MS 30th Anniversary XXX

A story on campaign promises

I heard the members of Team PNoy promising all sorts of things during their rally at the Plaza Miranda a couple of nights ago. I was reminded of this story. A man died and found himself before St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven.  St. Peter told the man he had a choice between heaven and hell. “What do you want to see first, heaven or hell?” The man replied: “Hell.” St. Peter took the man to an elevator, and down they went, until the elevator stopped, and the door opened. A man impeccably dressed said: “I am Lucifer and welcome to hell.” Satan took the man on a tour, and lo and behold, the man saw naked women cavorting, and a bacchanalian feast taking place. It was an exciting place to be in—pleasure was the name of the game. After the tour, Satan took the man back to the elevator where St. Peter was waiting.  Peter said: “Well, you have seen hell and now you can see heaven.” When St. Peter opened the gates to Heaven, the man saw peace all around with choirs of angels with their harps. There was nothing but peace everywhere, but the people he saw seemed happy. What a boring place this is, he told himself. The man went back to the gates and told St. Peter that he had made his choice to go to hell.  Thus, St. Peter took him to the elevator to go down to hell again. When the elevator door opened, he was met by Satan, this time in his original self, who took his hand and led him to hell. This time, the man saw nothing but fire.  People were moaning because they were being tortured by devils. There was suffering all around, and the feast and women he saw the first time were not there. When the man asked Satan what happened, Satan told him “Yesterday, when you came, we were campaigning. Today you voted and came here!” If all our politicians’ promises were fulfilled, we would be in Utopia! Sadly, the promises they utter are very far from reality. Recall that President Aquino promised in 2010 that he would push for the approval of the freedom of information bill.  What has happened? The late President Manuel L. Quezon said: “I prefer to have a country run like hell by Filipinos, rather than run like heaven by Americans.” Well, he got his wish. *** Malacañang says that the Team PNoy will have more than 21 provincial sorties, and no less than 16 of them will be led by the President. Obviously, the President knows the stakes involved in the forthcoming senatorial polls.  He wants to make sure that his Team PNoy will win, at least the majority. President Aquino’s priority should be the presidency, not the May 13 polls. In a way, he will be moonlighting on behalf of his Team PNoy most of the time.  What about his duties as President? Presidents always want their candidates to win. But not at the expense of the entire nation! Malacañang may say that it’s still the President running the country even as he goes on provincial sorties with his senatorial candidates.  But that’s a lame excuse. We elected him so that he could serve us, not so that he could work so hard to get his own candidates elected to the Senate. *** The UNA or United Nationalist Alliance has given the three common senatorial candidates-Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero and Grace Poe- an ultimatum to join UNA rallies.  Or else, they will be dropped as UNA candidates. It does appear that despite insistent invitations from UNA for the three to join its rallies, only Loren and Grace have sent representatives. Chiz never bothered, thinking perhaps he would win nonetheless. According to surveys, Escudero is assured of winning anyway. But, Santa Banana, that’s not the point. Escudero could at least have given the UNA Three Kings the courtesy of sending a representative. That happens when one gets swell-headed and thinks he’s already on top of the world. UNA should just forget those common candidates. *** I’d like to congratulate former Quezon City Mayor Mel Mathay for having taken finally to the altar his long-time partner, Vilma Valera, even at this late age. I’m quite close to Mel because we were together with his late elder brother, Pons Mathay. We were childhood playmates. We used to play basketball together at an empty lot in Sampaloc across the Mathay grocery.  I used to live at an accesoria along P. Campa Street. His wife Vilma is the granddaughter of the Valera matriarch in  Abra, who was my godmother in baptism, together with the late Defense Minister Carmelo Barbero as my godfather. I was born in the town of Dolores, Abra, where the Barberos came from. I wish Mel and Vilma the best of the rest of their years together. God  bless! *** I cannot also end my column without congratulating Senate president Protempore Jinggoy Estrada for turning half a century tomorrow, February 16. Regrettably, my wife and I cannot make it to his birthday bash at the  Tent City of Manila Hotel since we’ll be out of town. In any case, happy birthday, Jinggoy, and we wish you many more years of happy birthdays! *** I also extend my condolences to the wife and family of my late friend, Gerry Espina of Biliran. I’ll miss him at 365 Club.
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