Philippines: Politics of Popularity
Philippines: Politics of Popularity
Do you think Sen. Noynoy Aquino will win in his bid for presidency if his parents, Sen. Ninoy Aquino and Tita Cory who are now both deceased, are not popular? He will not! Politics in our country today tend to favor popularity rather than performance. It is evident in what the Liberal Party did. They fielded the more popular Noynoy for the presidency instead of Mar Roxas who is a far better senator in terms of performance. Of course, legislation is different from management; running the country as the chief executive is different from legislating laws but both require high level of performance.
In my high school days, the saying ‘I don’t care whether you like me or not as long as I’m popular’ was found in most of the slum books my classmates have. Today that adage is applied to Philippine politics. Look how Erap rated in the election polls. He scored second to Noynoy because he is popular. But is he not a convicted plunderer? A gambler? A womanizer? A good leader must be a good example to his followers. It is sad to think why this happened, but it is true; it is reality. Most of our countrymen prefer popular figures than less-known ones, they be criminals or poor performers.
How many of those who rated in the political polls are popular movie actors/actresses? Name a position and they are there: president, senator, congressman, governor down to the lowest local ones. I am not saying all of them are not capable of performing their real-life roles. As Richard Gordon observed- Lito Lapid is a better senator than Noynoy. The only thing why they have the courage to run for the position is because they are popular.
It is the same with those who ran because their fathers are popular senators/congressman. They have courage to run because of their forebears’ popularity even though they themselves have not even inscribed their names in the minds of the Filipino people. Funny, isn’t it?
Here are some examples of how popularity is being utilized:
**a mother ran for congress in a district which is/was held by her son. She won.
**a mayor/father ran as vice-mayor of his incumbent vice-mayor daughter who, in turn, ran for mayor (it the father’s last term as mayor). Both won. The daughter defeating no other than the Speaker of the House.
**a mayoralty candidate ran as governor after the gubernatorial candidate husband died during campaign period. Unluckily, she lost.
**an actor who ran as congressman who was later disqualified due to lack of residency urged his wife to run in place of him and she won.
We may seem to deviate from what we are talking about: popularity. Why? I am only trying, as much as I can, to illustrate what drove these men/women, who use popularity as one of their undeclared flatforms.
So, what these men/women are after for? First we must find the definition of politics, especially partisan one because that is what we are in. As defined in the dictionary: Partisan politics– Intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power. (Partisan politics is often an obstruction to good government) If the definition is right, it is POWER! That is what these men/women are going after while setting aside delicadeza.
The 70’s adage ‘I don’t care whether you like me or not as long as I’m popular’ is thriving in their minds. I only wish that, in our next political exercise, this will be lessened- and this only happen if our countrymen will become much more enlightened. Popularity of a candidate is not the gauge why he/she should be voted for. It is only PERFORMANCE and not the other way around!
DOJ Drops Charges vs Two Massacre Suspects
Mga aktibistang nagpapahayag laban sa makapangyarihang Ampatuan sa labas ng Department of Justice sa Maynila, Pilipinas sa Linggo, Abril 18, 2010. Ang mga Kagawaran ng Hustisya ay nagpapawang-sala sa pagpatay ng dalawang magkapatid na Ampatuan, dating gobernador Zaldy at Akhmad, na inakusahan ng pagpatay ng 57 kalaban sa pulitika at mamamahayag.
By JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press Writer
MANILA, Philippines– The Philippines’ Department of Justice has dropped murder charges against two members of a warlord clan accused in the massacre of 57 political rivals and journalists, sparking protests Sunday and bringing relatives of the victims to tears.
The Nov. 23 slaughter, which was condemned by the international community, was unprecedented even in a country known for election violence and political killings that have claimed hundreds of lives in the past decade.
Among the dead were more than 30 journalists and their staff — the deadliest known attack on media workers in the world. The killings elevated the Philippines to the top of a list of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.
At least 198 suspects have been charged in court with multiple murder, including members of the powerful Ampatuan clan that has ruled over southern Maguindanao province for years. Several more suspects remain at large.
The Ampatuans have been close political allies of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for years, helping her win elections in 2004.
Justice Secretary Alberto Agra said he has ordered prosecutors to remove the names of Zaldy Ampatuan, a former governor of a Muslim autonomous region, and his brother-in-law Akhmad from the charge sheets for lack of strong evidence linking them to the planning and staging of the carnage in Maguindanao’s Ampatuan township.
“There is no evidence to prove conspiracy and there is evidence to support their alibi,” Agra told The Associated Press.
Zaldy Ampatuan provided cell phone bills and airline tickets showing he was not at a Nov. 22 meeting where the killings were allegedly planned, or at the crime scene the next day, Agra said. Akhmad presented witnesses and pictures showing he was at a medical mission when the killings occurred, he said.
However, Agra rejected petitions from the principal suspect, former Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., and his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr., to be cleared of the murder charges. Witnesses have testified seeing Andal Ampatuan Jr. leading gunmen in killing the unarmed victims as they pleaded for their lives.
Prosecutors have filed murder charges against the Ampatuans in a Quezon City court. The justice secretary must ask the court to approve his decision to drop charges against Zaldy and Akhmad.
Several relatives of the victims wept after learning of Agra’s decision, according to Harry Roque, a lawyer for the victims, adding that they plan to appeal the ruling.
“They wept not only for this injustice but also out of fear for their safety,” Roque said. “They cannot sleep now that the Ampatuans are being cleared.”
Several student activists protested outside the Department of Justice, carrying placards that called Arroyo and the department “coddlers of murderers.”
A media watchdog, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, blamed Arroyo and Agra “for this massacre of … justice, the rule of law, our basic rights and democracy.”
The indictment says the clan leaders conspired to ambush and kill members of the rival Mangudadatu family and their supporters, who were gunned down on a hilltop in Maguindanao. The attack apparently was aimed at preventing a Mangudadatu politician from challenging the Ampatuans’ control of the province in a gubernatorial election in next month.
The Ampatuans have denied the charges, and most of their armed followers have fled a massive crackdown in the province, about 560 miles (900 kilometers) south of Manila. Thousands of militiamen loyal to the clan are still in hiding, triggering sporadic clashes with government troops.
Last month, another court dismissed separate rebellion charges against the Ampatuan patriarch, four of his sons and several followers for lack of evidence. They had been accused of plotting an uprising after the government launched a crackdown on the clan when it was linked to the killings.
**Resigned Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera received death threats during her incumbency.
**Alberto Agra served as the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo laywer during impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives in 2006.
**The Ampatuans are close political allies of PGMA.
We Filipinos are not as ‘tanga’ as they think we are! The innocence of these two suspects must be tried and decided by the courts of law and not by an office under the President. As I strongly condemned the Maguindanao Massacre, I likewise strongly condemned the Department of Justice for this move.
“There is no evidence to prove conspiracy and there is evidence to support their alibi,” Agra told The Associated Press but “Witnesses have testified seeing Andal Ampatuan Jr. leading gunmen in killing the unarmed victims as they pleaded for their lives.” Where are the testimonies of these witnesses? Are they gone with Devanadera?
Noynoy Aquino: si Mama at si Papa
Miyerkules, ika-30 ng Disyembre, 9:40 ng umaga. Habang nakikinig ako sa mga paborito kong mga himig ng dakada 70, biglang may tumunog na cellphone- tunog na hindi galing sa akin. Lumingon ako sa pinanggalingan ng tunog at nakita ko ang cellphone ni Kringkring, isa sa aking mga dalagita. Naiwan pala niya ito sa pagmamadali. Sumama kasi siya sa aking misis sa NCCC (isang mall dito sa Davao), nagsa-shopping.
Dali-dali ko itong kinuha at tinignan. Nalaman kong isang text message ang ipinadala. Binuksan ko ito upang mabasa sa pag-aakalang galing sa misis ko. Galing pala sa isa sa mga kaibigan ni Kringkring. Laking gulat ko nang mabasa ang nilalaman na message. Kahit tinatamad, naisip kong ilagay sa blog ko dahil sa ito’y may kabigatan.
Narito ang nilalaman ng text message na ‘yon:
Manny Villar: Sipag at Tiyaga
Gibo Teodoro: Galing at Talino
Noynoy Aquino: si Mama at si Papa
Bakit sinabi kong may kabigatan? Sa tatlo kasing tumakbong may chance na manalo sa pagka presidente ng ating bansa, si Noynoy lang ang walang nakakabit na tagline. Si Manny Villar ang ipinagmalaki ay ang kanyang sipag at tiyaga, si Gibo Teodoro ay ang kanyang galing at talino, si Noynoy Aquino ay wala. Kaya siguro naisip ng nag-compose ng text message na nabasa ko na ilagay bilang asset niya (Noynoy) si Ninoy at Tita Cory, na totoo naman.
Wala talagang maipagmalaking abilidad si Noynoy. Siya’y nakasandal lang sa anino ng pumanaw na niyang mga magulang; at sa kanyang kapatid na si Kris. Isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit nasabi ko ito ay makikita dito. Sa aking personal na opinyon, tila may kakulangan siya ng kompiyansa (na nakikita ko sa sa kanyang tindig), kawalan ng pokus (na nakikita sa kanyang mga matang palipatlipat ang tinitingnan), at tila kakulangan ng paniniwala. Sa performance bilang senador, nasa ibaba siya.
Ang listahang ito ay nagpapakita ng bilang ng naipasang bills at resolutions ng mga senador sa panahon ng 14th Congress break noong Marso.
1. Miriam Defensor-Santiago – 933
2. Manny Villar – 579
3. Jinggoy Estrada – 538
4. Loren Legarda – 299
5. Francis Escudero – 288
6. Antonio Trillanes – 261
7. Bong Revilla – 238
8. Lito Lapid – 196
9. Richard Gordon – 148
10. Manuel Roxas II -146
11. Edgardo Angara – 140
12. Juan Miguel Zubiri – 135
13. Aquilino Pimentel Jr – 121
14. Pia Cayetano – 114
15. Rodolfo Biazon – 107
16. Jamby Madrigal – 93
17. Francis Pangilinan – 87
18. Panfilo Lacson – 83
19. Gregorio Honasan – 73
20. Juan Ponce Enrile – 70
21. Noynoy Aquino – 46
22. Alan Peter Cayetano – 24
23. Joker Arroyo – 11
Marahil masasabi ng mga makakabasa nito na ako’y hindi boboto kay Noynoy. Tama sila. It is either Gibo or Villar for me. Not even Erap! At sabihin na rin nilang naninira ako. Dito mali sila. Ako’y naglalahad lang ng aking personal na paniniwala. Walang nanghihikayat sa akin kungdi ang text message na hindi naman para sa akin- ang message na pumukaw sa natutulog kong kamalayan.
STOP KILLING JOURNALISTS !!!
Together with the rest of the world, I strongly condemned the politically motivated November 23 abduction and killing of over 50 people, at least 25 of them journalists, in Maguindanao. It is a new low even for the Philippines. Not only its brutality, but the sheer senselessness of it as well qualify it for collective outrage and condemnation and the strongest call for the immediate apprehension, trial and punishment of those responsible.
I have posted in this blog my Filipino poem about what journalists are. Read it here
Quick Guide to the Automated Election
Here is a video on what automated election is all about:
Ang video na ito ay magpapakita kung papaano tayo boboto gamit ang PCOS o Precinct Count Optical Scan na isa sa mga features ng Automated Election na naaayon sa REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8436 na inamendahan ng Senate Bill No. 2231 (13th Congress) at pinondohan ng P11.9 billion.