We all have to deal or transact with hired professionals or employees on a regular basis. Most of us would rather see the good side of the individual we are dealing with than their bad side because the alternative would be hard work. For example, when we find a dentist who was highly recommended by a person we know, we tend to believe that that particular dentist could do a good job of taking care of our teeth than a dentist whose reputation is unknown and who charges more. Since we can’t be bothered or are too “lazy” to find out if there is a better dentist out there as an alternative, our mindset automatically switches to “I guess I can trust this guy” mode.
However, when we find that the result of the dentist’s work is not satisfactory, we have to deal with the inconvenience of asking him to do the job again, which can become awkward or end in a dispute. What’s worse is when we have no choice but to deal with a bad outcome for the rest of our lives. In any case, we have to find another dentist we can trust again with our teeth. The whole process can be daunting, costly and a waste of our precious time because of the amount of work we have to do in search for a new dentist. It is enough to put us off looking and make us settle for the dentist with mediocre skills.
It is the same case in dealing with a doctor, lawyer, carpenter, driver, housekeeper or any help we need to hire. It is easier for us to look at the good side of these “professionals” and turn a blind eye to their “quirks” than question their abilities. We justify looking at the bright side of things by telling ourselves “no one is perfect” or “at least he is cheap and popular” and because our hectic lifestyle does not allow us to keep looking for the perfect one.
Sometimes, in our haste to move on with our lives, we ignore the warning signs that give us a clue that the person we are about to hire could be a crook or dishonest. Because he or she can be very charming at first impression, we can’t be bothered to check if he or she is just overselling himself or herself. Unfortunately, in the end, not being very thorough in the hiring process or even just ignoring our basic instincts that warn us not to hire someone can result in unnecessary expense to say the least.
Putting too much trust in someone without checking if he or she has the right skill for the task can have devastating consequences for any business owner. Just because someone vouched for a job applicant doesn’t mean we should skip the screening process. Hiring an accountant with a secret gambling addiction won’t be good for the bottom-line. Which is why everyone would be better off doing their homework first like conducting a background check, character assessment and evaluating the results of the candidate’s past work before employing or hiring the services of said candidate.
The same rigorous approach should be applied in voting for public servants. After all, the public will become the public servant’s “bosses” during their entire term in public office.
In fact, public servants who will handle public funds should undergo a thorough lifestyle check and psychological test to ensure that they are of sound mind to handle the pressures of the job under intense public scrutiny. Obviously, someone who is onion-skinned and cannot take criticism is not the right man for the job. The result of their previous posts in the public or private sector should also be taken into consideration before they are voted into office. Putting an incompetent individual into a powerful position can be both devastating and demoralizing to an entire society.
Take the case of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino. Filipino voters ignored all the warning signs that indicated that he was overselling himself for a job that is beyond his skill level. They ignored the fact that he was just pushed to run as a Presidential candidate immediately after his popular mother passed away – taking advantage of people’s raw emotion. They ignored the fact that he was an underperforming Congressman and Senator during his stint in Congress. They ignored and keep ignoring his vindictive nature and that he is only good at putting his political opponents down in order to lift his status up. In other words, Filipino voters ignored the fact that BS Aquino does not even have the right skills to handle the problems that have been plaguing the nation for decades.
It was very convenient for the voters to think that BS Aquino can be trusted because for one, he was the only son of popular personalities, Ninoy and Cory Aquino who they consider “heroes”. It was also very convenient for them to just vote for someone with a popular name than continue looking for an alternative candidate. The task of following the process of doing a background check, character assessment and evaluating the results of a candidate’s past work before voting for him was and still is, considered a daunting task for a lot of Filipino voters. And since the voters could not be bothered or were too “lazy” to look for an alternative candidate, their mindset automatically switched to “I guess I can trust this guy” mode. Even worse was when some thought that they were prepared to settle for the “lesser evil” even when they were aware of his average abilities.
Of course some of us already realize the consequences of voting for someone who is not qualified to lead a nation of 100 million people. Unfortunately, a lot of Filipinos are still in denial that he made promises he could not keep and that he oversold himself using the slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”.
What is so appalling is that even though corruption under BS Aquino’s term is more blatant than ever and even though the number of poor people keeps increasing, his staunch supporters still say that his critics should “cut him some slack” and to go easy on him as if he was a baby. But that’s what they have been saying since Day One of his term. You would think that by now they can accept that he is not going to improve his performance considering his promise to ignore constructive criticism and considering he only has less than two years to finish his term, which he will spend campaigning for the Liberal Party candidate in the 2016 Presidential election.
One can’t help but question where the loyalties of some Filipinos lie. Are they fighting for the good of the nation or are they fighting to keep the ruling dynasty in power? It seems like they would rather turn a blind eye to BS Aquino’s violation of the Constitution and abuse of power just to please him. Even in the best of times, he still manages to botch the way he handles every crisis that lands on his lap.
Crisis after crisis, BS Aquino showed that he lacks diplomatic skills and is just trying to wing it by telling the media – both local and international – that everything is under control even when it is not. During the super typhoon Yolanda, the coverage that was being shown by the international media was grim, with bodies uncollected for days and starving people roaming the disaster zone but BS Aquino kept reassuring the rest of the world that his government was on top of the situation. He did confirm one thing to his critics though, that he is a bad liar.
The extent of his deceit is still unknown. There could be more information that the public is not aware of aside from what Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla had already revealed — that he gave 50 millions pesos of taxpayer’s funds to the senators and secretly met those who convicted former Chief Justice Corona at the height of his impeachment trial.
Malacanang mouthpieces can insist that they have stopped allocating funds through the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP, but it still doesn’t change the fact that its use is not covered by the law. And the fact that they dropped the use of DAP as soon as the public found out about it means that deep inside, they knew they were doing something wrong.
BS Aquino’s eagerness to find something good that could define his legacy through the peace agreement with the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) likewise forced him to ignore the Constitution. A lot of people have noted that for the Supreme Court to approve the Bangsamoro Deal, Congress has to amend the Constitution. Obviously, giving away part of Mindanao to a rebel group to create a separate state is not in the Constitution. The deal doesn’t even guarantee that other rebel groups would honor the peace pact.
All that is just a tiny fraction of the way BS Aquino mismanages the country and possibly promotes further instability in the future. Although he only has less than two years to go, he can still do a lot of damage if allowed to continue abusing his position. The Filipino people need to cut their loses immediately to reverse the effects of his failures. It’s a choice between putting up with his substandard performance and finding an alternative leader. Like I said before, life is too short to put someone’s trust in people like BS Aquino who waste people’s time learning on the job while millions go to bed hungry every night.