Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Sins of Patronage

Everyday there are full-page ads from a local government unit or a group of LGUs vowing their support of the administration of President Arroyo. Today, there was a correction of an ad from the Assumptionistas eternally beholden to the President. It corrected names of deceased included among the signatures. A full page ad from the Inquirer costs about P250,000. The Assumptionista correction cost about P75,000. This infuriates me because they eat up space that would have had stories from journalists like me. Instead, we are bumped off because the mayor of Maasin, Southern Leyte is spending a huge chunk of its IRA to say that he loves to lick the ass of an evil person. Until I remembered what a powerful person in authority told me last week: that these ads were paid by the government. It all made sense now. You pay for the ad so that you can have a semblance that people are still on your side while at the same time, you dislodge stories that are mostly critical of your government. This is the essence of the patronage politics. Hey, I pay you so that you will support and silence me. President Arroyo (God Bless her Soul) will be paying generals, mayors, governors and many, many others until 2010. She will be using up our money to silence these potential enemies. She has to stay till 2010 because she has to pay the people who made her buy her way through the elections. Which meant that she had to extend her term to pay off her enemies now. That's why we also need to cut her now and cut cleanly.

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