Political Karma

In Philippine Politics, when you jail someone today, be prepared to be jailed in the future.

By this time, Sen. Leila De Lima would have been arrested for her alleged involvement in illegal drug trade inside Bilibid when she was still Secretary of Justice during the Aquino administration. I would also like to believe that another Senator is on his way to joining Sen. De Lima behind bars, though the other Senator is no stranger to working in prison.

Throughout the years, the reality that former/incumbent Presidents, Senators and local government officials are being jailed has become commonplace in Philippine Politics. While these jailed officials may have a point in their claim that they are victims of political vendetta, most of the charges hurled against them are actually legitimate and evidence-based. This reality is perfectly captured by the phrase "you reap what you sow," also referred to as karma in Philippine traditional beliefs.

In Philippine Politics, when you jail someone today, be prepared to be jailed in the future (Ask Sen. Leila De Lima). If you turned your back on a politically ally yesterday, be prepared to lose five-fold of the allies you've gained once you step down from power. If you call out erring public officials for their statements on key issues, be ready to accept graver criticisms from a multitude of real and virtual users. Karma in this case is not merely created by circumstance but through one's volition.

Our belief in political karma is founded on a deeply rooted concept of retributive justice in our society. While the 'eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' principle may no longer be applicable in various communities and societies, the desire to get back at someone often prevails over the virtue of patience and humility. Historically, we have seen brothers and sisters in provinces kill each other over a piece of land. Today, those from within the same political families are gunning each other down due to their individual lusts for political power. While it remains true that some are taking the law into their hands, others have taken the cudgels of creating karma through their own hands.

Karma should not be misconstrued in a negative way, such much so that it stems from a positive spiritual principle in Hinduism and Buddhism. While karma happens often by plain circumstance, a lot of it can be controlled by both our human minds and hearts. In Philippine Politics, President Duterte is a perfect example. Because of his recognized competence as a City Mayor in Davao in past decades, he has not lost a single election and has in fact been elected into the highest seat of the land last year. Political karma works in different ways. 

Let us also remind ourselves that those who are greedy today may become the most needy tomorrow- needy of respect, trust and integrity they lost when they decided to become greedy. Meanwhile, those who serve well today will forever bring the wealth of a clean conscience even to his/her grave, something that no money or no honor can match.
For all we know, karma has become the world's greatest equalizer.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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