By JAIME C. LAYA and CHRISTOPHER BADIOLA, GUEST COLUMNIST
Social media posts are frequently on parties, food, travels, the good life. Only once in a long while does something thought-provoking appear. Christopher Badiola, a cheerful, personable, and gregarious person, posted a comment that reminded me of People Power 1986 and of French revolutionary Madame Jean-Marie Roland’s exclamation on her way to her beheading: “O Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name!”
With Chris’ permission, I am reproducing his remarks:
You see, I’m not really affected by elections. Like manyof my friends, I have lived in gated and secure communities. I lead a comfortable life, had good education, and graduated in law schools. I go shopping and parties and travel whenever I please. I own my time. I have not used public transport for a long time. I have connections but own no big business and need not curry favor in high places.
“Kung sinu-sino na ang naging Presidente, ganun pa rin ang buhay ko,” unaffected by whoever sits in Malacañang or Congress. But I see hundreds waiting and lining up for hours to get to work and more hours to get home. Dead tired and sometimes with cooking and laundry still to be done, no time is left for family and rest before leaving for work the next morning.
These are toilers who survive day-to-day, waiting for a ride as we pass in air conditioned cars, maybe thinking kapabayaan ng gobyerno at mga politikong puro pagnanakaw ang ginagawa (this is neglect by the government and the politicians who don’t do anything but steal).
True, traffic is a big deal for a car-rider. But have you tried waiting under sun and rain, tired, wondering when the next bus or LRT will arrive, and knowing that you need to wake up at 5 a.m. Our hero OFWs suffer maltreatment, even death from cruel masters. They take care of strangers’ kids while their own are orphaned. They work to provide for their own children, worrying that they could end upuneducated, napapáriwarà, nadadala ng barkada sa inuman at droga (lost, pressured by friends to drink and do drugs).
I am voting for persons who can change the life of ordinary Filipinos, who can uplift their lives, who will not steal.
Enough of insensitivity and callousness in government and among ourselves who are oblivious to the poverty and squalor around us. Enough of motherhood statements and empty promises from lawmakers who cater to oligarchs. Enough of politicians lining their pockets and satisfying whims and caprice at the expense of the common man.
I am choosing leaders and lawmakers who are not all talk and with malasakit sa tao, hindi puro payaman (concern for the people, and not just there to get rich). Tama na ang kurakot, pumili ng tama at nakararapat (enough with the corrupt, choose who is right and deserving). Let every Filipino enjoy the fruits of the economic success that are always bragging about.
Let prosperity trickle down. Let’s not allow the rich to buy more cars, build more Forbes houses, buy more Birkin bags and travel first-class while bullying us, exempted from traffic rules and plain courtesy. No gate is impregnable and time may come when those within are robbed and slaughtered.
I am not wealthy but I feel blessed. I realize it’s time to give back and I don’t understand wealthy septuagenarians and octogenarians, bingi na may Alzheimer’s pa
(already deaf and with Alzheimer’s), who still run and steal some more.
Friends, God has been good to us. We are no longer young, we have lived a good life. We need nothing more. Let us set an example to our kids and grand kids. Enough of greed and hypocrisy: Hindi nyo maisasama sa hukay ang mga ninakaw nyo (You can’t bring what you stole to the grave).
Notes: (a) Christopher Badiola is a personal and Facebook friend who prefers to be known simply as businessman and Filipino citizen; and (b) Mme. Marie-Jeanne Roland de la Platière (1754-1793) was a French revolutionary, member of the moderate Girondins faction. The revolution devoured its own children and she was among those condemned and guillotined by the more radical Jacobins.
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