A PLETHORA OF ANIMALS IN GOVERNMENT

If you think that animals are only found in the wild, in the zoo or in our homes, you are terribly mistaken. The hallowed halls of our government offices are actually teeming with them!

 

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  1. Opportunistic Vultures – are unscrupulous birds of prey. Though they primarily scavenge for dead animals that they can eat, vultures also feed on defenseless animals like newborns and the wounded. They habitually gorge themselves, sometimes to the point of having difficulty flying immediately after a meal.

Vulture-like people are always on the lookout for opportunities to make money. They hate to work, preferring to shadow other aggressive characters until opportunities arise. They circle these situations with infinite patience and have an uncanny ability to determine when the moment is ripe. Only when assured of a reward will they swoop in and take control. They can be extremely possessive with their prize and will defend it against all intruders. However, vultures won’t risk injury, and they take flight when the situation becomes volatile. They have a reputation as creatures that swoop in, take what they need, and disappear. Their loyalty is only binding for as long as their partner is actively contributing to their wellbeing.

Businesspeople who get into politics to enrich themselves more are the vultures in government.

 

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  1. Greedy Crocs – the ultimate predators, crocodiles have powerful appetites. They attack without subtlety or intelligence, using any weapon at their disposal. They think nothing of using dirty tricks to gain an advantage and have little sense of honor. Their mating style is cold-blooded and mechanical, for crocs prefer to devour their conquests whole.

Known for their ruthlessness, crocs have little conscience, compassion, or guiding philosophy save that of survival and self-interest. They are tough, street-smart and conceited. Beware the crocodile’s tears, because although they may run freely, they do not run deep.

DOJ Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre, particularly during the height of the P50-million BI bribery/extortion scandal and the house probe against Sen. De Lima, is the perfect example of a croc in government.

 

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  1. Wolves in sheeps’ clothing – cunning, duplicitous, ferocious and intimidating, cruelty is the wolves’ most defining characteristic. Often, they simply kill as much prey as is possible, regardless of hunger and appetite. Although savage and bloodthirsty, wolves are among some of the world’s smartest and most perceptive mammals.

A wolf in a sheep’s clothing is a person with a pleasant and friendly enough appearance that hides the fact that he is basically evil. He is intensely ambitious, aggressive, bloodthirsty and vicious, is notoriously loyal to his pack, works within a social environment, and is a highly territorial predator.

PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, especially when he turns on the waterworks during senate hearings, reminds me of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing.

 

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  1. Male Chauvinist Pigs – men, especially men with some power, who think that women are inferior or lesser than they are, and who express that opinion freely in both word and action. However, contrary to popular belief, one of the distinct characteristics of pigs is their cleanliness. It is, therefore, an insult to these social and intelligent farm animals to be used to refer to lowly chauvinists.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who unabashedly flaunts his mistresses and slut-shamed Sen. De Lima during the House probe on the latter’s alleged involvement in the drug trade in Bilibid, is the epitome of what a male chauvinist pig is. There are many others in government who are just like Alvarez, though. In fact, the President could give him a run for his money.

 

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  1. Crafty Chameleons – are best known for their distinct abilities to change colors easily and to look in two directions at once. A person who often changes his beliefs or behavior in order to please others or to succeed is referred to as a chameleon. In the government, political chameleons abound. They are the people who habitually conform to avoid discomfort. Senators Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero could be considered political chameleons.

 

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  1. Political Butterflies – are politicians who flit and float from one political party to the other, “driven by the politics of convenience and personal interest.”

Sen. Manny Pacquiao holds the record of being a world boxing champion in eight (8) weight divisions, while as a politician, he has changed political parties for seven (7) times already since he entered politics in 2007 —from Liberal Party to KAMPI to People’s Champ Movement to Nacionalista Party to PDP-Laban to UNA and, now, to PDP-Laban again. Whew!

 

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  1. Rats abandoning a sinking ship – are people who desert something or someone that is failing or about to fail. They do it with great haste and having only personal well-being in mind. In the recent history of the Philippine politics, these unfaithful, selfish and disloyal “public servants” are best exemplified by the honorable men and women who quit their allegiance to the Liberal Party when its presidential standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, lost to Duterte in 2016. Those rats are now affiliated with PDP-Laban, Duterte’s political party.

 

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  1. Parasitic Leeches – are boneless worms with two suckers (each on both ends of their bodies) that suck the blood out of their unsuspecting victims. They have huge appetites. They can ingest amount of blood that is five times bigger than their own weight. Leeches will detach from their victim only once they are full.

Most, if not all, politicians are leeches. They refuse to leave “public service” as long as there is still money in the public coffers that they can pocket. Their ultimate goal is to bleed their constituents dry through kickbacks and other personal moneymaking schemes. They consider their government positions as their cash cows.

Politicians who build political dynasties are parasitic leeches. Among them are the Ejercito-Estradas in San Juan, the Binays in Makati, the Cojuangcos in Tarlac, the Marcoses in Ilocos Norte, the Revillas in Cavite, the Singsons in Ilocos Sur, the Dutertes in Davao City, and the Ampatuans in Maguindanao.

 

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  1. Ass-licking Dogs – are persons who flatter and serve obsequiously to gain favor from somebody in authority. They will stop at nothing to impress that somebody, even if they end up looking like a fool.

Since Duterte is notorious for appointing his campaign supporters to various government posts regardless of a lack of necessary credentials and experience, his minions are now scrambling and elbowing their way to get to the good side of the President. The vicious and fake news-propagating DDS bloggers (and yes, Sen. Dick Gordon, too!) immediately come to mind when talking about ass-licking dogs.

 

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  1. Brainless Jellyfish – are distinct creatures because they are also bloodless, spineless, heartless, and their body has no left and right side. They are made up of 95%-98% water, and are extremely venomous. If you dare touch it, you can be in big trouble.

Sen. Tito Sotto can be considered a brainless jellyfish. Who could ever forget his brilliant answer when he was confronted about his privilege speech that was copied from at least five online sources? “There is nothing wrong with copying. Even our image was copied from God. We are all plagiarists.” The brainlessness of our honorable House Speaker, Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez, was likewise brought to our attention when he was aptly called an “imbecile” by the chief of staff of former BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

 

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  1. Duplicitous Snakes – the symbol of Satan or the devil. Remember the serpent in the Bible, and the significant role it played in the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man?

A snake is a creature with a dubious, sneaky and treacherous nature that shows particular cunning in its deception. Although basically shy and insecure, it has the ability to deceive with its poisonous wit and quick tongue. A cold-blooded animal with no sense of loyalty, it is not the most respected in the animal kingdom. When it comes to relationships, if a snake senses more warmth in a new partner, it slithers off without looking back even when it is in a committed relationship.

I cannot think of a more fitting example of a snake in government than the present occupant of Malacanang, Rody Duterte.

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WRITING TO THE DARK HORSE (An Open Letter for VP Binay)

Kagalang-galang na VP Binay,

I have already read so many articles about you, and so I know na sa inyong mahaba at mayamang karanasan, there are countless lessons that our youth of today can learn from.

They can learn the values of hard work and perseverance, or sa mga labi ni dating Senador Manny Villar, “Sipag at Tiyaga”. Not all orphans can achieve what you have achieved.  Imagine, you were able to graduate from UP – hindi lang undergraduate degree but also Law. At nagawa nyo ito bilang isang working student!

May mataas kayong pagpapahalaga sa edukasyon at sa tinatawag nilang Continuous Learning. You were already a human rights lawyer pero hindi kayo tumigil sa pag-aaral. Throughout the years, you were able to earn master’s and doctoral degrees and various diplomas and certificates from different academic institutions.

You were fearless. During Martial Law, at pati na rin noong panahon ng EDSA People Power Revolution, isa kayo sa mga Pilipinong nanindigan at matapang na nakipaglaban sa diktadurya ni Marcos. Naging aktibista kayo, o sa linggwahe ng mga may pinag-aralang tibak, you were a street proletariat. Bilang gantimpala, you received the honor na maipakulong ni Macoy. Sir, astig ka!

May puso kayo para sa mga naaapi at kapus-palad. Naging kasapi kayo ng FLAG ni dating Senador Jose Diokno, and later on, kasama ang ilang mga bata, radikal at idealistic na abugado, itinatag ninyo ang MABINI upang makatulong sa mga political detainees nang libre. Truly, Sir, those feats were both noble and admirable.

You were keeping company with a bunch of honorable, distinguished and brave men and women. Hindi po ba’t kasama pa nga kayo sa grupo ng mga abugado na nagtanggol kay Ninoy?

Even the late Cory Aquino saw the potential in the young Jojo Binay that she made you her very first political appointee in February 1986.

Bilang alkalde ng Makati, lumago ito into the premiere, highly urbanized city that it is today. Mahal at suportado kayo ng mga mamamayan ng siyudad dahil sa inyong mga programang maka-mahirap. You received various awards and citations for your exemplary work as Makati’s chief executive.

You got off to an extraordinarily good start, Mr. Vice President.

So, ano ang nangyari?

Ang pamilyang Binay ay itinuturing ngayon na isa sa pinakamalalakas at deeply-entrenched na political dynasties sa bansa. Bakit nga po ba hindi e pagkatapos ng inyong short stint as the appointed Makati mayor, kumandidato kayo (at nanalo) during the three consecutive elections thereafter. Nang matapos ang inyong tatlong full terms, the law would not allow you to run again for the same position. So you made your wife, a medical practitioner who had virtually zero political background, your “proxy candidate”. Matapos ang kanyang three-year term, you managed to comfortably re-lodge yourself into the Makati mayoralty seat – muli, for nine uninterrupted years. In 2010, when you had no choice but to vacate your position again due to the same law restriction, you made your son take over. And he would, undoubtedly, have followed your sterling example of hanging on to your beloved city with a vice-like grip had he not been dismissed and rendered perpetually disqualified from public office by the Ombudsman due to the eight criminal charges filed against him.

You simply couldn’t let go of Makati, could you, Sir? Para sa inyong pamilya, it has become a personal territory of sorts, a property you wouldn’t let anyone else get hold of.

24 years, Sir. For twenty-four long years, no one else but a Binay has been a Makati chief executive. And with your daughter Abby’s current mayoralty bid, that length is more likely to get longer.

Oo nga po pala, huwag nating kalimutan na ang inyong dynasty ay hindi limitado sa mayorship ng Makati. Your family was able to branch out to higher political posts, with your daughter Nancy serving her first term as Senator, with daughter Abby on her third and last term as the Congresswoman of Makati’s second district, and with the latter’s husband now gearing up to succeed his wife.

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Photo credit: http://www.presidentiables.ph

Balik po tayo sa Makati. Bakit nga po ba hindi nyo mapakawalan ang siyudad na ‘yan? With a population of more than half a million, imposible po not to find someone who could equal, or even surpass, your family’s dedication to and vision for the city – lalo pa nga’t patuloy naman ang ginagawang pagtulong ng mga Ayala sa Makati.

Posible po bang may katotohanan ang mga alegasyon that Makati has been, for years now, your family’s cash cow?

Kailan lang, I came across an online list of all your allegedly undeclared properties. And I have to tell you this, Sir. The sheer immensity of the wealth involved was simply staggering. Nakakapanlumo po talaga. At nakakapanggigil.

According to the COA report (at base lang po ito sa audit ng Makati City Hall Parking Bldg II, which by the way, ballooned from the original approved cost of P283 million to an “actual” cost of P2.28 billion), kayo po ay “administratively liable for grave misconduct, dishonesty and gross inexcusable negligence, and for graft and corrupt practices.” Base rin po sa report na isinumite ng Senate blue ribbon subcommittee na nag-conduct ng imbestigasyon on your alleged involvement in the same project, among others, “the filing of plunder and other criminal charges against you and your son, Junjun,” is recommended.

Siyempre po, you will claim that the investigations were all politically motivated; that it was all part of a grand scheme to discredit you to the eyes of the voters. And, you may be right, Mr. Vice President. Alam naman po nating lahat that politics could be a despicable monster.

Nevertheless, we collectively waited for you to answer all the allegations hurled at you. We wanted to hear how you would counter and invalidate the accusations of your political opponents. We needed to know that you still deserve our trust.

But none came.

Not a word.

Nakabibingi po ang inyong katahimikan.

During the second presidential debate, hindi nyo rin sinagot ang mga paratang ng katiwalian laban sa inyo. Sinayang nyo ang isang golden opportunity na ipagtanggol ang inyong sarili sa harap ng milyun-milyong Pilipino. Pero higit dun, your silence on the issue was an insult to our intellect and an unwitting admission of guilt on your part.

Sa nasabi rin pong presidential debate, Mr. Vice President, mas nakilala ko kayo.

Napatunayan ko na totoo nga palang kayo ay may “wangwang” mentality. I’m aware of the past instances na nahuli kayo ng camera violating some basic traffic rules dahil sa inyong pagmamadali. Your actuation during the debate reinforced my suspicion that you have what is called the Sense of Entitlement Complex. Imagine, Sir, na-delay ang buong programa by more than 1-1/2 hours dahil sa pag-iinsist nyo na magdala sa stage ng mga documents. Apparently, it’s a violation of the Comelec rules, at ang nasabi pong list of rules ay naipadala sa mga kampo ng lahat ng debate participants long before the first debate. Nag-apologize na rin po publicly ang debate moderator. But, still, you let the delay dragged on.

Nalaman ko rin po during that debate that you support the idea of giving the late dictator a hero’s burial. Really, Sir? Nasaan na ang maka-masang aktibista noong panahon ng Martial Law? Saan mo siya dinala? Pero, when I really thought about it, hindi na pala ako dapat na nagulat. After all, you chose Sen. Honasan to be your running mate. Siya po ang mortal na kaaway ni Jojo “Rambotito” Binay, di po ba?

Na-realize ko rin na may pagkabastos, arogante at pikon ka pala, Mr. Vice President. After the debate, when your fellow candidates wanted to shake hands with you, you walked out. Dinedma mo sila, pati na rin ang mga members ng press na gusto kayong makapanayam.

There are three other issues na gusto ko po sanang i-discuss pa with you nang malaliman pero masyado na pong humaba ‘tong letter ko. So, pagtiyagaan nyo na po itong aking condensed version.

Sir, totoo po bang epal kayo? During the negotiations kasi with the Muslims noong 2013 Zamboanga siege, you went there without any kind of authorization from PNoy at nag-declare kayo ng ceasefire. Ang sabi po, your action put the entire negotiation process in jeopardy and the lives of the government negotiators at risk. At the wake din po ng Yolanda tragedy, pictures of relief bags bearing your name were all over social media. Dahil po sa inyong mga epal moves, you now hold the distinguished title “Epal King”.

Secondly, you once admitted to having an extra-marital affair before. I am a woman and so I know how your wife must have felt when you betrayed her that way. Sir, huwag mo nang uulitin, ha? The only womanizing president I know was not able to finish his term. He was impeached. Ikaw rin, you wouldn’t want to suffer the same fate, would you? 😉

Lastly, you were PNoy’s cabinet member for five years. During all those years, you were closely and harmoniously working with the President. But when you resigned your posts, apparently dahil naramdaman mo na na hindi mo makukuha ang kanyang endorsement for your presidential bid, you openly attacked his administration tagging it “manhid” at “palpak”. What would have happened kaya, Sir, kung ikaw ang inendorse nya instead of Mar Roxas? Siguro, you’d still be singing him praises hanggang ngayon.

Alam mo, Sir, hindi pa rin naglalaho ang tiwala ko that, someday, the country would be able to produce great public servants and patriots such as Jovito Salonga, Lorenzo Tanada and Jose Diokno. Their lives stand “as a reproach to all those who would put personal gain ahead of public service; who would lower the standards of public discourse; and who would sacrifice human rights and the rule of law either for personal or partisan advantage”.

Sayang ka, Mr. Vice President. Sayang ka talaga.

Sincerely,

Lorelei B. Aquino (Mom On A Mission)

AN OPEN LETTER FOR FIRST-TIME VOTERS (Part 2) ON HOW TO SPOT A TRAPO

Dear First-time Voter,

Hi, there! It’s me again. And, as I promised in my first letter, here’s a quick lesson on recognizing the tell-tale signs of a traditional politician or trapo in the Philippines.

  1. He sees the government as a family business wherein almost all his relatives are employed – initially, for “indoctrination” and, subsequently, for training for a higher position. We call these families “political dynasties”. They thrive in power.

    Some of the best known political dynasties in the Philippines. Image is owned by pulpolitika.wordpress.com
    Some of the best known political dynasties in the Philippines. Image is owned by pulpolitika.wordpress.com
  1. He latches on to his position for the love of money. A few years into “public service”, and he’s already acquired mansions, haciendas, resorts and high-rise buildings. He has a fleet of expensive vehicles. He is surrounded by a horde of loyal maids, security personnel, personal assistants, chauffeurs, consultants and legal advisers. He has multiple bank accounts, both local and foreign, under his own name, an alias or a dummy.
  1. He treats votes as a merchandise and us, voters, as retailers. He resorts to shameless and irreverent vote-buying to secure his most-coveted political seat.
  1. He thinks that he is above the law. It could be as simple as violating traffic rules or as labyrinthian as circumventing the laws of the land to protect his personal interests.
  1. His office’s payroll includes names of his relatives, friends, golf/shooting/travel buddies, or even of people who are long dead.
  1. He awards multi-million project contracts or meaty public positions to his campaign donors. This act of repaying utang na loob is part of what we call “patronage politics”.
  1. He files a candidacy even if he very well knows that he is not intellectually qualified for the position. He’s simply banking on his celebrity status as an actor, a singer, a dancer or an athlete. (Or an athlete’s wife, an athlete’s brother, an athlete’s trainer, and so on and on and on.) Watch here Karen Davila’s interview with Alma Moreno, a senatorial candidate, to know what I mean.
  1. He considers his jurisdiction his personal wall. Tarpaulins, paintings, billboards and even graffiti of his face (or in some cases, his initials or an image of his mustache) fill the streets. And, as if the sight of all that face of a single person is not enough, it’s also stuck on all his turf’s government vehicles, all the licenses and IDs that emanate from his office, all the post lamps, all the government buildings and other infrastructure projects, all the tents found in wakes, and even all the tiles on the sidewalk. So a certain town, city or province may, at some point, appear to be his personal domain after all these “branding efforts”. I’m sure, the term epal is not new to you.

    Image is owned by raissarobles.com.
    Image is owned by raissarobles.com.
  1. He latches on to power like a drowning man desperately holding on to a piece of log for dear life. When he is, for instance, done with his allowed number of terms as a mayor, he runs as congressman. When he’s done with being a congressman, he runs for senator. And this goes on until he reaches the pinnacle of power, the presidential position. Wondering what happens to the other positions he vacated? Refer to #1.
  1. He has no loyalty to his political party. Admittedly, we have a flawed political system. Our multi-party system allows for a establishment of a party or a coalition of parties at someone’s whim. So, like a butterfly, he easily flits from one party to another. He belongs to the group of politicians we call “balimbing”.
  1. He will do everything and use any and all available machineries at his disposal to make sure that he bags his re-election bid. He may resort to black propaganda, widespread cheating or electoral sabotage, or if all those fail to do the trick, a phone call to an influential election officer, Hello Garci-style.
  1. He is all too willing to compromise his principle (if you can call it that) just to guarantee a slim chance of gaining electoral victory. He could, for instance, conveniently forget that, in the past, he had been attacking colleagues for their roles in Martial Law only to coalesce with the dictator’s son later on because of what? Of the latter’s tight hold of the North? I bet, he is the kind Groucho Marx refers to in his quote, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…..well, I have others.”
  1. He is a perennial liar – someone who could go as far as rewriting history to protect his interests. He may either write a memoir that’s basically based on fantasy or embellish his academic credentials to make him appear superior than most. What’s so alarming about this kind of people is their ability to lie so convincingly because they themselves are already convinced that their lies are the truth. What is it they say? “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

These remaining three may not be characteristics of a traditional politician, but are nonetheless, the kinds you should also be wary of.

  1. He banks on people’s sympathy over his loss of a loved one to secure a position. Dubbed as necropolitics, it is when someone (normally, a political novice) tries to enter the political arena by constantly mentioning the name of the deceased and the latter’s accomplishments as if they are his own.
  1. He is a master at finger-pointing, fault-finding and excuse-making. He shuns accountability and command responsibility like a plague. He always finds someone to blame for all his mistakes, shortcomings and bad calls. Everything that goes awry is always somebody else’s fault – the past administrators, the old contractors, the cabinet members, the impoverished, the weather, etc.
  1. He is a (self-confessed) criminal and human rights violator. He is a tough guy who says things like, “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, you are a legitimate target of assassination.” and “If I am the president, I will let you swallow those bullets even if it means death.” and “I will order your execution in 24 hours.” He fights crimes with crimes, and the appalling thing is that people cheer for him. Are we really that hopeless and desperate?!!!

    Mayor Duterte flashing the dirty finger. Image is owned by manila.coconut.com.
    Mayor Duterte flashing the dirty finger. Image is owned by manila.coconut.com.

Now that you have the basic knowledge of the kinds of politicians you should evade at all costs, I’m sure you are itching to tell me, “But you’re not leaving me with much of a choice here. In fact, I think, you have just killed all my options!”

You know what? While writing this, that’s what I realized, too!

Oh, by the way, welcome to my world. This is the real world.

Still wishing you lots of luck,

Lorelei B. Aquino (Mom On A Mission)