Many senators do not deserve to be in office, as seen in the kind of bills they propose.
One example is Senator Robinhood Padilla, the ex-film actor who wants Plane, a new Hollywood motion picture, banned from local exhibition.
The film is about a group of foreigners whose aircraft crashes in Jolo, Sulu, and are captured and maltreated by Filipino bandits. Padilla insists the film puts the Philippines in bad light.
Apparently, Padilla does not realize that Plane is fictional material, just like many other Hollywood and local movies are.
There is no difference between Plane and local films which depict the Filipino villains therein as criminals. Local comedy films often portray Filipinos as idiots, but nobody ever considered those films as an insult to Filipinos.
Earlier on, Padilla claimed any inquiry from anyone about the current whereabouts of the President of the Philippines is a threat to national security.
In making that announcement, Padilla shows his utter lack of discernment about the nature of the presidency.
The President is elected by the people by direct ballot, and it is natural for them, often through the press, to want to find out where their elected leader is at any given time.
How can voters’ curiosity about the whereabouts of the President constitute a threat to national security, in the senseless way Padilla believes it is?
Padilla also wants charter change, apparently because he is the chairman of the Senate’s committee on constitutional Amendments.
He probably thinks that as the head of that committee, he must sponsor amendments to the Constitution. Apparently, Padilla is unaware that the rejection of measures to amend the Constitution is among the concerns of that committee.
Padilla ought to be told about retired Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. Mendoza’s apt warning about reckless charter change. According to Mendoza, “when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”
Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa thinks in the same plane (no pun intended) as Padilla does.
In particular, de la Rosa is angry that the passengers who survived the crash in Plane at first thought that they landed in Davao. For the senator, that puts his native Davao in bad light, and so the film should be banned.
Pastilan Dodong! Does this senator realize the absurdity of his statement?
The equally misguided Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri shares the absurd views of Padilla and de la Rosa. According to Zubiri, the film discourages tourism in the Philippines because viewers will be led to believe it isn’t safe in the country.
If that is the way the President of the Senate thinks, then the future of the Senate is in jeopardy.
It’s almost like ex-Senator Francis Pangilinan’s preposterous claim, during his unsuccessful run for the vice presidency last year, that if he (Pangilinan) is elected vice president, the price of food will go down.
Then there is Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., a movie actor who can’t distinguish between the make-believe world of cinema and his role as a senator. This traditional politician will say anything just to get votes.
For instance, late last year, Revilla proposed legislation to reduce the minimum age for senior citizen discounts from the current 60 years to just 56.
Revilla made the non sequitur observation that many senior citizens who died during the COVID-19 pandemic were not able to avail themselves of their discounts.
He also said his proposal will reduce the financial burdens of Filipinos in their late 50s.
Revilla seems ignorant of the rationale behind the law on senior citizen discounts.
Citizens from age 60 and above are often already retired, or are too weak to work like they used to. They are given discounts to assuage the twilight years of their lives.
The law strikes a balance between the need to care for the elderly, and the interests of the business sector.
Thus, those who still have gainful employment, or are fit enough to work (often below 60 years) are not entitled to senior citizen discounts.
Obviously, the populist Revilla wanted the votes of those who will benefit from his proposal.
Just recently, Revilla came up with another silly proposal: the virtual abolition of homework for all school children.
Revilla claims that homework tires school children needlessly, and deprives them of time to relax with their families. He also wants classroom work reduced. What nonsense!
Classroom exercises and homework are means by which lessons are inculcated in the pupils.
Revilla’s hollow excuse for his bill is counter-productive, and will only further reduce the quality of learning among Filipino school children.
Obviously, Revilla simply wants the youth to vote for him for a possible higher office.
It’s either that, or Revilla must have had a difficult time with homework when he was still an elementary student.