The time comes for restitution

A lot of whispers in the political circle are now getting louder. The rumors about the possible candidates are gradually emerging. But, who are the candidates? While there are those who are excited, many are also dismayed at hearing the names of wannabes – whether reelectionist or not.

Sometimes, one is astonished why people dislike names of candidates already known to them. Thus, perhaps, there is the feeling that the public officials being unworthy of the votes. Any idea on how the electors measure the capability of the elected public officials?

Someone mused that there is no need to measure the worth of elected public officials. They said that the reactions and the frustrations of the constituents in the way these elected public officials are running the affairs of their administration speaks louder than words.

But, why blame the elected officials? Isn’t it that the voters sold their votes and that the elected public officials are not, in any way, compelled to serve them in return? Can the voters claim the right to demand services when they themselves are to be blamed of their misery?

Well, there are also insinuations that the voters did not actually vote the incumbent public officials. The voters claimed they were cheated because they could not even account their own votes in their own precincts! These allegations are sometimes stranger than fiction. Nevertheless, with a widespread accusation of election fraud, the complaint could be true.

It is for this reason that one should seriously consider on whom to vote when elections come. If there are enough grounds – whether proven in court or not – that the elected public officials are corrupt, by all means, the voters should campaign to get rid of these public officials perceived to be corrupt and immoral. These corrupt public officials have no place in public service!

In any case, there is no need to tell who these corrupt public officials are. After all, we have written many times in the past that the public knows better the integrity of their leaders.

Now, as the election season is coming closer, it is time to review how the incumbent public officials fare in the last three years. It is also fair to take a second look for those who lost in the 2013 elections. Thus, a careful assessment of the performance of the winner and the losers could provide the voters an informed decision.

Perhaps, if the voters have mistakenly voted for an incompetent and a corrupt public official, then, it is only fair to boot out the public official from office. The fear of a formidable political machinery, especially the ruling political party, is not a ground to douse the resolve to kick the public officials out of office. The voters should not be cowed and be threatened with election fraud. Instead, the votes should rally together to expose the harbinger of deceit and the duplicity in the exercise of electoral polls. -0-

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Padayon’s mayoral bet in Gingoog City killed

Since last year, the more than 40 unsolved killings have become an issue of concern among residents in the small city of Gingoog, east of Misamis Oriental, 122 kilometers east of Cagayan De Oro City.

The killings reached its height at the end of March 2015 when unidentified suspects shot and killed one of the city’s known opposition candidates in the 2013 mayoral elections. . The shooting stirred the entire province of Misamis Oriental that the news wire service breaks the story.

The suspects pumped bullets on Marc Anthony Bagaipo, 44, in front of a crowd who were shocked at the daring attacked during a vigil in the house of a political ally in Talisay, an outskirt village, east of Gingoog City.

I did not know Bagaipo pretty well until he called on me one time, while on coverage of the Capitol in Misamis Oriental. I thanked him when he told me that he always follow my column. Since then, we became informal friends and we simply nod our heads whenever we met elsewhere.

Then, I have the rare opportunity to meet and talk to Bagaipo when I was covering a relief operation for the flood victims sometime in January this year in Gingoog City.

Bagaipo personally supervised the distribution of free medicines (mostly for cough, fever, and vitamins for children), food packs, and rice to flood victims. The flood was the result of the Low Pressure Area (LPA) that persisted until January after the typhoon Seniang sometime in the end of Dec. 2014.

Personally, I could not detect any trace of a threatened man in Bagaipo’s face. When we met, he talked and chatted with the less fortunate who walked miles, with tattered and muddy slippers, just to have their share of the relief packs distributed by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental.

Bagaipo’s shooting took place in Talisay, a sleeping village that borders in the town of Magsaysay, the last municipal town east of Misamis Oriental. Police recovered empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol at the crime scene.

The police theorized that Bagaipo must have known the suspects because the former did not resist when held on the shoulder. Perhaps, the suspect whispered something in Bagaipo’s ears before shooting him at close range twice on the head. Not contended, the suspect pumped bullets on Bagaipo’s breast as he, probably, staggered to the ground.

Certainly, the killers are professionals. One thing, however, the killers did not come from the place because the people failed to recognize them. At least, some witnesses have provided a vivid description of the assailants because they did not wear masks other than a ball cap and a jacket. The killers fled on two motorcycles that probably split as they rush toward the highway in order to deceive the would-be-chasers.

Who killed Bagaipo? Why now, when the local election is approaching? Was the killing politically motivated? Was Bagaipo a political threat that the only way to resolve the threat was to eliminate him? Why kill a man whose only weakness was the desire to serve the people? Why kill a man who was only known to be friendly and has no known enemy?

In 2013, Bagaipo ran for Mayor in Gingoog City under the opposition Padayon Pilipino political party. He lost by a slight margin of about 6,000 votes. Perhaps, if given a chance, Bagaipo who was reportedly active in serving the constituents in Gingoog could make it this time.

The Philippines needs a new national political party

With a limping leadership, the presidential and local elections in 2016 could be the worse for the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the country. At the outset, every aspiring candidate and supporters would scramble in the search for a new, credible, and dependable political party in the national context.

The 2016 presidential elections would have been ripe for the Nacionalista Party (NP) to regain its status as one of the country’s reliable political organizations in the national and local level.

However, with party mates without solid political loyalty, the Nacionalista Party would be another candidate for the dustbin. Thanks to the former Senator Manny Villar, the NP president, who sold the soul of one of the country’s enduring political party to the LP in the 2013 senatorial and local elections.

Today, the NP persona has lost its value and has shattered the dreams of the country’s “nationalist” virtue. What seemed to be the only alternative to attain a political change and governance that the NP could possibly carry out with effectiveness have become a whisper in the moon.

Undoubtedly, the Filipino people need a political party that would otherwise cultivate a new political value. There were various attempts in the past, like the formation of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), an ambitious political party that would cater largely to the needs of the impoverished Filipinos.

However, the political elite smells the filth of those living in squalid communities that the only recourse then was to send the PMP’s figure head to prison. As a result, the elite political party of the Lakas-Kampi sent President Erap Estrada to prison on trumped-up charges.

A mixture of elite and the struggling political personalities also formed what could have been a formidable national political party: The United Opposition (UNO). Organized in 2007, UNO was a coalition of the PMP headed by Pres. Erap Estrada and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan with Vice President Jejomar Binay as the party President.

Although the UNO did not last long, there is now an attempt to form a new political opposition party: The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) headed by VP Binay. The UNA is formed in preparation for the 2016 Presidential and local elections where Binay is running for President.

The reorganization of the UNO and the formation of the UNA is necessary to weed out party mates whose alliance with the opposition is questionable. There is no question that some incumbent elected officials – in the Senate and in the locality – are “political opportunists.”

These political leeches are no more than “political turncoats” who would always jump, albeit with callousness into the wagon of winning political parties. While the character is prevalent in the locality, the same is true at the national level. Thus, perhaps, VP Binay should see to it that the UNA would not be infiltrated by political tyrants who would definitely sell the party’s principle.

One should know that the UNA has a formidable support by various opposition political parties at the local level. As far as one could remember, there are more than 20 local opposition groups throughout the country that are now fully supporting UNA. This is the reason that Binay’s popularity as a presidential candidate has not wavered in contrast to the popularity of other presidesidential bets.

We understand that more than half of the incumbent senators are now threatened that their re-election in the 2016 polls is now hanging in the balance. These senators are certified turncoats, and political opportunists who won their seats because of the support of the opposition. This column will definitely mention the names of these senators in the coming days