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article imageOp-Ed: Will Gimmicks Work This Time in Philippine Politics?

By Maria Narissa Aranzanso     Jun 9, 2009 in Politics
In the seemingly hasty resolution of the House of Representatives to create a constituent assembly keeping out the Senate, different sectors of the country countered and Senate lead the stand-up fight against the resolution by the lower house.
GMA News TV reported that Senator Mar Roxas showed apparent resistance to the resolution. In his privilege speech, the senator called the constituent assembly, or “con-ass”, as “con-asswang” (a tag associating the group to the evils of a ghoul). And in his speech, he wore a garlic garland as protection against the ‘aswang’ (ghoul).
It was not only Senator Roxas who demonstrated resistance. A number of senators were heard giving their opinions and comments on the improbability of the “con-ass” to succeed. However, it was Senator Mar Roxas who was very vocal and had emphasized his noise with his acts, or gimmicks, as seen by many in television news.
The predecessors of Mar Roxas are from Capiz, the province that was once known to be a land of ghouls. The townspeople had succeeded to erase that identity though and this was probably not known to Senator Mar Roxas who grew up in Manila. This could be the reason why he may seem unaware that garlic was known as protection against ghouls.
Whatever it is about garlic and the ghouls, the senator’s gimmick became news in tv and radio programs for a day and he was tagged as ‘Mr. Bawang’ (Mr. Garlic). When Senator Mar Roxas ran for the senatorial bid before he also used a gimmick – the one where he visited wet markets where he got his nickname Mr. Palengke (Mr. Wetmarket). At present, he will run for president and his gimmick includes pedaling a side car with two children aboard. He was labeled ‘Mr. Padyak’ (Mr. Pedal) today.
Will gimmicks work this time? Again, Senator Roxas is not alone using them to advertise himself and his candidacy. The other senators who are president wannabes also use varied gimmicks for popularity’s sake. It was not a concern if the gimmicks are cheap and ridiculous because what is important for every wannabe is that they become popular. The cliché ‘bad publicity is still publicity’ is probably thought as one way, too, to introduce the name.
Filipinos may have been tired or spent or discouraged about the whole political situation in the Philippines. All means to thwart justice and fair existence can be used by these politicians. Gimmicks even in bad taste, as way of getting attention to promote a candidate, can also be used. But these political candidates should not underestimate the effect of graft and corruption, deceit, and coercion up to the simplest part of the masses. Dissatisfaction cannot be gratified by empty promises forever.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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