and balance will then be a thing of the past if the Senate be packed with pro-administration senators.

Still the pro-administration candidates romped away with all the seats available including the seat won by reelectionist Grace Poe, who in the estimation of many political observers, is more of a pro-administration than anti.

Again, if by just looking at the results of the senatorial race you still cannot conclude to its being ridiculous, I don’t know what is.

But what is more ridiculous about the whole thing is the administration’s insistence that the Senate could still play its role as the great equalizer in the equation of things especially in regard its task of performing check and balance against the abuses and excesses of the sitting administration.

If this insistence does not harbor on being ridiculous, I don’t know what is.

How can a 24-man Senate effectively perform its check and balance responsibility when 20 of its members have shown and are showing canine devotion to the sitting president?

Regardless of the reason for such devotion, the fact that they have such devotion is irrefutable.

With such devotion, do not be ridiculous in imagining these 20 senators can summon the gall to go against the wishes of Malacanang. Expect instead that they will willingly kowtow to what Malacanang wishes them to do.

The naked truth that this will not do anything good to the country need not be emphasized here for it is a given.

With the two chamber Philippine Congress safely in the hands of the administration to play with like puppets in a puppet show, expect that Malacanang will have its way as far as legislation is concerned. Will this be good to the country?

Administration allies will in chorus tell us it is because this means passage of key administration legislations. But the legislative mill needs a strong opposition to go over every proposed laws like a fine-toothed comb to ensure laws such as the Rice Tariffication Act that we discussed in Monday’s column will not see light and actually become a law.

For democracy to work for the common weal, a strong opposition is a must. It could not even be an option because in a scenario where you don’t have a strong opposition, democracy is automatically considered dead even if your legislators are duly elected by the
people.

Recall, how democracy almost died in America when both chambers of its Congress were controlled by President Trump’s allies. Legislative oversight of the administration was unheard of. Oversight became a reality only when the House was captured by the Democrats
during their midterm elections November of last year. (jelbacon@yahoo.com; jebaconii@gmail.com)

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