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IN MY EYES: 2019 Elections: Anticipating the parade of ‘trapos’

It’s almost election time again, fellas.

The campaign period is fast approaching for the May 2019 elections.

When was the last time your elected officials came to your house? Of course, the last time was in 2016 during the campaign period prior to the elections. I know that to this date, they have not returned to evaluate what has happened to your requests. But mind you, they will be coming back once more comes March 2019 when the campaign period starts.

It was also in early 2016 when many barangay roads started to get concreted after being waylaid for decades. It was a way to earn papogi points for Mr. Trapo while promising to get all those barangay roads concreted once he gets into power.

It’s 2019 elections again, fellas, and perhaps, these concreteting projects will resume soon.

Waaah, you get crossed over by a trapo over there, fellas.

The parade of “trapos” is about to start again and one needs to know who these trapos are.

How would you describe a ‘trapo’ in Philippine politics?

Let’s scroll over these definitions from our fellow netizens:

Medel Verzosa, Ilocos Sur: A trapo is a philandering politician who enriches himself while pretending to be a God-fearing and service-oriented person.

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: trapo will enrich himself while in office and make politics his cottage industry. Eliminating an opponent will be an option to ensure victory.

Ed Gulmatico, Yemen: There are really too many adjectives to describe a trapo, but here are some of the realistic ones: power-hungry and lustful for people’s money; exploiter of poor people’s hardships and miseries; congenitally hypocritical; heartless and conscienceless; predatory; afraid to let go of power and position; and evil. Trapos think that only they and their relatives have the right to govern and lord it over their hapless constituents. They firmly hold on to their political position at all costs not to govern and serve the people, but to be treated eternally like royalty. There are too many of them; the nearest estimate is that 90 per cent of elected public officials are trapos.

Sahlee Almaden Reyes, Las Piñas City: A trapo can be of any age. It may apply to a run-of-the-mill candidate who gains a seat in government through the support of influential connections or maybe familial ties, but not on his own merit. A trapo is one who espouses no principles or is stricken with severe amnesia and forgets his touted promises when elected to office. He is adept in the tricks of the trade in politics, proficient in the art of averting issues on maleficent practices in government. He constantly changes loyalty to any political party which suits his fancy or vested interest. Trapos are braggadocios; they love to walk around with a battalion of armed bodyguards in tow and travel around in cars complete with noisy police sirens. Trapos cheat their constituents using taxpayers’ money and are involved in syndicated corruption. They play ball with the corrupt system and its foreign and local sponsors. Lastly, a trapo is a long-winded talker before the TV cameras. Unfortunately, there is no substance in his talk. Puro porma.

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: For me, a traditional politician uses utang na loob, the padrino system, the pakikisama system as means of extracting loyalty or, better yet, subservience from his constituents in order to continue being beholden to him, thereby perpetually electing him and his family members to public office. He knows how to ride the tide of Philippine politics. This keeps him afloat.

William Gonzaga, Marikina CityTrapo is now a dirty connotation of everything undesirable ascribed to a politician. Lying, cheating and stealing are usual tools of politicians to win and stay in power. Thus, we tend to have no choice but to vote the lesser evil as all bets seem to have the same character traits and the same predilection for malfeasance and misgovernance once in power.

Osmundo Lim, Caloocan City: trapo is one who really accepts invitation to be ninong at wedding and baptismal rites in his locality. He loves to send greeting cards to most government employees. Malilimutan ko na ang birthday ng asawa ko, but she never fails to receive a birthday card from him. When elected, he gets back his investment through overpriced contracts, ghost projects, and other corrupt practices.

Dennis Acop, Baguio City: trapo, like the dust rag, is mainly characterized by the opportunist politician who stops at nothing to get what he wants. He is part of a political system that does not play by straight party platforms but goes more by the strength of personalities; allows personalities to float from one political party to another; and is prone to unethical behavior. A trapo is part of the reason why Philippine politics remains immature. Of course, a trapo cannot thrive if the majority of the people themselves are mature. Unfortunately, such is not the case yet in the Philippines. Due to their poverty and lack of education, many are prone to manipulation by self-serving politicians. If it is possible to just have two main political parties just like the Nacionalista and Liberal parties of old, so much the better in order to avoid the confusion associated with our multi-party system. So far, trapos comprise 99 per cent of the political landscape, so how do we deal with this problem?

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: Trapos are politicians that we don’t need but are always there because they literally paid their way through. They love to talk, but they don’t walk their talk. They always love to be in the limelight for every small project they undertake. They enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and act as if they own the streets when they pass with all the bodyguards and escorts.

Edwin Castillo, Tanauan City: Puro dakdak, wala naman nagawa, as in NATO: No Action,Talk Only. His priority is self-interest before serving the nation.

One of the more interesting definitions is given by Rico Fabello of Parañaque City and this made me smile remembering all those balimbings or so called political butterflies.

Fabello says: A trapo for me is a member of the opposition now, a member of the administration tomorrow, and some other time finds himself a member of the opposition again.

How about you, fellas?

Any definition of “trapo?”#