On the occasion of the 150th anniversary (1864-2014) of the national significance and historical impact of the life of Apolinario Mabini for Filipinos in particular, the Central Bank of the Philippines issued a ten-peso coin with the inspired and inspiring heading “Talino at Paninindigan”, viz., wisdom and principle. The issuance of the coin during these interesting and challenging times with the said distinct heading is not only relevant but also quite telling specifically in conjunction with the profound significance and inherent consequences of the forthcoming 2016 elections.
Be it accidental or intentional, the said coin heading heralds in a special way the elementary yet mandatory attributions of those presenting themselves for the tenure of elective public offices with the pursuant public authority intended for the public welfare. It is superfluous to say that wisdom principle are imperative personal attributions of every public official. The best proof of this is precisely the perceived pitiful lack of wisdom and the felt dire absence of principle that more and more people notice and abhor in the present holder of the highest public office in the Land.
Wisdom? How come more attention is given to those already wealthy than to those wallowing in poverty, to those who practically have everything than to those who practically have nothing? When will the majority of the people suffering from hunger and want get more government attention than those living in comfort and abundance? Why is it that much more attention is given to but reported (survey) numbers than to round realities? And when will the diarrhea of words stop in favor of the abundance of actions?
Principle? Why is it that public funds are channeled to private good, to personal welfare? Who not simply embraced but even enhanced porkish graft and corrupt practices? How come public utilities are managed by private business corporations through the infamous PPP? How come the rule of downright criminals has taken over the rule of law who therewith neutralize the principle of justice? Why is it so difficult to know and to put into practice what is right, proper and good? And why is it that to this date, elections still equal guns, goons and gold?
If the Philippines is what it is – and it is neither here nor there – its leadership has anything or everything even except wisdom and principle plus the absence of competence plus dubious leadership. This is not to mention the errant dictates of its allies, the egoistic preoccupations of its collaborators. And this is not because politics I per se bad but because many politicians are without conscience, without remorse.
The conclusion is rather obvious: Those who dare aspire for local or national public offices on the occassion of the 2016 elections, better have and prove – not merely claim – their respective wisdom in thinking and principle in acting. The Country has had enough of amateur and even delusional leaders in the recent past and present. The Filipinos need a break – or broken they are and broken they remain. Political candidates with “Talino and Paninindigan”: Where are you?