I oppose the candidacy of Rodrigo Duterte because of his views — and actions — that are inimical to human rights. I oppose the candidacy of the dictator’s son, who still pines for the bloody paradise of his father.
“If you allow them to oppress your fellow man and you do not speak up, you will be the next one to be oppressed.”
Aquino repeated the famous quotes of Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken critic of Hitler and spent the last years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
“First they came for the communists, but I did not speak out because I was not a communist… finally they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me.”
Let me jog your memory, Mr. President. What did your government do while soldiers and para-military forces hounded Lumad to death in Mindanao?
When the Lumad sought sanctuary in Davao, your Liberal Party colleague tried to force their “rescue”.
Your Armed Forces earned a sharp dressing down from a UN expert when they tried to manipulate his words and the truth (yes, pretty much Goebbels-style, right?)
You snubbed the Lumad when they came to the capital to call attention to their plight.
Yet your allies in Congress and your AFP brass — and your national security office in Malacanang — hosted pet datus as they preached their belief that anyone with “alien” ideology was fair game for murder.
Nobody came to the aid of 15-year old Manobo boy from Sitio Mando, Barangay Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon.
He didn’t just hear of the murders of his kin, Mr. President. He actually begged soldiers to spare their lives, appealing that his father, brothers and cousins be jailed if, indeed, they had done anything wrong. His father was 70 and blind; his brothers 20 and 19 years old. One of his cousins was 13 years old; the other was 17.
He begged the soldiers, Mr. President. And they shot father, brothers and cousins, one by one.
Remember them, Sir?
On September 1, in Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao Sur, the head teacher of a lumad alternative school was found murdered.
Emerito Samarca’s students at the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) discovered his body. The folk at Diatagon had no access to education until private efforts established Alcadev for Manobo, Banwaon, Higanon, Talaandig and Mamanwa youth.
You spurned Alcadev’s students when they were in town late 2014 to protest the militarization of their schools.
A year later, these same children saw Dionel Campos and his cousin Belio Sinzo murdered by paramilitary troops.
The three gentlemen’s crime — providing a safe space for the education of children neglected by government.
No one came to help the hapless Lumad, Mr. President. No one from your government. It took private citizens and people’s organizations and churches to come to their aid.
And don’t you talk of coming to the aid of people suspected of being communists.
There have been more than 300 cases of extra-judicial killings under your administration. Eighty of these involved indigenous people or tribal groups. Almost always, people your government suspects of being communist.
You couldn’t even be bothered over the death of hungry farmers, Mr. President. Spare us your warnings.
We know about tyrants and what they can do to the country.
You speaking on our behalf isn’t just silly and thoughtless as you often are. It is criminal, because it seeks to use legitimate fears to cover-up your government’s attrocities.
Your government kills teachers and children, Mr. President. WE WILL NOT FORGET.
We’ve seen a gazillion fake news, fake memes, fake announcements this #Halalan2016 season.
There will always be trolls. That’s the downside of the Internet and social media.
Trolls thrive on manipulation, on lies, on scamming gullible folk.
This isn’t hard to do. People will believe most stuff – even embrace conspiracy theories — that validate their own beliefs.
Every professional who conducts workshops on social media will tell Netizens to be wary, to check the original link, to go independently to news websites or accounts allegedly responsible for the suspicious posts. It also helps to check rival news websites.
Even professional journalists have been had. Remember that Oprah comment in the wake of Shamcey’s heart-breaking loss at the Miss Universe pageant? Yeah, some news websites ran that. Even international media outfits have fallen for fake news about the Iraq and Syria conflicts, hurricane Sandy and other big events.
In this last election, even “responsible” elders have deliberately shared fake news, malicious plants that have nothing to do with the errors that come with the 24/7 news cycle.
I remember the hilarious post Vice President Jejomar Binay stash of money found behind a wall. Some friend on Twitter, someone I actually respect, tagged several journalists on a photo post that opened to … nothing. This was during the time when the Mar Roxas camp was gunning for Binay. There was another similar post, dubious even to the untrained eye. But was my friend apologetic? Nah. She said, well, it’s up to you investigative journalists to investigate.
You can understand some kid asking… “ma’am I stumbled on this; is it true?” It’s disappointing to see a communications expert spouting this line.
We’ll save the other trolls for another post.
Let’s focus on communications specialists who show no compunction planting fake news.
Let’s not even talk about such communications specialists blindly scooping up the funny D’ Strafford surveys and passing this on as gospel truth.
It’s the deliberate spread of false news that should set off alarms at the Paris-based Publicis Groupe. Especially false news that drag the country’s Catholic bishops into the fray.
Matec Villanueva, the chief executive officer of Publicis Manila, the local agency of the Publicis Groupe, shared at least two memes with false claims to back up her verbal jabs at Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s followers — especially those of the Marcos-loyalist bent — have been responsible for many false plants on social media.
You’d think an advertising CEO would be more discriminating.
There are a million and one charges on can hurl at Duterte, without involving the bishops. It’s not like Netizens live in a vacuum where they can’t check what’s happening on the other side of the bubble.
There’s no understanding such a lapse, unless it’s a matter of, well — friendship — with Mar Roxas.
They’ve advised against tendencies by some candidates. Mayhem could be a pointed dig at Duterte. On the other hands, the bishops have also spoken out against the terrible violence unleashed by state forces on the Lumad.
They also warned against crimes against the environment. Roxas has praised some dudes as exemplars of good practices in total contradiction of a Supreme Court decision; he also okayed tax perks on their planes while he was still transportation secretary.
A communications specialist like Villanueva ought to know enough to double check – the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has contact details. A communications specialist could have scanned news outfits to double check the claim.
It’s not just an issue of ethics but of professionalism. Aren’t these ad executives supposed to review even their clients’ claims? Aren’t they held to standards of truth in advertising? She’s supposed to be a lecturer in marketing in some hot-shot Catholic university. What does she teach the kids?
I guess some incentives trump ethics and professionalism.
Overreach will always unbalance you. Is Villanueva the ad agency version of Trillanes?
Talk is, Roxas isn’t amused – as her efforts have just opened him up to more ridicule. The saner of his campaign staff are bristling.
And I guess our bishops won’t be pleased either– to put it mildly.
You have to give the guys from D’Strafford credit for cheek, for cobbling a parallel #Halalan2016 universe.
You have to give them credit, too, for causing very respectable and decent folk to hyperventilate with joy.
Never mind that the morning after, the equally respectable Manila Bulletin had to take down the news item about Mar Roxas “sustaining” his lead over rival wannabe-presidents Rodrigo Duterte, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay and Miriam Santiago.
I guess it’s hard for professionals to ignore the reality of D’Strafford’s latest press release. Guess it’s hard to defend a survey firm’s credibility when their release mentions candidate Poe twice, under different rankings.
It’s also hard to keep a straight face when the Sun Star — whose editor got into a tussle with social media critics after its report on Strafford’s debut — placed in ” ” project manager JM Balancar’s defense of their methodology.
It’s the “proving” question, dudes, Balancar told journalists in press conference following the release of their April 13-18 alleged survey.
He was asked why their press release had nothing to back up the claim that Roxas surged because Duterte ‘s rape joke scared off some fans. He said other things, of course. Feel free to read the quotes.
Unlike other survey firms, D’ Strafford sends out a press release, instead of a detailed report that includes mechanics and sub-topics.
We still haven’t seen the actual “proving” question. So we don’t know if voter-respondents got lost in the racing syntax of D’ Strafford’s pollsters. It’s a trademark.
Or so Abante claims. You would think they’d bring a photographer to a press con announcing the results of a major survey. You would think any reporter these days would have a mobile phone with a still and video camera.
Instead, we get a file photo and a leap of faith on the part of the editors. The story actually sounds lifted from yet another wacky press release — though I’ll lay the blame for the photo on Abante.
I was tempted to write to Mr. Stevenson but suddenly thought of the embarrassment that could bring Roxas, the man who would be President. But I will. Tomorrow.
Meantime, let us rejoin in the miracle! And let us enjoy the cosmic tweets from the phantoms of this election.
“Takot sila sa akin,” Mar Roxas, Liberal Party standard-bearer said in March after the second debate among #Halalan2016 presidential bets. He also said surveys didn’t matter and that rivals were ganging up on him because of fear.
But a certain survey does matter a lot to the Liberal Party and its followers.
A minor Twitter stir occurred on April 20. Accounts linked to Roxas loyalists erupted in jubilation, sharing headlines on a miraculous survey surge that had President Benigno Aquino III’s candidate tied with Sen. Grace Poe at first place.
The firm claims it uses the language of the business elite.
Its site looks sleek but turns out to be a skeleton – no profile, projects, no clients. Not even an address.
When I visited mid-afternoon of April 20, it didn’t even have anything about an election survey.
D’ Strafford’s first appearance on email accounts of newsdesks was after it got a deluge of phone calls from curious Netizens.
I called up two numbers. Several tries on the first only got a recorded voice saying Extension 6138 was not available.
A man named Mark Lim answered the other number. He gave their office address as Unit 1, Penthouse, on the 35th floor of EcoTowers on 32nd St., BGC. He said a JM Balancar presented the survey results during “a press conference for tri-media at the Shangri-la Fort.”
Who is Mr. Balancar? What are his credentials?
Lim described Balancar first as “project manager” then as “project director”.
When asked for the name of the CEO – the website does not list company officials –Lim pointed to Balancar. Prompted for the names of other company officials, he mentioned a Mark Tan and Anthony Seno.
I asked if any of them were statisticians. No.
He also said the survey was done in-house and not commissioned.They interviewed 2,800 respondents face to face from April 13-18, he added. The outcome has a +/-1.9% national margin of error.
Then, unprompted, Lim attributed the lead to Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial joke about the rape-slay of an Australian missionary in 1989.
I asked for the education and professional credentials of Balancar and their survey leader. Lim said their in-house, corporate survey lead was a Jeffrey Concio, but he was mum on credentials.
Mum on clients. Mum on most everything, except that the firm’s owners were businessmen with ages ranging from the 30s to the 40s. Lim said he’s 38 years old. He would not give me his education background.
D’ Strafford incorporators don’t come up on Facebook or even Google. They must be very, very private men.
Balancar’s email to news desks was a gem . Will share it as is:
Nothing in their press release backs up the claim that Roxas surged because Duterte scared off some fans. Analysts say he may have lost some number of “soft voters;” but we’ll have to wait for the next surveys.
But Pulse Asia places Roxas fourth among voters’ second choice, with 14%, compared to Sen. Grace Poe’s 29%, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s 17% and Duterte’s 16% — though that category is premised on the condition of a favored bet not able to continue contesting the presidency.
D’ Strafford’s press release shares the press release’s quirky writing style, especially the unique use of punctuation.
Even more curious was the passage on the undecided:
“Of the 4.2% undecided, 1.5% goes to Poe, 1.3% for Roxas, 1% to Duterte and .4% for Binay.”
You make try to decipher that.
Roxas’ official Facebook account did not share the story. His vice presidential bet, Leni Robredo – D’ Stafford claimed she had a rating 32%, leading r Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (25%) and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero (23%).
After chatting with Lim, I called up Balancar. He was busy and just asked for a text query. I asked about the firm’s SEC registration.
He replied: “We will have another round of press conference this coming Friday. We will be sending invites. Thank you.”
A follow up text from him said: “All are invited even Duterte supporters, of GP and ke Binay. Thank you.”
Netizens Mariah Sanchez and Jae Manuel Sta Romana did separate searches and discovered that D’ Strafford’s website was registered only on April 14, a day after the claimed start of their survey.
It only registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 11.
Sta Romana also found out that the firm borrowed i’s entire website template from a Chicago-based company. Unlike D’ Stafford, Omotosho and Associates details a range of services.
So a very young firm of mysterious men decided to spend a caboodle of money for a nationwide survey because of the goodness of their hearts.
Don’t let those inconvenient truths divert us from this sure-fire reality, says an undersecretary.
Roxas will win, according to Malacanang, because the government has the most organized force.
This administration has a genius for twisting the meaning of words. Let’s parse out organized in the next installment, starting with the Palace downloading voters’ personal data stolen from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website.
What’s the difference between a joke and a dirty slip showing? How do you distinguish hyperbole from a person’s genuine worldview?
In the case of the Davao strongman Rodrigo Duterte, the offensive comments come too regularly to be dismissed as careless witticism.
Credit Duterte for defending indigenous peoples hounded by henchmen of corporations out to wrest their ancestral lands. Credit him for condemning the massacre of hungry folk in Kidapawan. Praise him for wanting to expand agrarian reform to ensure farmers get the support they need. Hail his commitment to resume stalled peace talks with communist rebels and provide meaningful autonomy to the Bangsamoro.
The Davao mayor has not admitted to any extrajudicial killings. He claims the criminals killed under his direct supervision were all gunned down in battles with law enforces. No case has been filed against Duterte for these extra-judicial killings.
His supporters stress this to debunk charges of selective justice. But there is no doubt that people have been summarily executed under Duterte’s watch.
Duterte may not have actually pulled the trigger. But speech after speech – to cheers and ovation – Duterte, a lawyer, spits on the nation’s laws, including the Constitution, presenting murder as legitimate law enforcement policy.
Who judges the innocent?
In his April 12 rally at the Amoranto stadium, Duterte said he has never killed an innocent person. But who judges innocence or guilt? The courts do, not the mayor, not the President. To deny suspects a chance to defend themselves in court does not solve the problem of injustice.
In the same rally, Duterte expressed sympathy for the plight of the Bangsamoro.
“I have to swear to the flag. My duty to the republic is to protect everybody, including the Moro people,” he promised disappointed leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
That’s impressive. But government officials swear to protect the rights of everyone, including people suspected of committing crimes.
The military routinely tramples on these rights where suspected militants are concerned, including the Lumad fighting to keep their lands free of abusive extractive industries. Officials of the Aquino government routinely justify these abuses. They are wrong. And so is Duterte in his equally selective notion of human rights.
Duterte talks about the evils of corruption, of how top leaders have made a rich, small segment of the population more equal than the rest.
His followers also cite the same – criminals coddled by lawmen, judges, other officials – as a reason for their impatience with legal niceties and their support for death penalty sans any check and balance, except a leader’s righteousness.
I will not disabuse them of the belief that injustice stalks the land. It does; my Facebook page is filled daily of examples, from tragi-comedy to full-blown horror.
Nor will I try to paint Davao City as the country’s crime capital. It isn’t.
But there is no excuse for murder. There is no reason on earth that justifies state-sanctioned murder.
My rights are everybody’s rights
Dutere asks, “anong mawala sa inyo kung patayin ko ang criminal?” (What would it cost you if I kill criminals?)
I have seen state security officials kill people on simple suspicion of being criminals. I have seen friends die, seen them arrested and tortured. I have seen people languish in jail even when the courts have cleared them of alleged crimes.
I cannot agree that others do not deserve the same rights I fight for, the same rights government officials are sworn to defend.
Duterte isn’t a neophyte politician. He has had decades as local chief to provide an alternative to instant-gratification, vigilante justice.
He offers higher wages for law enforcers. They certainly need it – like the rest of the country needs it.
But Duterte should be detailing steps needed to ensure that cops and soldiers do their job right, like trainings to lessen their use of shortcuts that then lead to lost cases.
He could list steps he’s done and will do to ensure the poor – defendants and plaintiffs – are guaranteed legal aid by efficient and honest government lawyers.
He could talk about workable rehab programs for young people who fall prey to drug abuse. He could talk about imposing harsher penalties for corrupt prosecutors who throw cases, or work with citizens’ groups to keep watch on hoodlums in robes.
It’s not that he hasn’t helped drug addicts. He has, as witnessed by Clarisse Le Neindre, who know runs a rehab facility after recovering from addiction with Duterte’s help.
Why then stress shortcuts as solutions to problems? Duterte is doing people a disservice by pandering to the worst of our instant gratification tendencies.
He presents the sona – the whole-scale round up of suspected addicts and community pushers – as the swift response to the scourge of drugs. That blueprint misses the fat cats who control the entry, the manufacture and the deliveries of drugs to affected areas.
Double standards, too
Duterte says poor Filipinos will come first under his presidency. He opposes contractualization.
Yet he promises to create an enclave where foreign investors can stay safe from the reach of the country’s laws.
He personally commits to keep them safe from inconvenient truths – like the fact that workers have the right to unionize.
For all Duterte’s talk about the poor’s right to prosper, he sees the struggle for economic rights as an enemy of development. And, indeed, in his first official campaign speech, he threatened to kill labor leaders who would not heed his “appeal” for a moratorium on union work.
He banners his credentials as a dear friend to the LGBT community. By all accounts, he treats them well.
Some gay friends who support him say they see nothing wrong with it.
If he uses it as an adjective that reflects your self-identity, there is nothing wrong with it. If you slam others for using bakla as a slur, why is Duterte suddenly exempt from those standards? His use of the word only encourages the bitter, hateful homophobia that have harmed so many of your peers.
And then there’s rape and his attitude towards women. He and his wife have a unique relationship and I will not impose my standards of fidelity on them. I must also acknowledge that, unlike ousted president Joseph Estrada, no one has charged Duterte with stealing public funds to subsidise his womanising activities.
Davao also has many pro-women policies.
And yet, he opens his mouth and something else comes out.
Duterte recently shared this tale of criminals in detention twice grabbing hostages. The second incident involved a bunch of Christian prayer warriors, including an Australian woman who was raped and then had her throat slashed, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
Duterte used the anecdote to stress how incorrigible some criminals are and also to show his willingness to risk life for the sake of victims.
Then he debased everything that mattered. His anger towards rape was almost secondary to dismay that criminals used the woman first before the mayor did.
He was joking? Maybe. But he also used the same line earlier in his talk.
Cops who commit crimes for personal reasons deserve to be punished, he said. He made an example of a cop who kills his mistress – especially a pretty one — and implied the mayor should have first dibs on the beauty.
It’s not the first time he used that anecdote on the hostage-taking, ending with a similar line. Watch Noemi Dado’s video at the 38:43 marker.
You can slog through the entire Duterte speech, including some moving performances by Freddie Aguilar here.
And this admittedly moving paean to change. Which, indeed, this country needs.
We all should be outraged that the haves in this country get away with all kinds of abuses while the rest of us suffer indignities daily.
Yes, innocent people get killed and innocent people rot in jail. Hungry people are left to starve; when they protest, they die.
We all should rage.
But in cheering for Duterte’s warped logic, in playing blind to his contradictions, we might just visit more of the same on this nation.
Do read scaRRedcat’s latest commentary for UcanNews on the US$81-million, money-laundering scandal involving funds stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank via cyberheist.
As gambling lords and casino operators, and their bankers and remittance agents, blithely talked of personal turnovers of millions of dollars, Filipinos took to social media to express bewilderment and outrage.
Kim Wong, one of the country’s most powerful junket agents and among those charged with the money laundering of cyberheist proceeds, told a senator that it would be “an insult” to even inquire where his clients’ money comes from.
“Someone who gambles amounts as huge as this should be considered suspicious,” said Joaquin Astono on Twitter.
Poverty stalks more than a quarter of the country’s 100 million population; average monthly income is less than US$200.
“I can’t even make half a million pesos in a year of hard work and very little sleep, and I hear people dismiss half a billion pesos of gambling losses,” said Lorena Lopez, a call center agent.
He’s a touch, cocky guy, is Kim Wong. He told the Senate that if his friends were called in, they’d fill the chamber. Many politicians would be included. Politicians from almost ALL political parties. He’s been a big donor since Estrada’s time, Arroyo’s time and now, in the time of Tuwid Na Daan. He has friends from all the different senatorial lineups.
Please read the entire story HERE Latest news is Kim Wong has returned the funds. The only message we really get, is kung lulusot, lulusot. (If they can get away with it, they will.)
People wonder why it’s so hard to clean up corruption in this country. Every election shows us why.
We know that lords of jueteng (an illegal numbers game) subsidise election campaign expenses of many candidates. An earlier post here, #Jeueteng=Good Governance?, tackled Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo cosying up to a Central Luzon clan known to head one of the country’s biggest illegal gambling network.
Roxas said that in his view, Pineda’s leadership can pass as an example of “Daang Matuwid.” He cited the provincial budget surplus of more than P1 billion, with all basic services and education subsidies provided to Pineda’s constituents.
This is the man who claims to be the successor of Daang Matuwid.
Pineda is efficient. So is former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. The latter is accused of corruption, plunder included, has specialised in a dance of evasion and should be, as he likes to say, abjured. Estrada, the man Roxas abandoned when the ship was sinking, liked to say he didn’t steal from the people’s coffers.
Is this the line Roxas and his vice presidential bet Leni Robredo want to sell? That bathing in the profit well of criminality is preferable to bathing in the tub of corruption? Is this the lesson we get from six years of Tuwid Na Daan?
Roxas, the Wharton economics graduate, showed his lack of historical context in his comments about “Muslim invaders”.
His historical amnesia also goes for illegal gambling – among the scourge of this country and also said to be linked to other criminal activities, including money-laundering.
Just to refresh Mr. Roxas’ memory – and ours:
Who are the Pinedas?
Lilia is the wife Rodolfo Quijano Pineda – better known as Bong Pineda.
Pineda is no run-of-the-mill jueteng collector. Amid political intramurals in the country, Pineda gained strength from one administration to another.
“… many because of her detractors’ charge that she has links to Bong Pineda, the gambling lord of central Luzon island. She dismisses criticism about her being godmother to one of Pineda’s children, saying that, as vice president, she is godmother to hundreds of children.”
The reported lord of jueteng gained nationwide notoriety because his alleged operations had corrupted and harmed no less than the institution of the presidency. Almost legend, Rodolfo Quijano Pineda was implicated by Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson in his testimony before the Senate last year about jueteng collections channeled to deposed President Joseph Estrada.
Pineda, “Bobong” to his townmates, was ordered by the former President to stop delivering collections to his (Estrada’s) Polk Street residence. The Pinedas also maintain a house in nearby Northeast Greenhills. According to Singson, the deliveries were getting far too obvious, and perhaps embarrassing, for Estrada.
Because he ate into Pineda’s collections, Estrada, according to one resident familiar with political goings-on in the town, ended up competing with the locals. Pineda was unable to shower as much money on them because of the former President’s demands—and the people felt it, too.
Pineda, unlike his tamer predecessors, has exhibited greater audacity by directly influencing and meddling in politics, not just at the local but also at the national level. Not content with the anonymity offered by small-time operations, he has ventured into jueteng big time.
This May, as in the past, he is expected to influence voting in President Arroyo’s province, in much the same way that the Catholic Church or Mike Velarde is able to exercise their clout over their flock during the election season. But Bobong Pineda has his own style.
But wait, we shouldn’t even stop with Estrada or Arroyo.
Slippery Pineda is a survivor. In 1996, he was named by Potenciano “Chito” Roque, former head of the defunct Task Force on Anti-Gambling from 1986 to1989 under former President Aquino, as among the jueteng operators who gave him protection money. Along with four other suspected jueteng operators, he was charged with “corruption of public officials” but was acquitted in 1998.
Newsbreak said “at least P4 million a day” is collected from Central Luzon bettors. This was more than a decade ago.
If Mar Roxas and his vice presidential bet, Leni Robredo, claim good governance can be compartmentalized from jueteng, they are either lying through their teeth or dangerously naïve. I will be blunt and say it is the former.
There is no shortage of evidence showing how illegal gambling and other crimes often underwrite electoral fraud.
In 2005, as congressional hearings went on with regards Mrs. Arroyo’s electoral fraud in the 2004 elections, a new reports noted:
Senators heard testimony from an army officer on Wednesday who said he witnessed widespread election fraud in Arroyo’s favour on the southern island of Mindanao, where the allegations against the president have centred.
Captain Marlon Mendoza testified that former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano bragged during a drinking session that a gambling lord gave 300 million pesos (RM20.2 million) to help Arroyo win a second term in the May 2004 polls.
Mendoza, the chief security officer for Garcillano from April to June 2004, also said he saw a presidential employee distribute cash to an election officer on polling day.
Lest we forget, the Liberal Party senators run under Arroyo’s 4-K ticket in the 2004 “Hello, Garci elections.” Yes, the elections that focused on defeating action superstar Fernando Poe, Jr., the father of Senator Grace Poe.
The Liberal Party waved off persistent claims of fraud. It was not until much later – some of them even tried to prevent the airing of the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes – when the wages of sin were too heavy that they broke away from Arroyo. (In 2010, they embraced Arroyo’s minions, who have become the most vociferous attack dogs of the LP.)
Et tu, Leni?
Roxas’ is known for his strong self-preservation streak. He will bask in reflected glory and wash his hands of collective fault (check out the second presidential debates last week).
The times he stands up – or screams “P***ngi*a” after telling aides to corral media – is hardly ever a matter of principle. In Mamasapano hearings, he cried and presented a woebegone face but never said a word about President Benigno Aquino III appointing a suspended police chief to oversee a highly delicate, perilous operation. People urged him to break away then. I knew he wouldn’t – no way Roxas stood a chance without the infinite lardchest of the government.
If that penchant doesn’t serve Roxas these days, it’s because people have grown wiser after six years double standards that have shown how only enemies fall under the LP’s banner of corruption. Enemies and the people they see as latak or those who have outlived their usefulness because a more powerful and richer padrone has come along.
But Leni, aaaah, Leni is the true disappointment.
From her own press release:
Naniniwala tayo kay Gov. Pineda bilang mahusay na lingkod bayan. . . . Hindi naman tayo nakipag-alyansa dahil sa links niya sa jueteng,” Robredo said when asked if she finds any conflict between her position against jueteng and her acceptance of Pineda’s backing.
Asked if Pineda’s support overshadows her alleged jueteng links, Robredo said, “Wala naman siyang hinihinging kapalit. Lahat ng nag-ooffer ng tulong naa-appreciate ko, pero iyong may hinihinging kapalit, ibang kwento iyon.”
Utang na loob. Leni, have you forgotten how one of the reasons for the prolonged sidelining of Jesse – even after he took the interior department portfolio – was because of his opposition to #Jueteng lords?
Where were you when Pineda money was bankrolling Arroyo’s elections?
Guns, goons and gold are the staples of Philippine elections. Pineda’s operations also allegedly funded electoral fraud, according to Newsbreak:
Of all schemes, the “cadena de amor” was perhaps among the most efficient, if not the most novel of ways to guarantee that Pineda’s anointed candidate got the votes. How does it work? One campaign manager explains that during the first voting hour, a trusted person of Pineda, with a hidden sample ballot, goes to the precinct to get a real ballot. He or she goes to a voting booth and writes on the sample ballot, then drops it in the ballot box. The real and clean ballot is pocketed then brought to the Pineda compound along the Gapan- Olongapo road. Here, voters who are being dined and entertained are waiting.
In exchange for P500, the ballot is surrendered and Pineda people on top of the operation write on the clean ballot the name of the candidate they are supporting. This way they are absolutely sure that the P500 does not go to waste.
The next person in line then brings the ballot to the voting precinct and then returns with another clean ballot in exchange again for P500. There can be as many as five to 10 people doing this simultaneously, the campaign manager says.
You really think you can keep your hands clean, Leni? Or do you believe the excuse that your supporters have been giving, that politics is addition and that the cleansing will have to wait post-victory?
I expressed disappointment that Poe could not confront the original sin of her patron, Danding Cojuangco, the fount of the entire coco-levy mess. But Danding has lost the case at the SC. This doesn’t excuse Poe of the omission, but between hidden wealth recovered — but not yet distributed to rightful claimants — and seeking the patronage of gambling lords who have amassed power all throughout the post-EDSA I decades, I no which sin weighs more.
Roxas, by the way, did his darn best to win Danding’s Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and in fact counts on NPC bigwigs in Danding’s bulwark, Negros Occidental, as key supporters. So all that righteousness over Poe doesn’t wash.
Not a single shed of illusion over Roxas. But you, Leni, justifying using the proceeds of criminality (unless, you prefer Pineda dips into government funds to help you?) … Aaaah, and we thought some decency remained in government.