From Nuffnang

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lessons in Democracy from Tong-ressman Manhik Manaog

In the 1991 film Juan Tamad at Mr. Shoo-Li sa Mongolian Barbecue: The Movie there is a hilarious scene in which Tong-ressman Manhik Manaog (played by Leo Martinez) convened the citizens of the newly-independent country of Lawa-Lawaan.

After the Independence Day celebrations, the country faced the challenge of forming a leadership comprising its citizens. Manhik Manaog lectured representatives from various parts of the country about the rudiments of democracy. He explained the political system by interpreting the quote "Democracy is of the people, for the people, and by the people."

With "of the people," Manhik Manaog meant people who, like him, are intelligent (or cunning) enough. He changed "for the people" into "poor people." Now comes the "by the people" part: Manhik Manaog replaced "by" with "buy."

Democracy, essentially in Manhik Manaog's words, is buying the poor people so intelligent (or cunning) officials like him will remain in power.

On the other hand, Juan Tamad is being hounded by his debtors. In order to pay his debts, the debtors convinced Juan to run in the elections as Tong-ressman. They believe that if Juan wins, he would be able to pay his debts.

These funny situations resonate well in Philippine politics, isn't it?


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