To those of us who have a pretty good idea on the nuances of Philippine Politics, I would like to ask you as to how one can describe Philippine politics, and for those who have no idea, Philippine politics is basically politics of patronage. The elections season starts off with goons, guns, and gold (mostly gold). Turncoatism among politicians is a common as seeing flies in a rotten trash heap, more so that the Philippines has a multi party system. The patronage aspect exercised by political families or even clans is simply amazing. It is not surprising to find in some provinces practically a whole family holding elective positions.
In La Union for example, the governor is an Ortega, his brother is the Congressman, the wife is Mayor, another brother is a City Councilor, another brother is a Provincial Board Member and down the line are a long list of relatives who are holding key positions within the province. They say it is a classic case of a political dynasty. If you ask me if I agree with the term dynasty, my answer is yes and no, which unfortunately will be too lengthy for me to explain. While there are term limits in place, the political family in power simply does a rigodon among family members on who will run for a particular position come election time, and this is happening every 3 years.
I am thankful that the political culture in the island has not and cannot duplicate the Philippine system. However, my observation during the time of Gov Carl Gutierrez, there were a good number of Filipinos who were holding pretty good positions in government, which unfortunately, that is not the case with the Calvo administration. During the Gutierrez administration, meritocracy was given its due which is not the case with the Calvo administration. During the Gutierrez administration, the Governor was highly accessible and he did not have a cordon as is the case now.
Anyway, my column is not about comparing the former and current governor. To each his own style, and to which my beloved Guamanians will decide who is worthy come 2018, still a couple of years from now, but time flies, and whether we like it or not 2018 is now just around the corner.
I have been asked, why, what is the problem if Coretech had bought the former Marianas Variety, now turned it into the Daily Post? My answer always is, on the surface there appears to be nothing wrong as this is a free country or an island where democratic principles reign supreme. My often retort to this question often is, are you aware on the extent and magnitude of dealings Coretech has with the current administration? Most often, the person(s) I am talking to would give some general answers as to yes they have done this, they have done that, they have been awarded this or that, mostly also general responses. When I am given that response, I normally say, there you have it, that is where the problem lies. We all want an independent media, free to say or write things even though they may be critical of the current administration – that is the fundamental role of media which is to inform the public as truthfully as possible on the hard and cold facts, no more no less. Anything less would put a media person or outfit in the category of a PR Man (paid hack) or PR firm.
I now ask you, do you think the Daily Post can be critical of at least the Governor and Lt. Governor, never mind the cabinet for now as some of them may be treated as shock absorbers? You tell me. Do you think that Coretech, which is a favored contractor of the Governor has taken a hands off policy and allowed the Daily Post the editorial liberty and independence to write about things that may be critical about the Governor and/or Lt. Governor? If your answer to my two questions is Yes, then perhaps you were just born yesterday to which I was not (lakayakon dinak ma-allilaw or in tagalog – matanda na to lokohin n’yo lelong n’yo). Or perhaps you are among those favored and benefitting from the current administration.
Ang dasal ko lang, sa aking mga kababayang Pinoy, kailangan na magka-isa tayo at buksan ninyo ang inyong mga mata at huwag kayo mag tanga-tangahan o mag bubulag-bulagan. Gusto ba ninyo na mangyari sa Guam (at nangyayari na ito) at matulad sa Pinas ang mga talamak na pandarambong ng napakaraming mga kawatan na nasa posisyon sa gobyerno?