By Ricky Calderon
“You don’t need to be in politics to be able to help out. There are many avenues that we can employ in order to have really effective changes in the community and society that we live in.”
For the first time, Kapuso actor Tom Rodriguez is playing the role of a politician in the movie Magtanggol. So vocal with his political views, he was asked what had he learned playing the role of a senator?
“You will realize that being a public servant has to be in your heart. You should not think that politics is a business or a retirement plan,” replied the handsome star.
“Your heart has to be in it. The kind of love and care that you give to your own family, like being scared for their future or trying to secure their future, making sure that they are well-provided for, you’d also think that way for your constituents,” he went on. “As a public servant, you don’t just take care of yourself or your family but also of your constituents.
“You treat them as your family also. And you are likewise responsible for their welfare. And that is a tremendous task for anyone to undergo.”
“Playing the role of a politician made me respect them more and it also made me aware. It also made me to strive better in my own choices for the politicians that I supported in this election.”
Having said that, does he intend to pursue politics in the near future?
“Siguro I will run (jog) in UP but when it comes to politics, I don’t have any plan,” was Tom’s quick reply.
“There’s no need to be in politics. But if you’re going be in politics then that has to be really in your heart. It has to be your priority. You will not think of what you have because your job is to be the guiding light of your constituents. And that’s a very, very big responsibility. It could either make or break you. And I don’t think I am qualified for that.”
Last Friday, at the presscon of his latest film, Tom encouraged everyone who has registered to go out and participate in the political exercise.
“I am voting and I would also like everyone, especially those who have registered, to vote because this election is a critical moment in our history. Everyone has to be involved and as a citizen, we have the right to make that change. We have the right to vote. It is something that we should take seriously. We should also choose carefully whom to vote.
“Not because a friend or a relative is voting for a candidate, we should follow his lead. Or it is because we were influenced of what we heard during the debate. We should make an intelligent choice,” he stressed.
“You have to do your part as a citizen. You have to be informed. You have to be in the know. Sometimes it is hard because the odds are against us but there are ways and I believe as Filipinos, we really have the makings of a great country. We are a great people and we have that power.”
So who would he vote for?
”I have my choice but I decide to keep that for myself and I would like to encourage everyone to be informed and really make sure that they are making the right choice to the best of their knowledge,” he said.
Since he didn’t reveal his presidential candidate, he was aksed the qualifications whom he thought would people vote?
“He or she must be empathetic to the plight of the people. Pero for me, the main criteria I was looking for is someone I believed could provide us the benefit from economic liberalization, allowing for direct foreign investment that has made the economy dynamic in other places like Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore. So for me lang, and maybe evolving into a federalism type of government so that it is not congested lang here sa Manila yung power.
“It will be autonomous in every region that we have. And maybe moving towards parliamentary system so that there will be check and balance so that the legislative and executive branch are not disjointed. Para talagang sabay sila. The people who make the laws enforce the laws and in that way din, the parliamentary system as a form of shadow government. Parliamentary system of government na nagiging conscience mo. For me lang, I believe that is the best direction that we can take for our country to go, to really propel us to the future that we are hoping to have.”
But for the nth time, he declined to name his choice of presidential candidate.
“I won’t comment na lang,” he pleaded. “Like I have said, everyone has the right to endorse their own candidate of choice and we all have the right to reserve our options for the candidate of our choice.
“I just hope that whoever it is they planned to vote for, they have studied their choice carefully. That he is the candidate that will take them to the future that they desire for our country. We have to look at the facts, of what is happening now, before making a choice. And whoever wins, we should give him or her the respect.”