It’s been eight days since the third earthquake had its share in devastating several areas in the Davao and Cotabato Regions. And it is already about the same period of time since the victims of the strong temblor have been suffering for lack of shelter, food and water, as well as clothes to wrap their emaciated bodies as consequence of their traumatic experience during the three major shakes and several aftershocks.
Up to this day however, only two senators have visited the hardly-hit areas where the victims are among their constituents at large. The two lawmakers are Davaoeno senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and Caviteno senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla. The two brought with them truck-loads of relief goods that include food packs.
We take our hat off to the two lawmakers for finding time and mobilizing resources to acquire items most needed by the earthquake victims. What we are hoping is that other senators can find time to visit their constituents in the affected areas so that they can have first-hand knowledge of the actual situation on the ground.
Actually, we were expecting Sen. Manny Pacquiao who hails from General Santos City to be the first to visit areas that are most badly affected by the temblor. But we have not read or heard of reports about the boxer senator trading the grounds with thousands of people begging for assistance.
What about the rest of the members of the Senate? We believe they have the moral obligation to assuage the hurt of a good number of their constituents, the very people they claim to be representing in the government’s lawmaking institution.
Or, is it their normal to shy away from the very people they have promised to serve during the campaign for the post they now hold? No, they not only shy away from their constituents, they also forget whatever promises they made during the campaign period. What a tragedy!
This situation reminds us of one of the parables compiled by the late senator Dr. Juan Flavier in his book Parables of the Barrio.
Titled The Parable of Politics, it says:
“The two farmers were discussing their favorite topic – politics and politicians. Elections for their congressman and other local leaders were just a few weeks away at that time. As was commonly done, they analyzed the personalities involved.
“ ‘Will you re-elect our congressman this time around?’ asked the farmer.
“ ‘Well, the first term he only learns the ins and outs of the job. Where the best girlie bars are and that sort of thing,’ opined the second farmer. ‘But I will not vote him to a second term because by then he learns how to steal.’
“ ‘I’m not sure if you are totally correct. Don’t forget, our man in the Lower House is a slow learner. He has already spent three years there and has no significant accomplishment except renaming our main road after his father.’
“ ‘So what? My cousin has also spent three years in jail and still he has not learned his lesson.’
“ ‘I sensed that you don’t like our candidate. What is your problem with him?’
“The second farmer pondered over the question as he sipped on his warm beer and cracked open a freshly steamed peanut. ‘I think he is just trying to be a comedian. He is always trying to say something funny.’
“ ‘You are right about that. But since he is a politician do you also think he is a liar?’
“ ‘I don’t think he is a liar. He is just full of empty promises. I also noticed he is a fake. Remember last time he campaigned here? He spoke glowingly of nationalism and the need to support our economy by buying Filipino products. Yet all the while, he was smoking Dunhill and drinking Black Label.’
“ ‘Do you suppose politicians will go to hell?’
“ ‘No one knows. But this much I am sure. God will send us ordinary farmers to heaven. Because with what all those politicians are doing, they have given us our hell on earth.’
“ ‘Why do you hate politicians so much?’
“Who said I hate them. In fact, I love politicians because they provide us with a national recreation of talking about them all the time. But I still like baseball better.’
“ ‘What has baseball got to do with our topic of politics? And what do you mean?’
“ ‘Well, I like baseball better because if you steal and you are caught, you are out.”