VP Jojo Binay should learn the lessons of the super parties
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-06-21

Two days after your Chair Wrecker warned Vice President (VP) Jojo Binay (June 17, “Filipinos will support Koko’s principled stand” column) about the growing perception that he’s now beginning to look like a garbage collector — Representative (Rep) Mitos Magsaysay appears on ANC Headstart and says a mouthful of embarrassments for her recruiter in the UNA (United Nationalist Alliance).

With a straight face, Magsaysay proudly states that she was only professionally close to Gloia Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), the unlamented, now detained former president. She emphasized that she was not personally close to GMA.

Are you going to believe that? In the patronage modus operandi of the GMA regime, would you believe that Rep. Magsaysay would go to such length as she did if she wasn’t that close to GMA? Magsaysay would defend GMA every time — as if GMA was St. Joan of Arc. Rep. Magsaysay was the most unrelenting attack dog of the GMA camp in the post GMA era. What comes to mind with such a behavior is that probably Rep. Magsaysay has a problem of differentiating the good from the bad, and the corrupt from the clean.

Otherwise, why would she go out on a limb for GMA at a time when GMA is already out of power? Many of her Lakas-Kampi colleagues have already junked GMA and joined the administration. Even those who decided to remain with the minority that’s allied with GMA would only offer token criticisms of the present administration of President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy). To her credit, she has joined UNA and remains a critic of the P-Noy administration. Gee, GMA has such a tremendous hold on Rep. Magsaysay and Rep. Magsaysay says that they’re not even personally close.

In her ANC interview, Magsaysay even had the gall and the temerity of accusing the P-Noy administration of being such hypocrites. Hasn’t Magsaysay heard of the saying that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones? In a test of perception between P-Noy and GMA, as to who is truthful and transparent versus who is a hypocrite — majority of Filipinos would know the correct answer. Apparently Magsaysay does not.

In one of her most pathetic moments on the ANC show, Magsaysay tried to justify her calling the P-Noy administration of having a lot of hypocrites. She cites the Hyatt 10 members (among them Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Ging Deles) who left the GMA regime when the Hello, Garci scandal broke. She sought to establish that they were closer to GMA compared to her. She lost track of the right issue, the Hyatt 10 took a principled stand against poll fraud and resigned. How come Magsaysay remained loyal to GMA despite her transgressions?

With the raging Koko Pimentel-Migz Zubiri row, the UNA’s claim to standing on moral high ground is undermined. Add to that these inanities of Mitos Magsaysay and VP Jojo might lose half of his approval and trust ratings by the time he runs for president in 2016. The recruitment of Zubiri and Magsaysay has alienated and disappointed a lot of VP Jojo’s supporters. Many of them emailed me to express their sentiments when they read my column last Sunday. All over Facebook, the VP is already being likened to a garbage collector for recruiting the likes of Magsaysay and Zubiri.

VP Jojo should reflect on the lessons of those post martial law era presidential candidates who placed their faith and trust on the so-called SUPER PARTY. The super party reflects the traditional politician’s mindset of assembling local kingpins to bring the winning national vote. This has not happened. Since 1992, the super parties lost the presidential elections.

In the 1992 presidential elections, the super party was the LDP (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino). Their candidate, the late Monching Mitra, was so enveloped with traditional politicians that he could not even finish second to winner Fidel V. Ramos who rode on a new party. In 1998, Joe de Venecia was mangled by a ragtag coalition led by Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Between a disliked collection of traditional politicians and a popular actor, Filipinos opted for the actor. We cannot include the 2004 presidential elections in the equation because we know that was a tainted process. In 2010, Noynoy Aquino bulldozed the ruling Lakas-Kampi, another so-called super party.

To still opt to assemble a super party can be regarded as an act of utter stupidity. Politicians are supposed to master the voter mindset and sentiments — so why are they insisting on riding on super parties that Filipinos keep rejecting in the presidential elections? This UNA business might yet become the unraveling of Jojo Binay’s presidential bid. The worst-case scenario for Jojo Binay will be to be perceived by voters as the Monching Mitra and Joe de Venecia of the 2016 presidential elections. Filipinos are looking for values and, somehow, the likes of Zubiri and Magsaysay are antithetical to what voters are looking for.
* * *
Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

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