I have always been a huge fan of politics and so to be able to interview politicians and pick their brains is a blessing. In the past week, I was given the chance to interview vice presidentiable, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a part of which I have shared in my column.
However, the interview was extremely informative that I felt that need to share it on my favorite platform, my blog. So transcribed below are my favorite parts of the interview for you to enjoy and as a public service in helping you know more about Senator Cayetano and what he believes in.
On his greatest achievement so far:
"More than a single achievement its being an inspiration to people, being a kuya, being an instrument of change. I remember I told my sister when she was deciding to run, I said just by having one good person there, na box out mo na and isang trapo. Let's face it, in the Philippines many people see politics as business and that won't change if good people won't enter government."
On the importance of voting and making a difference:
"Actually even in my generation when I was a councilor in 1992 and a congressman in 1998 and even those between 30s-50s ngayon yung botatnte ko when i started i was telling them that a lot of people were telling me, "wala naman natutulong ang pulitiko, di naman ako naapektuhan.
First, let's address that premise because it's a wrong premise kasi kung wala kang pakelam, tataman ka parin. The premise that you can ignore politics and you won't be affected, baliktad the more you don't care about politics and politicians, the more ang effect sayo because you lose total control.
Parang sinabi mo bahala ka na and hindi mo trusted yung bahala ka na. Parang pag iniwan mo ang baby mo sa nanay mo, iniwan mo sa kanya kasi trusted mo siya, hindi mo siya iiwanan sa kidnapper. By not having any pakelam or not caring about who governs, sino magogovern, nanay mo or kidnapper?
By making a decision to be involved, one is single handedly also choosing who is taking care of the government and eventually, that is what will cause the changes that we have always wanted to see.
On the power of social media, involvement and empowerment:
"Empowerment is also in being active in social media which your generation is involved in. Two of the biggest issues that hit the administration was revealed through social media. It's not just in voting, that's also a wrong premise, binoto na kita, bahala ka na. Pero kahit binoto mo kailangan mo parin suportahan or i criticize kung tama or mali ang ginagawa. Sisingilin mo dapat ako sa mga pangako ko. May part parati ang citizen. Part of the social responsbility is criticizing and being part of the solution. Politics is part of everything in life, it's not to ignore or fight but to make politics positive."
"That has been the challenge since 1986 but at that time, how? With technology, more and more ang empowerment. It's the media and social media ang tunay na bumabalanse. On one hand, empower people and don't underestimate the power of one person who believes in change but at the same time, also focus on what you can change because even if everything is broken, only one thing can be changed at a time. Walang magic spell sa government."
He goes on to mention the broken window system, saying that as long as you fix one part, you will be inspired to fix the others, one broken window at a time. This is how
On the youth:
"If you don't want to suffer like the previous generations and go through what they went through, you have to fix it now. I always tell high school students, eto yung chinchange namin sa Taguig, kayo magbebenefit kasi by the time college kayo, libre na college niyo. The young people have to realize that if they're not involved now, their complaints will not end tomorrow but if they help in the next five years, you can have 101 years of prosperity so we have to lay the foundation."
On his authenticity:
For him, remaining authentic has a lot to do with the values he was raised with and his beliefs, at the end of the day, how he was raised will definitely shine through.
"The best way I can really answer is samahan mo kami for a day, me and my wife, kasi every politican will project a certain image but it's only through seeing their life na talagang makikita mo. In my case, it's the Christian values because I'm very conservative as a Christian and then yung pagpapalaki ng dad ko na very strict with using public funds for personal use. You have to have your own moral lines, it's not easy because our system is built for people to fail and also, you're also human. Ang helpful ay ang family because we all watch out for each other. There's a way to par it but you also have to be authentic."