Philippines Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay‘s “Nasaan ang gobyerno?” speech during today’s official launch of the UNA political party hits the nail on the head, so to speak. For the benefit of my non-Filipino readers, below are quick foreign-friendly guide of some of the words/phrases used in this post.
- Nasaan ang gobyerno? means “Where’s the government?” in simple, straightforward English translation
- Political party launch? In the Philippines, everyone can start their own political party, for whatever reasons.
Being the 2nd highest leader of the land, those words mean a lot, not only to his supporters but also to all Filipinos – rich, the filthy rich, poor and the extremely poor alike.
You can hear every citizen’s cry “nasaan ang gobyerno?” when:
- You renew your driver’s license or vehicle plate at the LTO office and you’re given piece of paper saying your new license ID or plate will be available in 3-4 months (I renewed my car registration last February and I still don’t have my new plate number.)
- You queue at MRT stations for hours until you get your ride and occupy a space good for 1 person with 2 other hapless commuters.
- You’re stuck in traffic and its taking you almost 2 hours on the average to reach a destination of just 20 kilometers or less.
- Government services are not or not immediately available during times of disasters and calamities.
- You see kids roaming the streets and sleeping on sidewalks and in areas like the Manila baywalk.
- You look around and see tons of garbage in the streets and waterways.
- You notice the million-peso newly constructed roads already full of potholes after a night of rain.
- Public utility vehicle drivers drop off or pick up passengers anywhere they want.
I could go on and cite hundreds of instances where government presence cannot be felt, a disappointing reality when government is supposed to be for the people and by the people, for which VP Binay was a key cabinet member for the past 5 years.
In the same way, we can remind dear VP Binay of the peoples’ cry “nasaan ang gobyerno?” when:
- His son and mayor of Makati City was figured in an incident with the guards of a posh Makati village.
- They allowed people to converge and barricade the Makati city hall to prevent authorities to serve the mayor’s suspension notice (which resulted to some people and police officers getting hurt during such unfortunate and pointless incident).
- The multiple allegations of corruption and unexplained wealth by a Senate committee investigation and the Anti Money Laundering Council report are left unanswered.
- He failed to present his aides Baloloy and Limlingan during the Senate investigation to help him clear his name.
- People are fed with information on the billions of pesos allegedly amassed by the Binay family over the years but were simply ignored and chose instead to snob the senate hearings.
These are key items for which VP Binay should ponder on. If he could only see clearly, and not blinded by his lofty political ambitions, and address these fair and square, we will all be happy to vote for him and give him the Philippine Presidency in 2016.