Hallmark of a dirty, vindictive regime
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-02-20
Alan Peter Cayetano cried foul when a Jose Pepito Cayetano from Davao (who also gave his other name as "Peter") filed for Senate candidacy. The reaction is understandable — another Peter Cayetano running for Senator can invalidate the Taguig-Pateros Representative’s votes.

"Saan naman kayo nakakita ng ‘Joselito’ ang pangalan pagkatapos ang nickname ay ‘Peter’? Pwera na lang siguro kung si Jose Pidal ang nagpatakbo sa kanya! (Where can you find a ‘Joselito’ nicknamed Peter? Unless it was Jose Pidal who egged him to run!)," Rep. Cayetano said.

Jose Pidal of course is the alleged alias of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo which his brother Iggy later claimed as his own.

In his interview with ANC after he filed his candidacy last February 12, Rep. Cayetano further claimed that local leaders have been offered incentives to make sure he loses in their jurisdiction.

Rep. Cayetano sent investigators to Davao with an ABS-CBN coverage team and they discovered that long-time neighbors of Jose Pepito Cayetano always knew him as Jojo. The neighbors further attested that they never heard anyone there address him as Peter. A relative of Jose Pepito Cayetano even admitted on the February 14 telecast of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol that he filed his candidacy shortly after a big white van dropped by their house.

The reaction of Comelec Chairman Ben Abalos is disturbing — citing the difficulty to disqualify Jose Pepito Cayetano because he had the endorsement of a national party, the KBL (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan). If Jose Pepito Cayetano is allowed to run, what is to stop the filing of other similar nuisance candidacies against Opposition local and congressional candidates using KBL, Kampi, Lakas-CMD, the regime affiliated NP and NPC and local parties?

True enough — the Comelec legal division did not disqualify Jose Pepito Cayetano.

Attorney Oliver Lozano was identified by media as the broker of Jose Pepito Cayetano’s KBL endorsement. It was also Lozano who rushed to file the first impeachment case against Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a case that was so flawed and lacking substance that many Opposition congressmen denounced it as a regime maneuver to pre-empt and sabotage the impeachment case that they (Opposition congressmen) were filing.

Rep. Cayetano is not alone. A certain Theodore Aquino registered his candidacy for Senator which a lot of people saw as a stratagem against Tarlac Representative Noynoy Aquino, son of Ninoy and Cory. Like Rep. Cayetano, Noynoy has excellent chances of winning.

Luckily for Noynoy, the Comelec disqualified Theodore Aquino. Noynoy’s Aunt, Tessie Aquino-Oreta, who is also running for senator, is using her initials TAO and married name Oreta, thus avoiding invalidating both her and Noynoy’s votes.

However, suspicious minds are asking if that Theodore Aquino was disqualified so as not to show a pattern of discrimination against two leading Opposition senatorial candidates. Alan Peter Cayetano and Noynoy Aquino have valid reasons to believe that they have been targeted for special ops. After all, this regime’s penchant for retaliation and subterfuge is well-known.

An icon of democracy and people’s struggle for freedom, Cory Aquino’s call for Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s resignation in July 2005 sent shock waves all over the world. As if on cue, the government rushed to divide the ancestral property of Cory’s family — Hacienda Luisita — among their workers. Many saw this as the Malacañang tenant’s way of unleashing her fury in retaliation.

When we met at a social gathering thereafter, Cory told me how shocked she was at the level of dirty propaganda thrown at her after she had asked Madame Arroyo to resign. Now this is a Cory Aquino who has taken a lot of punches, fairly and unfairly thrown, during her time. This is a Cory Aquino who stood stoic against two violent attempts to overthrow her government, one of which almost cost her only son his life.

For Cory to admit that she was affected by the filth that was thrown at her — one can only imagine how low her detractors can go and how dirty her detractors are.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would never have been president had Cory and the late Jaime Cardinal Sin not insisted on following constitutional succession when Joseph Estrada was ousted in 2001. That is gratitude for you — the kind that Dante Alighieri said is awarded the deepest pit in hell.

In the case of Alan Peter Cayetano, we saw live on ANC TV his face off with Mike Arroyo over the alleged German Bank accounts of the Arroyo family. Where Mike Arroyo would normally just issue a denial and follow it up with a libel suit — as 42 other journalists and I have experienced — Alan Peter Cayetano became an exception.

Mike Arroyo did sue Alan Peter Cayetano for libel. But more than that, Mike filed a complaint with the Congress Ethics Committee in what seems to be a campaign to expel the Taguig-Pateros Representative from the House. They even organized an expedition to Germany to drive home Mike’s point.

It should not be considered libel if we say that Mike doesn’t like Alan Peter Cayetano.

  Previous Columns:

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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