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Morality and the 2013 Elections


I accidentally found a book left behind by a good friend—among all other books she did not find to be worth keeping—and this was penned by the famous social columnist Julie Yap-Daza.  It’s entitled, ‘Etiquette for Mistresses…and What Wives Can Learn From Them’.

“The mistresses’ stories told here are all true, disguised here and there in the arcane of major and minor details and circumstances to protect their men, and because they are true, they offer glimpses of a facet of life in the Philippines in the 20th century:  half-Christian, half-pagan:  West mating East; the sensual struggling with the spiritual.  Without passing judgment on her, will today’s mistress be tomorrow’s myth—or parable?” she opens.

Daza presents twenty rules for the mistresses, and in every rule, she shares her insights for wives so that they may outweigh the mistresses for their husbands’ affection. But I do not like to dwell on those ‘rules’.  You have to get a copy of the book and read them for yourself—if you’re a wife, or…never mind.

Daza made a striking point on political elections and the status of mistresses.  She probably had two presidential elections in mind, the book does not at all say.  But her observations if not analyses on those elections where mistresses are concerned, go:

“The results [in the elections]…proved that:  1) As a socio-political institution, the No. 2 does not exist; or 2) The No. 2 exists, but voters are willing to tolerate her presence, force and influence in the life of the candidate as long as he has a record of achievements to show.”

Tolerance for the mistress’ presence—Daza observes. I remember two presidential elections when morality (read:  the candidate had a mistress) was an issue:  when former President Fidel Ramos was allegedly linked to a long-time lady who was among Metro Manila’s top socialite; and when former President Joseph Estrada was reported to have been linked with actresses even when there was former Sen. Dr. Loi Ejercito-Estrada.

But is morality an issue we should not consider where our political leaders are concerned?  Or is it one we should value to be among the unspoken priority requirements?

Daza has more to share—and I leave this for you to think on:

“On the floor of the Senate, a senator of the Republic proposed a code of ethics for his peer.  From Senator Kit Tatad’s list of 17 canons, canon 2 called for an etiquette of integrity and morality in dress and appearance, language and manners.  Plus:  ‘A Senator must avoid any improper or illicit relationship with another person of the opposite or the same sex.  This last is not only censurable but also constitutes a ground for expulsion from the Senate.”  The reaction in the august halls of the Senate ranged from “trivial! To “absurd” and “out of this world!  When an enterprising TV reporter interviewed a number of senators known for their distinctive lifestyles, they were unanimous in branding the code unrealistic, and suggested that the author focused his attention on “more pressing matters.”

So now we think of plagiarism, cyberbullying, wanton disregard of impunity, passivity towards social injustices, and now morality, take three.  What kind of leaders do we vote for in 2013?  (Frencie Carreon, La Chica Viajera for Zamboanga Today)

By Frencie L. Carreon

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