Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The politics that kills

THE recent massacre in Maguindanao has stunned the world. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon led an international outcry against the “brutal” violence which he condemned as “heinous crime.” The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, blurted a strongest condemnation to this “barbaric killing….of innocent civilians, including women, journalists and lawyers…” More countries joined the condemnatory chorus making the Philippines again at the vortex international humiliation.

MalacaƱang’s declaration of a state of emergency in Maguindanao province following this worst election-related violence in the country’s history and to get the perpetrators, reportedly the reigning Ampatuans, is, of course, viewed with a wink in the eye. By track record, the politicians in power are not really known for nailing their own breed or at least those that have been instrumental in building the power blocks of political survival and aggrandizement.

Lapdogs are dogs just the same and being so they will not really bite the hands that feed them. That being the case, there will be a parade of judicial process, at the most, and some ritual of concern but at the end of the line everybody gets back to square one.

The issue may be more profound than just restoring justice or peace and order where, in fact, impunity habitually blurs any serious effort towards its attainment. It is actually all about politics that through the years has generated into a “livelihood” or an “industry” if you may. The entire political system has been culturally built as a means of enrichment and a source of influence and power for self and family in the same fashion that drug dealers and gambling lords are well driven.

While gambling lords and drug dealers are prepared to annihilate any and all obstacles in the delivery of goods, most “seasoned” politicians who operate with the same strategies, although some covertly to sustain an honorable stature, are not too far off. In some cases, drugs, gambling and politics are the three sisters that are hardly inseparable in the Pinoy style of political governance.

Politics used to be the art of good governance and public service. It used to be driven by the values of patriotism and the intent of the common good. All these have disappeared to smithereens when so-called public servants begun to buy votes, cheat, rob and murder their way to the political seat of power. It is in this context that political education, especially among the youth, is an urgency and a serious mandate of evangelization.

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