“…Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, and cumin; but you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former…” –Matthew 23:23
I don’t know if readers of this column or those from Davao City agree with the proposal by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte last week, where the presidential daughter said she would accompany her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, on foreign trips and act as his “yaya,” or nanny, to make sure he doesn’t kiss anybody again.
My unsolicited advice cautions against such action.
First, critics may misinterpret it as an abdication of her mayoral duties, which she typically performs 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Traveling frequently with the president may also bring about criminal cases, tossing allegations of “dereliction of duty” or “graft and corruption” as the trips have nothing to do with her official role as Davao City mayor.
Second, whatever her father does as leader of the country is his prerogative. For Duterte, government is old hand and he has acquired his personal leadership style – if it’s not acceptable to his foes, that’s their problem. Since the people are with the president on everything he does, then the president can do what he fancies.
A ‘refined’ corrupt leader or a committed ‘brusque’ one?
Who would we rather have in leadership positions? Those who are refined and formal in manner but, behind the scenes, are protecting and patronizing the illegal drug trade, plundering billions in government funds, and hiding jueteng and other forms of gambling in the countryside; or those who may brusque and rude but are really gentle spirits who, despite holding office for a short time, have already scored major accomplishments?
Readers of this column know what I am referring to. There are men and women in government who look good in their barongs, suits, and gowns, and who speak English well; yet, they are also responsible for throwing millions in donations for calamity victims into garbage pits, in an effort to, perhaps, prevent their countrymen, the lowly and marginalized Filipino, from receiving the much-needed assistance.
Abuses by these so-called “decent and refined officials of government” have killed more Filipinos than the number they claim the president’s war on illegal drugs has claimed. These “pretenders” make me want to puke and they are not deserving of respect and admiration.
Pretentious officials will be thrown to hell
These pretentious officials are refined and good-looking in their attire, behavior, and speech – much like the Pharisees and religious leaders during the time of Jesus, Jesus, our God and Savior, who is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Matthew 23, Jesus looked with disdain on these people, saying, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!”
He continued: “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but, on the inside, are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but, on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
If these pretenders believe the public has yet to see their true despicable characters, they are dead wrong.
However, even if our countrymen are blind to their abuses and allow them to evade punishment, there is no escaping the judgment of Jesus, which will see them wallowing in endless pain and agony in the eternal law of fire and worms that is hell.
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