Resources can't compensate for political and moral bankruptcy
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-06-04

The merger of the Lakas-CMD and Kampi parties last Thursday can be considered a union of Harlots. Harlots surrender principle for a consideration and in the era of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) — we saw a lot of that. That’s why your Chair Wrecker fondly refers to this period as the Era of Harlot Politics in our country.

It was typical of the Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) we’ve gotten to know to express outrage and then completely turn around the next day. FVR denounced the rush to merge the Lakas-CMD and Kampi and then, after meeting with the merger’s emissaries, he gives it his blessing.

Some folks asked your Chair Wrecker why FVR always does that — express outrage over perceived evil one day and then recant and support the evil at the next opportunity. Is it because GMA has the goods on FVR? Has FVR entered the stage of senility? God knows.

Frankly, it is hard to figure out why FVR would resist the merger. Both the Lakas-CMD and Kampi have consistently supported the actions of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whether it is the killing of an impeachment case or the ceding of Philippine natural resources to foreign interests.

Both the Lakas-CMD and Kampi acted like the three monkeys that saw no evil and heard no evil when it came to the flagrant abuses and acts of impunity of the GMA regime. Did we hear Lakas-CMD and Kampi denounce the political killings under the GMA regime? Did they speak out when “Executive Privilege” was used as the mechanism for hiding the crime of plunder?

Anyone who is appalled by the state of affairs in our country since 1998 (when Joseph “Erap” Estrada was elected president and set us on this course of moral decadence) should be glad that the Lakas-CMD and Kampi merger happened. In our country’s state of confusion, the merger somewhat simplified the political equation. When the equation gets simpler, somehow our people make intelligent choices just as they selected Cory Aquino in 1986 over Ferdinand Marcos.

But what still prevents the people from discerning the good choices is the confusion being created by the Opposition. ‘Who is the real Opposition?’ is a question those in the Opposition are themselves asking? Wow! If those who are in the Opposition are asking ‘Who is the real Opposition?’ — imagine just how confused Juan dela Cruz is by all this!

The problem of the current regime and their new so-called ‘super party’ is that they have the edge in resources but not in public support. The GMA regime may have the gold, guns and goons as well as the most number of incumbent elected public officials, but surveys show that the Lakas-CMD and Kampi do not have a winning presidential candidate.

Vice President (VP) Noli de Castro, the highest rating presidential wannabe, is not a member of either Lakas-CMD or Kampi. Although they are courting de Castro and while he did attended their merger ceremonies last Thursday, the merged parties have no guarantee that he will opt to run with them.

Known to be close to Senator Manny Villar, de Castro might decide to do a Rogelio de la Rosa (whose withdrawal in the 1961 presidential elections allowed Diosdado Macapagal to win) and give way. Or Villar might decide to join forces with de Castro and make the VP the Nacionalista Party (NP) Official Presidential Candidate — if that is what will clinch victory for their party.

VP de Castro might just find it more enhancing for his chances of winning if he did not run as an administration candidate. Running as NP standard bearer frees him from defending the heavy political baggage of the GMA regime. Sans de Castro, the GMA regime has no winnable presidential candidate in its fold.

While surveys consistently showed that easily 60 to 70 percent of Filipinos want a regime change, this is not going to happen the way the Opposition is demolishing each other and the way Joseph Estrada is muddling the field by insisting on running. Estrada is just adding to the division of the Opposition votes instead of being a positive factor for Opposition unification.

Two Opposition presidential candidates might still muster enough votes for one of them to win in 2010 if the GMA regime does not have the likes of VP Noli de Castro as their presidential candidate. But three or four Opposition presidential candidates will lose to GMA’s anointed candidate even if her anointed candidate is as weak as Bayani Fernando and Gilbert Teodoro. Both Fernando and Teodoro have yet to show a sizeable national following.

With Joseph Estrada and the remnants of his disgraced regime, the term Opposition is an aberration. Their only claim to being the Opposition is that they were deposed when GMA rose to power in 2001. But in terms of what they represent — corruption, plunder, abuse of authority — Erap and GMA are one and the same.

Opposition status must be accredited to the political group that really offers a meaningful alternative and real change to the country. Real Opposition to the GMA regime must provide an end to corruption, abuse of authority and plunder — not just usher a new set of public officials who will be committing the same sins.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

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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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