The sudden death of Jesse Robredo gave him accolades he couldn’t have imagined possible in his lifetime. For instance, irony of ironies, how come he wasn’t given national recognition and welcome when he was Mayor in Naga for what he did there yet was given these when he plunged to his death? It wasn’t even a hero’s death. And so, he, listening to these, my imagination leans toward that of him perched somewhere in a half-grin and clucking. Were we merely reeling from over-dose of teleseryes? Were our spoken words exactly what we meant? Unlike us here he could tell with all surety which is which.
One such accolades is that Robredo embodied the Daang Matuwid (“The Straight Path”) for so and so reasons. Well, maybe. I mean, the average Filipino didn’t even know the name before his death, before it became front page news material. But suppose the accolade is one hundred percent true, how did it get to the point that his widow, Atty. Leni Robredo, was appointed to replace him to chair the vacancy he left in the Liberal Party of Camarines Sur? And I thought this country is already on its way toward the Daang Matuwid.
Qualified or not, the appointment of Atty. Leni to replace her husband is a perpetuation of political dynasties which is the mark of the opposite of the Daang Matuwid. As with feudalism, the feudal lord believes there is no one from among the workers capable to replace him. The replacement must, should be from within the family. It is how the line is secured. It is how “duty” to workers has always been.
In contrast, a democratic process – Daang Matuwid – is one in which those who are qualified are given equal access to the position.
On one hand, the fact that this continues to be a pattern has much to do with the level of maturity in citizens – their capacity to decide beyond sentiments and to cut through big words to get to the real thing.