Case in point is the recent Liberal Party meeting and birthday party for Congressman Benjamin Agarao where a group of scantily-clad "exotic dancers" performed lewd dance numbers "for the boys." Unfortunately, aside from the mentally-stunted adult Filipino males present, there were also underage boys and girls in the audience ... who witnessed the revolting episode from start to finish.
For us, the real issue is not so much why this was allowed to happen. Because it happens all the time in the Philippines as Filipinos never seem to have matured enough to refine their tastes as to what is acceptable and what is crude. Watch any noontime television show and you will eventually see scantily-clad dancers seductively gyrating for absolutely no reason other than to appear "cheap" to foreigners—and to some Filipinos as well—who are not used to the level of banality that passes for "normal" in the Philippines.
Philippine network heavyweights like ABS-CBN, TV5, and GMA are all guilty in this regard, and likely see nothing wrong with it; such acts are actually "the norm" as far as Pinoys are concerned. Sadly, this situation has also tarnished the country's image internationally, with more than a few male tourists jokingly commenting that "the only thing 'easy' in the Philippines are the women."
Here's the real issue as far as we're concerned. The Liberal Party (LP) is now pretending to be dumbfounded and at a loss as to who invited the dancers to perform. Initially, it was rumored that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino—who plans to run for the Senate, paid for the bawdy performance as a surprise birthday gift to his party-mate Agarao. But after this hullabaloo, everyone is quickly distancing themselves from it. Well, before the advent of social media, they would have likely gotten away with it. All they had to do was feign ignorance and the short attention span of their constituents would take care of the rest.
But this is the age of the internet, Facebook, Twitter, photo and video sharing, and global exposure, that will keep these politicians feet to the fire for a very long time. And they must also keep in mind that the repercussions of a cover-up are oftentimes graver than the repercussions of the initial act itself.
So we take this bold, assertive stand and say to all our readers: do not vote for any Liberal Party candidate unless the party comes clean, gets to the bottom of this incident, and punishes all those involved in this incident—including all those involved in lying or trying to cover it up. This country already has enough dishonest politicos in office ... the last thing it needs is more crooks and liars joining their ranks.
So Mar Roxas, President Aquino and all Liberal Party stalwarts, if you want our vote as well as our endorsement, come clean on this issue and punish whoever needs to be punished, no matter who they are or how high up the party hierarchy they may be. Absent that, we should all do our best to boycott the Liberal Party's entire slate of candidates. Published 10/4/2015