There's an irony in the resolution filed by a congressman asking TV and movie producers to stop portraying members of the House in a negative light. Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. filed House Resolution 2140 "urging producers 'not to create stereotypes or negative public perception against members of the House of Representatives.'”
The irony is that Rep. Gonzales' province mate, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest in plunder cases. She is currently the most public face of the negative image attributed to the House of Representatives.
While Rep. Gonzales may have a point, and not all House representatives may be corrupt, columnist Cito Beltran of The Philippine Star says it well when he writes in his column today,
"Before any attempts are to be made to stifle or restrain freedom of
expression or frustration, the honorable gentleman from Congress should
probably start by looking into the accusations, allegations or cause of
public contempt against members of Congress that has led to art
imitating life. You won’t solve the problem by making the public or
media look bad. We are not the problem, you are.
"Aside from the perceived or actual abuses of legislators, the
honorable gentleman should put a “mirror” to the members of Congress and
ask: What was done about it? When members or their staff were involved
in vehicular accidents or brawls in golf courses or bars, did the Ethics
Committee ever do anything to sanction the offenders?
"When a member of Congress was exposed for adulterous relations, what
did the leaders of Congress do? Cite the member for conduct unbecoming
of an elected official or congratulate the bastard for hanging his dirty
linen in public?
"To the honorable gentleman who proposed to restrict freedom of
expression and legislate hypocrisy, forgive us Sir if you are slighted,
but if you wish to be treated with honor and respect then begin by
cleaning up your own “House.” While you may not be guilty by commission,
you might be because of omission."
All it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch. Before Rep. Gonzales should fume and fulminate against the entertainment industry, perhaps he should ask himself why politicians have such a bad reputation to begin with. The reason why such images resonate with the public is that people see their congressmen waste their pork barrel funds, strut around with inflated arrogance, and use their power to suit their own purposes. Unless the Representatives themselves shape up and clean house, such images will continue to resonate and stay alive in people's minds.
Leo Martinez, whose fictional Congressman Manikmanaog parodies corrupt politicians, states it succinctly, "Art mirrors life."