Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
House Resolution 2140 of Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales urges “the local TV and movie industry to minimize, prevent, or stop typecasting congressmen and congresswomen as villains or crooks
in the movies and telenovelas, that create stereotypes or negative public perception against members of the House of Representatives”. Gonzales pointed out that House members are elected representatives of the people and deserve fairness.
Leo Martinez, a director of the Film Academy of the Philippines and an actor who depicts a fictional congressman in comedy shows, described public opinion regarding politicians accurately in his response to the resolution: “Art mirrors life”.
If Rep. Gonzales is genuinely concerned about the image of the members of the House of Representatives, it would serve him well to look inward instead of outward. The negative public perception of congressmen and congresswomen in this country would not exist if there was no basis at all. When the House of Representatives does not take action after receiving reports that one of their own has punched a security guard, how are we supposed to believe that they are not tolerating such acts that can surely be considered as villainous? Why do Congressmen have to debate whether a member who has been convicted of drug possession in a foreign country should be dropped from the rolls when the answer is as clear as day to the man on the street?
If Congress was not bothered that one of its members continues to hold office while waiting for a final ruling on his conviction for statutory rape, then they should not be bothered when the Filipino public insult crocodiles by associating the reptile with the lawmaker. It would certainly be harder to label these lawmakers as crooks if they would only agree to make their utilization of the pork barrel transparent.
Instead of urging the local TV and movie industry to cast his fellow lawmakers in a better light, it may be more effective for the image of Congress if Rep. Gonzales were to demand that his colleagues be model Filipinos in word and deed, as well as find a way for the Committee on Ethics to take greater responsibility and a more proactive role in restoring and protecting the image of Congress.*