ALL right. The Comelec has yet to proclaim the winners yet -- largely due to the interference of TEAM Unity -- but I think it's safe to say that Genuine Opposition candidates are going to get most of the 12 seats up for grabs in the Senate. 7-3-2 (GO-TU-independent) the last time I checked. Now what? I don't know. What I do know is that, barring some miraculous turn of events, impeachment is not going to happen. The Congress is unquestionably Arroyo's; though there are congressmen who oppose her, notably the representatives of party-lists like Bayan Muna and Anakpawis, the grim truth is that they are the minority. Not to mention the fact that Arroyo's allies in the Congress have demonstrated time and again a lack of delicadeza. They're not going to shy away from employing underhanded tactics or bulldozing through all opposition (regardless of how legitimate the dissent is) to get what they want. Which means that though the Senate would probably vote to impeach Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a trial, the Congress would never let the impeachment case reach the Senate in the first place. Charter change? Well, the entire country saw what happened the last time Congress tried shoving that down our throats. Every major faction -- the opposition, the activists, the Church, etc. -- made its opposition to Cha-cha known, and its proponents hastily backed down. But I seriously doubt that's the end of that. Cha-cha continues to lurk in the background, waiting for a chance to reenter the political scene. Unfortunately, there's not much the Senate can do if or when Congress decides to revive the issue. Besides complaining on national television, that is. That worked last time, helping to sway public opinion against the initiative and the proposed Constitutional Assembly, but Filipinos are quick to forget. They can forget, for example, that a candidate who once hated Erap enough to cry is now hand in hand with him in election ads. They can forget all the reasons they didn't like Cha-cha and become swayed by the propaganda of the administration. As I said, I don't have all the answers. No crystal ball wherein the future reveals itself to me. But I have to hope that GO accomplishes something besides proclaiming their disgust at the current administration, and plotting its demise. The 2007 elections are behind us -- now we must hope we voted the right people into their positions.
Recently in Genuine Opposition Category
As a Manileño who has seen three mayors at its helm -- Mel Lopez, Fred Lim and Lito Atienza -- there was no doubt that Atienza built on what Lim has started and brought Manila back into the tourist map and initiated cultural revival and urban development. I once thought that Manila was a lost cause because of urban decay but I was surprised by the transformation of the city -- Roxas Boulevard, the city's plazas and the public wet markets in particular. There is one thing that I disliked during Atienza's term -- it's the proliferation of pedicabs along national and city roads. I hesitantly voted for Ali Atienza, not because I did not appreciate his father's accomplishments, but because of too much politicking and overexposure (like riding on the popularity of Pacquiao who is also losing in his congressional bid). To me, the accomplishments, which are obvious, should speak for themselves. Now that it was clear that Senator Lim is set to take over the governance of Manila and after the Atienzas have accepted the defeat, these are the questions that are bugging my mind and given a chance, I would like to ask Mayor Lim personally:
- What will happen now to Baywalk and the other projects that beautify Manila?
- What will happen to Unibersidad de Manila (formerly City College of Manila)? Will it go back to the old PNB building along Escolta?
- Are we going to see a radical change in governance?
HISTORY repeats itself like a broken record. Before, it was conjugal dictatorship and cronies. Then, it was Kamag-anak, Inc. Now, we call it political dynasty. Really, there's nothing new under the sun. The Estradas had set a bad precedent when mother and son won simultaneous seats in the Senate. In the recent election, we saw senatoriables with kin already sitting in the Senate. That's one the reasons why I did not vote for Alan Cayetano, Vic Magsaysay and Koko Pimentel (See my previous blog entry: http://inquirerbloggers.net/eleksyon2007/2007/05/16/why-i-did-not-vote-for-pichay-cayetano-et-al/). In our country, we see fathers sitting as mayors with their children sitting as congressmen. In one city, four brothers ran for mayor, congressmen for both of its districts, and party-list representative. When the local official finishes his third term, he makes his wife run for the position. Then we also discover that some of the nominees of the party-lists are children of congressmen. Why do we tolerate this? Before the election I went to Bicol. I asked a pedicab driver why he would vote for Dato Arroyo. He answered, "Siyempre anak siya ng pangulo. Eh di mas malakas sa taas." (Of course, he is the son of the president. So he must be well-connected up there.) What if Dato loses this election? Does that mean the President will neglect that district in Bicol? That is why political dynasty is so unfair. Now, these politicians claim that there's no law against it. Granted, it may not be illegal. But it is immoral. Democracy is about equality. Where is equality in political dynasty? Is there equality when power is concentrated on just a few influential families? I heard Alan Cayetano say that kings pass on power to their sons. Mr. Cayetano, we are not under a monarchy. Well, at least in a monarchy, the king dies first before the prince takes over. Why not wait for your sister to step down before you run for senator? How can siblings (or father and son as in the case of the Pimentels) be a fair representative of the entire country? Where's equality in that? They claim that they are qualified. Fine. "Sila lang ba ang mga anak ng Diyos?" (Are they the only children of God?) Are they the only ones qualified? Plus, they are not just banking on their qualifications. They are taking advantage of name recall. That's undue advantage. Did they focus solely on their qualifications in their campaign? Really now? Did the voters vote for them solely because they are qualified? Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. claimed that political dynasty is not prohibited by the ten commandments. Well, Mr. Senator, it is. God said, "Thou shalt not steal." Isn't political dynasty stealing the opportunity to serve from others? At least, Senator Panfilo Lacson had the moral courage not to allow one of his sons to run for a local elective position. He told his son not to run while he is a senator. It seems to me that it's all about power. I believe they just could not let go of power, that they just want to perpetuate themselves in power, that they lust for power so much that they want more of it. That's why any anti-dynasty bill is doomed to failure even before it is put on paper.
LIKE every patriotic citizen, am awaiting every update on the national and local canvassing of votes. Am interested not only in those who will barge into the Magic 12; equally important is the "attitude" of the early leaders, tailenders and their supporters. These news articles from INQUIRER.net caught my attention:
I THINK that since the election is now over save for the counting we can now do a post-election evaluation. Maybe candidates can learn a thing or two from this. I did not vote for Pichay because he apparently spent so much for his political ads. This worried me. Where will he get the money to recoup his "investments"? Also, there were so many ads that I feel it backfired. I got fed up hearing him promise that he dreams of fulfilling my dreams. But it seems the only way for him to do that is that I must first fulfill his dream of becoming a senator. I did not vote for Sonia Roco because of her "para silang autistic" remark aired over national TV. That's a very callous statement. She claimed in her apology that she was not poking fun at children with special needs. But the fact that she used the word autistic had hurt me. By the way, autistic is not the politically correct term. It's "children with autism." Because we have to see the child beyond his or her autism. I did not vote for Alan Peter Cayetano. Every time I hear him, he always attacks. What will he do in the Senate? Attack some more? He got suspended in the last Congress for his false accusations against the First Gentleman. My dear lawmaker, "tsismis" (or gossip) should have no room in a lawmaker's mind. Leave that to showbiz gossip writers. You cannot make laws based on "tsismis." Verify your facts first. Gather evidence before calling for an investigation. That way you will save us taxpayers our time and money. Cayetano came across as a witch hunter, not a fiscalizer that he tried to package himself. Plus, I cannot stomach his arguments against the political dynasty issue thrown at him. He claimed that, before he ran, he challenged PGMA that if she will not allow her sons to run for Congress, he will also not run as senator. That's baloney! If he really thinks that political dynasty is wrong, he should not run. Period. This political dynasty issue is also the reason why I did not vote for Koko Pimentel and Vic Magsaysay. They already have relatives sitting in the Senate. Can't they wait for their relatives to step down before running for the senate? I did not vote for Loren Legarda for she came off to me as someone out to be in power no matter what's the price. Whenever I see her, I see ambition written all over her face. She cried when the envelope was not opened in the Estrada impeachment trial. But during the campaign, I saw her all smiles while Erap is raising her hand. Where's her convictions? Were they for convenience or expediency? I did not vote for Antonio Trillanes not only for the Oakwood mutiny but also he came across as arrogant. First, he claimed it would be a slap for PGMA if he wins while campaigning behind bars. But then he applied for bail. It appeared to me that it was all for media sound bites. Well, some of these candidates may have won in this election. I just hope my perceptions are wrong. But I think I will not regret dumping them. It's my vote. It's my choice.
WHO is running for senator? Noynoy [Benigno Aquino III] or Ninoy [Benigno Aquino Jr.]? Can he (Noynoy) not run and campaign for senator with his own merits? Kahit pa anong sinabi ni Ninoy sa iyo, kung isa man sa mga ito ay wala sa iyo, wala ka pa rin! Bakit hindi ka na lang mag-kandidato sa sariling kayod mo? Kailangan mo pang sumandal sa mga ginawa ng ama mo? Wala ka bang sarili? Ang laki-laki mo na nagpapatulong ka pa sa tatay mo. -- Bernie Bituin, Edmond, Alberto, Canada (via e-mail)
THERE is no sincerity in [Sonia] Roco's apology. She said that she would work for the cause of autism if elected. Supposing she is not elected, does she still have a commitment to the cause of autism? In other words, Roco's apology is conditional. A sincere apology knows no condition. She is making a mockery of Raul's name. -- Angel P. Ramos, Quezon City (via e-mail)
HERE'S behind-the-scenes footage from today's Eleksyon 2007 Podcast recording session. Senatorial bet Alan Peter Cayetano answered INQUIRER.net reporter Veronica Uy's question on whether he would seek a review of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
AMONG the senatoriables' podcasts in your site, it is Senator [Panfilo] Lacson's that stands out. His answers were direct to the point and with a high sense of integrity. -- Eleazar G. Diaz, Makati City, Philippines (via e-mail)
JOHN OSMEÃƒÆ'Ã¢â‚¬ËœA'S anti-VAT [value-added tax] political ad is totally disgusting. It has marks of a populist, anti-development rhetoric. He provides no alternatives to the VAT and gives no concrete justifications for his objection aside from the supposedly anti-poor effects of the law. As seen in almost all countries, populist policies are actually more anti-poor because of their damaging effects on the economy and the society, as a whole. If John Osmeña really thinks that VAT is wrong, then, what is his opinion on his partymates and other GO [Genuine Opposition] candidates who voted in favor of VAT?