Wisdom > Spoiler

How did we get here?

Something to reflect on before we choose our next president

People do what they see in their leaders. PHOTO FROM SOURCE

I’m not here to endorse a specific presidential candidate. The truth is that I refuse to do exactly that considering my poor track record in electing presidents. I have the proud distinction of never having gotten it right when it comes to choosing our country’s leader. Nope, not once.

I voted for Jovito Salonga in 1992, Raul Roco in 1998, Eddie Villanueva in 2004, and Gilbert Teodoro in 2010. I wasn’t able to vote in 2016 due to a work-related trip, but my choice then was Grace Poe. Guess you could say I’ve lost hope in the system, but then I could also say that at least I’ve had no part in the shenanigans in government.

The point of this piece is to remind everyone how low the Philippines has fallen if we are to talk about integrity and lawfulness. I refer to the state of our motoring. Stand on a busy street corner and chances are you will spot an undisciplined driver—one who doesn’t obey the rules and also doesn’t give a hoot about the basic law. See how rampant fake license plates are, all in broad daylight.

The overused excuse is that this is the fault of the Land Transportation Office. But then, how do the authorities apprehend all the guilty parties? The policy is that all vehicles without official plates need to display their conduction or motor vehicle numbers. What to do with all the offenders?

We see these illegitimate plates on a regular basis now. Do we still care? PHOTOS FROM SOURCES

The situation has gotten so bad that motorists even use foreign plates and political plates. Even motorcycles flaunt power-tripping plates. And those who intend to evade the no-contact apprehension program cover their license plates with face masks.

Yep, in the Philippines, license plates wear face masks. PHOTOS FROM SOURCES

Worst of all are car owners who don’t even bother to put temporary plates, as if to show that our motoring rules do not carry any weight.

Some car owners have stopped caring at all. PHOTOS FROM SOURCES

How did we get here? Surely, this did not happen overnight. All of this is the gradual deterioration of our collective behavior after many years of being exposed to corrupt and uncouth government officials.

As we cast our votes, may we choose the right people who can truly lead us out of this mess. And yes, I do pray that my presidential choice will win for the first time.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.