A CHICKEN, particularly the rooster scratching for worms on the ground has a mind of its own. Like people, it is responsive, communicative, hot-tempered, reactive, and ready to attack perceived enemies. Because it has confidence and intelligence of its own, it can analyze bad intentions and escape before something wrong happens.
The rooster can be kind, especially to cockfighters because they understand each other, being familiar with sights inside the cockpit. Since it has a mind of its own, it has a personal perception of congressmen, senators, and other public officials. But let us focus on the lower house.
A rooster can be caught and cooked – adobo style for pulutan. And like any ordinary man on the street, it can be ignored, stepped on, and left dying by the offender as if nothing wrong happened. But from down there where he struggles, he has his own views of people who make the laws in the land.
The chicken’s eyes are fast. They see who among the congressmen are sincere and honest public servants and who among them do nothing for their district. The rooster can feel if those who claim to be their true representative in congress are fooling the people.
Congress last week had a change in the speakership. What is disadvantageous for a number of congressmen is of course beneficial for the others. What was bad was that just because they had the numbers, they thought they could do anything.
The latest circus they performed was to elect a new speaker of the House outside the session hall, outside the Batasan building. From now on, any majority number of congressmen can replace their speaker by voting for a new one outside the Batasan floor under the avocado tree.
They made a bad precedent. A majority of them can now pass a new law anywhere they can gather whether at the Rizal Park, in a nightclub restaurant, on a wide parking lot, or under the shade of a flyover.
Lawmakers and lawbreakers rolled into one, they think they are always right. One of them, a former Manila mayor and cabinet secretary in the past who won as a partylist representative, is unwilling to accept other people’s suggestions but likes to lecture others.
While the fight between House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Congressman Lord Allan Velasco was on, this partylist congressman kept on saying that the national budget should equally provide for the districts.
He knew that he was wrong because he knew that budgets for districts stem from essential projects proposed by roosters in the barangays. He knew that a footbridge for a sitio in Ifugao cannot be built in Tondo. But in news interviews, he insisted that congressional districts’ funds should be equal.
This only tells the roosters that many of their lawmakers are selfish and narrow-minded at the same time. In the end, the speakership fight and the vote for a replacement for Speaker of the House is about money after all.
By the way, as I was about to email this opinion piece, I heard that DPWH Sec. Mark Villar announced on TV that his office will be running after corrupt DPWH engineers who are in cahoots with contractors and politicians in cheating the government, in line with the President’s war against corruption.
How I wish I can reach Sec. Villar and tell him about what has been happening lately in this part of the country. He should be told that the most corrupt department here is the one he heads and the most corrupt politician here now is a political ally of President Duterte and someone from the south.
Their true colors are out. If only they can overcome their arrogance and be more sincere in working for the needs of the districts they represent, this country will surely turn into a better place for roosters to live in.