Liberal Party candidate Mar Roxas is certainly in the habit of making not only unfounded statements, but incomplete ones. On his televised interview with veteran journalist Mel Tiangco, Roxas bared his opposition to legalising divorce and same-sex marriage. Although he quoted some cliché platitude about the family being the foundation of society to substantiate his position on divorce, he stopped short of articulating why exactly he is opposed to same sex marriage. Instead, he said this…
Bilang public policy para sa akin ay hindi ako pabor dito. Subalit… may mga kamag-anak ako na close na close na have partners and nirerespeto ko sila, minamahal ko sila, tinatanggap ko sila, bukas-puso, bukas-loob kong ang aking pagtrato sa kanila…
Translating the above into proper intelligible English…
As far as public policy, I do not favour [same sex marriage]. But I have relatives who are very close who have partners whom I respect and love. I fully accept them open heartedly and am unreserved in my regard for them…
In short, Mar Roxas selectively respects deviant lifestyles on the basis of whether or not he has personal or filial relationships with the “offending” parties.
That figures. It sort of mirrors the way the law is applied in Philippine society.
Filipino politicians will defend the right to steal from the public coffers on grounds that these benefit the special people in their lives. But when it comes to strangers and people who are not their kababayans, it becomes a lot simpler: the law applies in full force.
So according to Roxas, “hindi ako papayag” he “will not allow” divorce to be legalised in the Philippines (as if that is his choice to make). He also “does not favour” same sex marriage, but tolerates homosexual relationships amongst his own kin.
The challenge for Mar Roxas is to tell the Filipino why he takes these positions. It is important that leaders are able to articulate clearly the thinking process that leads them to take one position or the other.
Are Roxas’s positions based on clear thinking that he actually took the time and effort to undertake? Or is he merely parroting some kind of party tagline or deferring lazily to the weight of culture and tradition? Only if voters ask their candidates the right questions and apply an intelligent mind to the process of evaluating how qualified they are will Filipinos get the leaders they feel they deserve.
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