Where EDSA succeeds, the nation fails

For the politicians and church leaders who conspired in the EDSA uprising, the event was the crowning glory of the consummation of the political ambitions of those who crave for power, fame, and glory. The event also validated the prostitution of religious beliefs that were translated, albeit in a form of adventurous fanaticism.

The EDSA civil-military mutiny took place in the Philippines on February 22-25, 1986. The massive demonstration was in protest of the election of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos during the “snap election” on January 1986. The defeat of Cory Aquino, widow of slain former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. at the “snap election” triggered the protest spearheaded by the political opposition backed by Roman Catholic Church.

The protesters gathered in mass in the Efipanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila. The protesters then stormed Malacanang, the seat of the Philippines government, which ultimately ousted the Marcoses after 20 years in power.

The EDSA uprising, described by its proponents and propagandists as a “revolt of the Filipinos,” actually did not represent the sentiments of the Filipinos as a nation as the people. In all honesty, EDSA was an experiment of the political opposition, which succeeded when the church leaders agitated the parishioners in Metro Manila like the sacrificial pawns. However, the people outside Metro Manila never-care-less. After all, the drama and the characters of the power play would have to be carried in Metro Manila.

The EDSA was supposed to have uprooted the veins of corruption that the military rule has cultivated under the barrel of the gun.

After three decades, corruption in the country became worse than ever. After 30 years, the politicians who grabbed power in the guise of people’s power continue to use and exploit the military regime as a means to pursue vested interests.

What have the Aquino regimes brought to this country, but perdition? Obviously, the political leadership that followed after EDSA has always flaunted about fighting corruption and transparency in the government.

However, it is unfortunate that after 30 years, the fight against corruption has remained a utopian tool designed to blind the Filipinos into deceitful submission by an incompetent and self-aggrandizing administration. Sadly, for the old and the new generations, EDSA has metamorphosed into one of the “hoaxes” of our times? It has been used to desecrate the virtue of the democratic ideals of the nation and the people. Yes, after EDSA, the Filipino in the street  has remained worse than ever. -0-


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

The Media and Politics

Although the national and local elections in the Philippines are still in 2016, the political pot now starts to boil. While the political activity is a never-ending process, the heat becomes prevalent when the election year comes nearer by the day. In other words, nothing can hinder the excitement of the political season among the “wannabes” and the ambitious. The local political scene is not an exception. In fact, more stories, hearsays, and insinuations, are now coming out every day about the possibilities, realignment, and alliances of future political forces and political parties. Issues and controversies, whether imaginary or real, by political protagonists would now gradually pollute the print and broadcast media in an effort to sway the support of the voters. Once again, the clowns in the political theaters and the charlatans of the rotten political system would exhibit the usual antics of “lies and hypocrisy.” What a mockery of mongrels and corrupt leaders who would always exert efforts to justify their actions under pretext fairness. We are now trying to configure the political geography as some personalities have started to come out to reveal political intentions a year from now. For instance, in a bid to pursue political ambition, there are striving politicians who have started buying the sensitivity of the media. Well, blame not the media. After all, the job of the media is to deliver the message of the political benefactor according to its intention. What is unacceptable ‘though is when politicians start to wedge conflict among the media, which often times, lead the media to attack its own integrity. For the media who seriously practice the profession of letters and the broadcast with a sense of pride, it is necessary to resist the divide and rule tactic instigated by the ambitious politicians. On the contrary, the media should rally to expose and rebuffed any politician who have the clear intention to exploit the independence of the media. This early, we want to expose the character of politicians who have employed the services of the media in the pursuit of their political aims. The point is not to prohibit the media or the politician to do so. After all, it is the right of every media practitioner to accept offers. It is important ‘though that the offer must be within the bounds of fair reporting and a decent commentaries. Thus, the politician has no right to “dictate” the media on what to write in newspapers or comment over radio programs, especially if the object is to destroy the person or political adversary. It is also the right of the media to decline offers when intuition dictates, especially offers coming from politicians whose political history is replete with suspicion of corruption and fraud. We believed that the media is one among the institutions in the country that could influence in changing the present character of the country’s politics of personal destruction, vindictiveness, and patronage. -0-