Filipinos are having a hard time distinguishing politics and politicking. According to Webster’s dictionary, politics is a science or art of governance — meaning the whole system. While politick means to engage in often political discussion or activity — this is what we really perceive wrong in Philippine politics. For further understanding of these two, reading the introduction of Classes, Bosses, Goons, and Guns: Re-Imagining Philippine Political Culture by Joel Rocamora is worth the time. This article focuses on the class, boss, goons, and guns involved in the political culture as portrayed in the title.
It summarizes the current condition of this field and how it was shaped by the colonizers. Rocamora described today’s election as cockfighting — there are llamado and dejado. Us, the voters, view this arena as thrilling and exciting. However, there is a huge and grim difference on what we outside and what is really happening among their conversations. It also encompasses the concept of local and central government. Filipinos overlook that the locals are part of the central. Thus, they view Manila as “national.
” This has become the lair of economic and political power. Somehow, this was caused by how the Spaniards and Americans moulded Manila as the prime city — not learning the truth how the local vicinities garnered enough power to raise the metro. Before, all productions are located on rural areas and in its vast lands, while Manila was just a trading port. The Americans transformed NCR further as a political and economic center of the country. This is where classes and bosses enter the scene. The Americans only include elite families in controlling the Philippines.
After they had given independence, even the provinces had their own elite ruling as public officials. Until now, these oligarchs still continue to sit on the throne. Due to incessant grabbing of power, violence during elections never ceased. By adapting the western type of government, Manila became a symbol of power and ambition. Still, political violence is very domineering in the provinces because there are lesser eyes present and watches every move. The patron-client framework, in which normal citizen has huge partake, displays only great inequality within the relationship of the two.
Carl Lande thought that it is an adequate image or proof of democracy which we could question. In relation to the present condition of the government, there is also another article about the analysis of Pnoy’s Transformational Presidency released by CenPEG. This fearlessly and openly criticizes President Aquino III’s governance. According to this analysis, there is no much progress in comparison to previous condition of Philippine politics. The current leader had pledged his bosses (Filipino citizens) a nation free of corruption, poverty, and governance reform which is a complete failure until now.
Numerous terms had passed still poverty, unemployment, underemployment, and foreign debt just ballooned over time. Instead, the government is still stuck in an irreparable image of corruption, economic plunder and vicious attacks on human rights. His “daang matuwid” was overshadowed by his indecisiveness and economic blunders. Aside from these, PNoy exerts less effort in arresting top criminals mainly the killers of activists and advocate. They hid themselves behind enormous political power. In addition, they criticize the dependency of our government with our “so-called” allies, America.
This kind of mentality degrades the country identity, respect and self-worth. This whole analysis has pointed out all the discrepancies of the present Aquino administration saying that “transformational presidency” has lost its appeal. In comparison, the first and second articles embarked on criticizing the government, lack of intervention in violence-related political problems, distribution of power — how it is used, and revealing the oligarchs way of controlling the country. Both articles concentrate how the governance in the Philippines is deceiving and corrupted.
Each clearly states the weaknesses and discrepancy with the government itself. Inside, there are concrete examples like Masbate Representative Tito Espinosa who had wanted political reforms and also the issues blatantly thrown to President Aquino. The concept of backstage politics happening between the oligarchs is put on a limelight. The authors were able to support the argument: that nothing has changed ever since. Carefully divulging the key facts about how individuals are elected/re-elected and their ways of leadership are starting to get worse every year.
With the concept of the first article about elections as cockfighting, it is a reality that political culture succumbs to. In relation to the Aquino III’s miracle presidency, many politicians abandoned the dejado to attach themselves to the llamado (which is President Noynoy at that time). These articles show the readers the concept power-hungry and betraying politicians residing in the government offices. Mostly, the authors concerned some ideas how the oligarchs in the Metro partake in this unknown and dubious transactions. There is also the focal point on violence involved.
The second article sees lack of will in President Noynoy’s action against the killings among politicians and advocates. This is what the first article pinpoints as one of the second leading source of inconsistency in politics. Both argue about political viciousness is should be handled as soon as possible. As I read these two articles there are so many conflicts that have sprouted — conflicts that we should have taken action. Just by realizing and understanding what the real occurrences in civil service are, we could deduce the right step to take.
REFERENCES: Rocamora J. “Classes, Bosses, Goons, and Guns: Re-Imagining Philippine Political Culture” Introduction. “Aquino’s Transformational Presidency: What change? ” PSPA Issue Analysis No. 5, Series 2012. Center for People Empowerment and Governance. July, 19, 2012 Hutchcroft, P. 1991 “Oligarchs and Cronies in the Philippine State: The Politics of Patrimonial Plunder. ” Quimpo, N. “Oligarchic Patrimonalism, Bossism, Electoral Clientelism, and Contested Democracy in the Philippines. ” January 2005.