It’s almost funny, seeing elected officials behave like regular human beings, like school kids even. Except, they’re running the country, so we’re hardly laughing.
Yesterday, we read a report on GMA News Online about how Senate wanted to review the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency’s (NICA) whopping P700 million budget. Why? Because the blue ribbon committee received from NICA a confidential report that lifted a story from a satirical news site. Cringe.
The article in question was about an alleged Chinese military base in Zambales that contained underground military silos. It was published by “Intel Guru” on July 25 and had a disclaimer at the bottom of the article.
“This specific article is partly for satirical and entertainment purposes and the events should not be construed as pure facts although the mentioned tangible objects exists,” the note reads.
“I was shocked. You’re taking it from the Internet and your’e taking it seriously. Fine. Did you verify? And they said they will do it,” GMA quoted the senator as saying.
He took the words right out of our mouth.
They’re people in government, for crying out loud. We don’t know about you, but shouldn’t we expect more from them? Is it too much to ask for people in government to be a little bit more responsible than us? Shouldn’t we expect them to act like adults and not like some irresponsible kids from high school?
Alas, it’s an expectation that’s been chipping our hopeful hearts. Through the years, we’ve been seeing more and more of ourselves — our high school selves — in the way our government officials and government employees have been conducting themselves. The story about the intel agency quoting a satirical news site is the latest.
Below, we list five more glaring instances when people in government acted like kids from high school:
1. That alleged plagiarism issue Senator Tito Sotto faced in 2012. Everybody knows plagiarism is a huge no-no; not for a paper, definitely not for your thesis, and most especially not for something as huge as the Reproductive Health Bill debates in Senate. The ruckus was that Sen. Sotto allegedly copied from, among others, a speech of former US President John F. Kennedy. He defended himself, first by saying he only translated them into Filipino (haha, right) and then by saying he never claimed them as his own. Oh-kay.
2. Slut-shaming Leila de Lima. Our dear lawmakers wanted to show an alleged sex video of the senator during the congressional hearing on the proliferation of drugs inside the national penitentiary. And for what? In aid of legislation, ladies and gentlemen. And we thought, really? A sex video? In aid of legislation? It feels like we’re dealing with all the adolescent pervs all over again, except it’s worse because they’re grown men.
3. That time Mar Roxas fell off his motorcycle and he had no helmet on. In 2014, then-DILG Secretary Mar Roxas made for the usual inspection run around Samar after typhoon Ruby made landfall. He did so riding a motorcycle, but without a helmet. Ah, didn’t that episode remind you of the time your older brother borrowed your guitar, tried to start a band, and failed? Can we hashtag this #medyobadboy?
4. The President and his potty mouth. Definitely not a medyo, but a total. We don’t mean to sound like a prude, but every time the President lets out a profanity or flips the bird during a speech, we feel ourselves imploding. Then we feel like we’re getting transported back to that time in school when the class bad boy uttered a choice word during poetry class because hey, it’s poetry, making all of us suffer from a long-ass sermon from the teacher. We mean, yeah it’s cool he gets to be himself. Some days though, we wonder, is it really necessary?
5. Juan Ponce Enrile playing Bejeweled at senate. Hah, like us except we were totally engaged with the snake game in our old Nokia phones. Lucky him he can get away with the “it sharpens my mind” excuse. We would’ve been sent straight to the principal’s office.
Art: Madel Crudo