A Citizen's View on The Preposterous House Resolution 2140: Philippine Politicians Asked Not to Be Portrayed as Criminals in Films and Television Programs

A news about the House Resolution 2140 filed by Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. made me both laughed my hearts out and scratched my head in dismay.

Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. filed the House Resolution 2140 which aims to appeal to the local television and movie industry to "minimize, prevent, or stop typecasting congressmen and congresswomen as villains or crooks in movies and television telenovelas, in order not to create stereotypes or negative public perception against members of the House of Representatives."

How the Filipino Public Perceive the House of Representatives of the Philippines

There is no doubt that media has both direct and indirect influence on how most Filipinos view our "honorable" and "reputable" politicians. It is also natural to feel bad when one is called something that he is not. It has been like that from the moment you are born and will still "be" on the last moments of your life. Given the two points, we can say that it is only natural for a politician to somehow and sometimes feel pain when being stereotyped as a corrupt official when they are really not. So how can they get away with this negative image? Well, the House Resolution 2140 seems to address that issue.

The problem with the bill is narrowing it down to the entertainment industry, mainly television and film. I don't think that the Filipino people are that "dumb" to be able to state that Philippine politicians are corrupt because they saw a portrayal of one in a telenovela, or a film? Think about it, if the Filipino people indeed thinks that almost every politicians are committing acts of graft and corruption, would you honestly think that they would let it pass? Would you think they would participate in the electoral process? In some strange way, the Filipino people are still hopeful that the politician they entrusted with their votes will be responsible with the duty assigned to them, to make and improve laws that would benefit the Philippine people. So it is absolutely wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the people that because they saw an action film starring the Fernando Poe, Jr. out to take his vengeance on a corrupt congressman and his goons means that congressmen and women are also corrupt.

So why does the Filipino people still thinks of them as corrupt?

It is part of human nature to associate everything, stereotype things, and even discriminate. Given two or more factors, then a person would usually make his conclusion on to something. When all we are exposed to are isolated but numerous news reports about politicians being involved in criminal activities, then that is more than enough to make the impression that they are corrupt. Not to mention reports that they are not properly doing their jobs right but still are getting paid for. Just think of it, they are there to work but then you see empty seats in congress, then here they are receiving their regular salaries? Given that their salaries might get reduced if not put on hold because of unsatisfactory attendance in the house, most of them are still receiving their "pork barrels" which are the main source as to why people doubt their credibility and accountability. As long as there are questionable projects then this image of corrupt officials would never go away.

Questionable Intentions and Priorities

There are more important laws than the mere preservation of the image of our dear "reputable" congressmen and congresswomen. I am not a law expert, but know a thing or two about the Philippine constitution, and I believe that politicians can draft new and relevant laws and improved on existing laws filled with highly exploitable loopholes rather than making up with such absurd house resolutions or bills. How about passing the pushing and enacting the Freedom of Information Bill? Seeing that politicians prefer making laws to protect the welfare and image of a selected few (themselves) rather than the people itself, it makes you question their reliability, intelligence, and capability as a government elected official.

Rather than House Resolution 2140 how about giving more attention and priority to House Bill 3732 Freedom of Information Bill?

The funny thing is that that the representatives who filed and supported the said resolution knew that it will have a conflict with the constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech and of expression, and that they can only "appeal" to the entertainment industry. Once this news hit the social networks, where I personally found this, the said resolution has already received negative review from the outspoken Filipino netizens (as seen on the comments section of the news source I stated above), by the Philippine entertainment industry (headed by the MTRCB), and people just against any forms of censorship.

Another interesting fact is why come up with such trivial resolutions now? I haven't seen any film or television programs portraying politicians as criminals, not that I am aware of. Is it because the Philippine film industry plans to resurrect the action film genre which is famous for its portrayals of corrupt politicians as its main antagonists? If that is the case, then bravo to those congressmen who filed this resolution, you now became the part... the villain to the revival of action film genre.

House Resolution 2140 No More Politician as Villains to Filipino Films and Telenovelas FPJ Eddie Garcia

Men and women in power are perfect villains to most films and telenovelas. This is probably why antagonists are often portrayed as corrupt politicians, generals, rich businessmen, or just stupendously rich people, and the protagonists are the victims of these greedy, evil corrupt villains.

Let's say that there currently ARE television dramas that use politicians as its main antagonists, so what? Let us say that in some twist of fate this resolution gets enacted as an actual law, will it stop people from perceiving them any other way. I strongly believe that it won't. If not, it would probably fuel the people to speculate even more; be more suspicious about our dear politicians censoring the creative freedom of the entertainment industry. People has affiliate people censoring or hiding the truth as people who has something devious to hide. People will then be more curious, more feisty and hungry for information, keeping an even closer eye to the once secret lives of our dear politicians. The Filipino mass then will depend on the news which is far more harsher than the actual truth. They can never censor news so their efforts on putting a lid on the entertainment industry will be the reason for people to doubt them more. Well, at least in telenovelas and films people will have a face to refer to. When the main protagonists triumphs over the said corrupt official, then it only proves that good always triumphs over evil; giving people the impression that corrupt politicians will someday pay for their crimes. But I don't think that it would be enough reason for a Philippine television and film audience will think of their local Representative in the same manner, unless there are reports or rumors inciting that the person might be so.

What-If Scenario

Let's just imagine that this gets enacted to an actual bill. What would happen next? There are honestly so many professions which can used by the Philippine entertainment industry as a villain to their films or telenovelas. Heck, there have even be actual films and television dramas that used doctors, teachers, office workers, supervisors, managers, etc. as their main villain. If the House of Representatives can ban the entertainment industry from portraying politicians as criminals, then the more reason that the common profession to demand to do the same. I can now imagine the Cojuanco empire asking for Hacienda owners not to be portrayed as oppressive villains in a film about Filipino farmers and their struggles. Are you ready for an action film starring a congressman who was framed and is out on a vengeance? Well, heck yeah that sounded like an interesting premise for an action film, but whoelse would the film's main villain? Another politician, that's impossible because of the LAW. Oh, how about an evil general? Well, no can do, he is still considered as a government official and if the position isn't listed on the law, then the Philippine Military and Constabulary would just ask for a similar law to be enacted... You know, to protect their image!

This is my opinion on this said news. I personally don't know or has any connection to Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr., he might have even drafted and co-authored a few House Bill and Resolutions, but this is just plain absurd. It is on the same level of absurdity as the Anti-Planking Bill. This news just compelled me to blog for I believe that through new media via blogs, we can freely exercise our constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech and of expression. Our opinions expressed and our voices heard. If in some weird way, my message reach these politicians, hopefully they keep an open mind about such criticism for them to become better public officials, and that is what this country needs the most.

What about you guys? What's your reaction to this news? Share your thoughts about the House Resolution 2140 on the comments section below:


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