Only Shallow

By: Reyshimar Arguelles

IF John Lennon was able to give peace a chance by singing against the injustices of the world, why can’t we assert our sovereign rights through songs of Freddie Aguilar?

Senator Francis Tolentino was both praised and grilled last week for proposing that Filipino songs be played in the West Philippine Sea. The intention is to let the Chinese know that they’re in Philippine waters.

Sounds like a plan that’s crazy enough to work. It could also be a plan that’s too stupid to work. Apparently, geopolitical issues can be resolved through music at least to the minds of Tolentino, who is no stranger to peddling impotent proposals, like this one time when he wanted to add another star to the Philippine flag.

I couldn’t think of a more damning instance of this administration’s shallowness and the extreme lengths it has to take to defend itself from its critics.

It’s not in the government’s vocabulary to concede to whatever moral standards that lie outside the realm of hypocrisy within which it thrives. Its cohorts are comfortable with the fact that they still enjoy a robust following. No matter how hard you hit them for all their gaffes, they still have the gall to point back at you and say you’re the one who farted.

This type of hubris knows no limits and this has allowed the administration and its supporters to deflect the vitriol lobbed against them. Other than that, it has also given leeway for allied politicians to pass the shallowest pieces of legislation without challenge.

A case in point is the swift passing of a proposal to double the budget of the Office of the President. The P8.3-billion allocation easily bypassed rigorous scrutiny at the Senate where administration ally Bong Go didn’t even question the inclusion of a P4.5-billion intelligence fund.

Go denied that the proposed budget won’t undergo vetting, insisting that the system of checks and balances will still be applied before the unprecedented allocation gets approved. Then again, it only took eight measly minutes for the proposal to pass through the committee level. Go, whom we all know is attached to the President like a Lego brick, didn’t so much as question the amount, saying that he has already “understood” the content of the proposal.

With a snap of a finger, and without anyone from the opposition to challenge it, the Office of the President’s budget was approved in a hearing that was facilitated by the Palace’s yes-men.

One doesn’t have to be a genius to point out the mindlessness that administration allies exercise. They simply couldn’t see through the implications of the decisions they make. All that matters to them is to agree without question to whatever deranged plans are peddled by their Ringleader.

But what good can you expect from a government that insists it knows what it’s doing even when it’s setting up dangerous precedents? What’s more idiotic is how it casually appoints shady and undeserving individuals to positions they couldn’t possibly handle due to their glaring ineptness.

You can say a lot about Nicanor Faeldon and how he’s going to be recycled to another agency, but the real shocker was yesterday’s plan to appoint former Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

There’s no question about Uson’s advocacies as a pro-Duterte influencer, but her appointment to another agency shows us how the government isn’t taking itself seriously. Being accused of spreading fake news, lambasted for her obscure and obscene plans to promote Federalism, and grilled for performing at casinos during her time at the PCOO, Uson could barely pass off as someone who could handle an important role at the OWWA.

There’s no room for rational decisions anymore. There’s only convenience and mundanity, laziness and shallowness. And there’s really nothing to look forward to when the government’s best and the brightest also happen to be the basest.