there ought to be a law

senator ping lacson said on tina monzon palma’s talkback that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with doing a TV commercial selling a facial lotion for men because there is no law forbidding it.

i suppose, correct me if i’m wrong, there is no such law in the u.s. either, which might explain why we copycats don’t have one?

yet i’m sure no u.s. senator or representative or governor or mayor endorses commercial products (even if there is no law forbidding it) simply because the american public – which holds elected officials to the promise of public service, nothing more, nothing less, and who are a lot more sophisticated than we are about tv commercials – would raise a terrible howl and question his/her integrity and credibility to kingdom come. s/he’d be the butt of jokes – tagged a sell-out – from jay leno to whoopie et al, and would never hear the end of it, unless/until the tv commercial is made to go away.

pero dito sa atin, inaakalang okey lang itong pag-e-endorse ng government officials ng commercial products. anong masama kung kumita sila ng extra, maliit daw ang suweldo ng senador. the attitude is, basta he or she is (perceived to be) doing a good job as a public servant, okay lang to do movies, tv commercials, whatever he or she wants to do on the side, just like any enterprising citizen.

excuse me, but this is precisely why we get the kind of government officials we do, for whom public service is a parttime job, who say one thing and do another, and who do not have the brains or the chutzpah to get the country out of the economic pits but instead have only a lot of the same old same old faith na hindi tayo pababayaan ng diyos. meanwhile, they make hay while the sun shines, sell soap and skin whitener and facial lotion and fabric softener and herbal supplement and cheap instant noodles, que cheap!

a lot of credibility is lost when a senator peddles a branded product whose advantages over other brands is questionable because it’s just a lot of hype, as all advertising is. a lot of credibility is lost when a senator makes movies to entertain the masses when s/he should be working for higher national interests such as food security, quality education, and a host of other concerns.

and it is certainly not in the national interest to encourage crass materialism and consumerist values, raising needs essential and non-essential that are beyond gratifiying for the masses of ill-fed poor who watch tv in this third world country.