These days it appears fashionable to display a tough-guy —“siga
” in Tagalog—mentality, as if it were a measure of real authority and credibility.
We view with a mix of amusement and exasperation the video of a Bacolod City local official attacking his colleague during a session of the council.
At the Sangguniang Panglungsod Wednesday, councilor Jesus Claudio Puentevella punched fellow councilor Dindo Ramos over a disagreement about a sanitary landfill in the city.
Their colleagues at the council tried to break up the fight and the vice mayor called for a break so cooler heads could prevail.
To be sure, this is not the first time public officials engaged in disorderly behavior, or boorish conduct, or faux bravado.
The President himself is not beyond the vice of purveying this “macho” culture. He zeroes in on individuals who challenge him, and does everything within his means to make their lives difficult. He regards them as their enemies and talks ill of them at every turn.
It could be human nature, or tradition, or some perverted ideas on how it is to be male. Whatever it is, these officials must realize that their tough-guy stance merely shows otherwise—a failure at temperance, and an inability to process information rationally and objectively.
Every nation—or province or city, for that matter—needs strong leaders. Strength, however, is not best shown in obvious, crude ways.