MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 19 October) – Reports said 130 individuals have filed certificates of candidacy for president. One may find this news amusing given that most of the aspirants are likely to be dismissed by the Commission on Elections as nuisance candidates. Yet aside from providing the public entertainment, such record-breaking – but by no means flattering – figure also points to the depth of the abyss to which Philippine politics has sunk into.
It wouldn’t have mattered had all, or at least a good number, of the aspirants have presented platforms that don’t sound insane – or something close to it. There is that fellow who claimed to be Kris Aquino’s real husband, and another one who wanted to institutionalize the four seasons in the country. The latter reminds of a pre-Martial Law era story of a lawmaker who reportedly filed a bill prohibiting typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters from occurring in the country.
But what has remained sane in this country in as far as politics is concerned? Each day finds us confronting inanities in various shades being peddled by politicians, their spin masters, and of course, their image sanitizers in media. Expect the madness to worsen as we approach doomsday (read elections). If anything other than inflation and joblessness has gone up in this country, it is the level of dementia afflicting our body politic.
True, making preposterous marital claims holds no significance for the May 2016 political exercise and to our collective future. Ms Kris has had lost count of marital problems that have come her way that another one thrown at her feet will no longer bother her or her legions of fans and bashers. And multiplying our seasons won’t make a dent either on the impact of climate change that has beleaguered us in recent years.
The tragedy, however, doesn’t end with the outlandish agenda of the so-called nuisance candidates; even the supposedly sane among those who wish to become president can hardly go beyond parenthood declarations of what they intend to do. Indeed, it’s all been hot air, open-ended generalizations and enumeration of recycled promises that don’t sum up into a comprehensive and coherent policy platform. The only edge these candidates have over the rest is the certainty that they would breeze through any psychiatric screening.
Beyond this, it is already difficult to spot the difference between the “sane” candidates and those whose statements dwell on the absurd. The latter promise us things that we know are impossible, the former things that we know they will forget once they get to sniff the ordure of power. The latter give us comic relief, the former promises that will be heard again in the next political season.
We laugh at the weirdness of it all not knowing we are looking at the image in the mirror before us. This is desperation. No, this is madness. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)