Arguments, gossip, backstabbing, intrigues, chitchat, sharing, percentage, influence, bribery, exchanging favors, deception, manipulation, spying, competition, humiliation, stealing, peeking, cheating, violence, abuse… these are common occurrences on the streets, corners, and even in the Congress and Senate. Nothing is new. No matter how knowledgeable the lawmakers are, they can be outsmarted or overpowered if they are not vigilant or strategic enough.
The Senate is like a jungle where strong animals prey on the weak. Anthropologists call it “Survival of the Fittest,” where only the strongest Filipinos survive.
This is the unfortunate situation of our three branches of government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. They have long ceased to provide decent, efficient, and reliable service. Instead, there are frequent scandals and corruption involving the honorable lawmakers. Why did our government come to this? Why are many of our politicians like this? Christ explained the meaning of serving and following Him in His gospel.
First, if you want to follow Me, deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Me.
Second, those who seek to save themselves will lose everything.
Third, what good will it be for a man to gain the whole world yet lose his own soul? (Mark 8:34-9:1)
These are the three things Christ requires of each of His followers.
Are there still lawmakers in Congress and the Senate who truly serve? Recently, a bill was introduced in Congress to provide additional funding for retired presidents. The money could be used to increase the number of personal bodyguards even though the former presidents already have bodyguards. Likewise, they have various privileges and are not poor.
In truth, people cannot hide their wealth. It would be better if retired presidents immediately declined and said that the money should be used for those who truly need it.
Recently, former President and current congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed a new bill with 18 congressmen called House Bill 780. In this bill, the lawmakers recognized the efficiency of the previous administration.
They said, “Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s presidency has ushered remarkable accomplishments brought about by his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, insurgency, separatism and terrorism, corruption in government and criminality, thus, making the life of every Filipino better, comfortable and peaceful.”
Because of this, the former president must be protected from the investigation to be conducted by the International Criminal Court or ICC for crimes against humanity.
It’s not surprising that the former president and his fellow lawmakers did what they did. They need to protect each other, take sides, and cover up. There are many things they need to spend their time on, more than defending former President Duterte from the slowly building ICC case.
In reality, it is not uncommon for politicians to prioritize their own interests and self-preservation over the needs of the people they serve. This is evident in the numerous scandals and corruption cases involving lawmakers.
However, as citizens, we have the power to demand accountability and transparency from our elected officials. We must hold them to a higher standard and ensure that they prioritize the welfare of the people they serve above their personal gain.
Moreover, as the passage from the Gospel of Mark suggests, true leadership and service require selflessness and a willingness to bear one’s own cross. In this sense, true public servants must be willing to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good and uphold their duties with integrity and honesty.
In conclusion, while it may seem disheartening to see the state of our government and the actions of some of our politicians, we must not lose hope. As citizens, we can demand accountability and strive to elect leaders who prioritize the welfare of the people they serve above their personal interests. And as individuals, we can strive to embody the qualities of true leadership and service in our own lives, setting an example for others to follow.