"Trapo" in the Philippines
is a shortened form of "traditional politician
" a traditional politician is one who plays politics the old way, with bribes
s; influence peddling
and pork barrel
. A trapo participates in the padrino
In Tagalog, trapo also means "rags", you know, the one you use to wipe the dinner table, and to wash your car. The word trapo is thus a derogatory term.
Rags are infinitely more useful than a traditional politician.