We’ve entered that point in the campaign period when endorsements are unveiled by presidential candidates and their hitherto unannounced supporters. Some are unsolicited while some are negotiated. Some endorsements add votes while other endorsements deduct.
The last thing a presidential candidate wants to have is the endorsement of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). Just look at how much time and energy my Kumpadre, Manny Villar, is spending in trying to convince folks that he is not “Villarroyo” — the perceived secret candidate of GMA.
As if my Kumpadre didn’t have enough problems with “Villarroyo” — Villar got what we can call two “killer” endorsements. Manny Villar was endorsed for president by — take a deep breath — Communist Party of the Philippines Chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison and Maguindanao Massacre prime suspect, Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Sourced from an interview with D. L. Mondelo of online newspaper Bulatlat, Utrecht based Joma Sison was quoted as saying: “Manny Villar offers the relatively better program, which unfortunately has been underplayed during the campaign. He promises land reform and self-reliant food production, expansion of local manufacturing to generate employment, support for small and middle entrepreneurs, conservation of natural resources, ecological protection, peace negotiations, review of the Visiting Forces Agreement, respect for human rights, indemnification of the victims of human rights violations and independent foreign policy.”
On the way to his new detention cell in Taguig, Andal Ampatuan Jr. was shown on ABS-CBN TV Patrol last Thursday displaying the ballers of Manny Villar and NP (Nacionalista Party) senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla. The prime suspect of the gruesome Maguindanao Massacre averred his support for both candidates.
My Kumpadre’s leading rival, Noynoy Aquino, is not without endorsements and many of them would be the envy of his rivals. One such positive endorsement came last April 14 from our good friend, the highly respected former senator and son of the beloved President Ramon Magsaysay — Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr.
In his endorsement statement, Jun said:
“My family and I have decided to support Senators Benigno ”Noynoy” Aquino and Mar Roxas, Liberal Party candidates for president and vice president, respectively, in the May 10 elections.
It is my conviction that we need leaders that are honest and trustworthy at a time when our country is in crisis. And these two men fit the profile almost perfectly.
A country in crisis
We continue to suffer from bad government. Worse, our people have been silenced by apathy, fear and intimidation, forced to endure the most ineffective, deliberately secretive, and maliciously unjust political leadership since the martial law years.
The truth shall set us free. “Kung may katotohanan, susunod ang katarungan. At kung may katarungan, magkakaroon ng katahimikan.” So said Archbishop Oscar Cruz about a couple of years ago when he was still head of the Catholic diocese in the Pangasinan-Ilocos region. The archbishop made the exhortation in relation to the case of Jun Lozada, whose whole family remains under the protection of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES (AMRSP) community under Sister Mary John Mananzan and the De la Salle Brothers in Greenhills. Lozada’s predicament remains the most dramatic manifestation of how this administration hounds and threatens those who expose government anomalies hoping to correct such excesses. To Jun, his wife, and five children, I say: The truth shall set you free.
For the families of the 57 Filipinos who were mercilessly massacred allegedly by those in power to prevent them from running for office in Mindanao: The truth shall set you free.
For the families of those assassinated – Marlene Esperat, Gumersindo Lasam, Teofilo Mojica – over the misuse of farmers’ fund in the Department of Agriculture that continue to haunt the country: The truth shall set you free. Two Senate committees – in the 2006 13th Congress and the 2009 14th Congress — that investigated the fertilizer fund scam arrived at the same conclusion based on their reports: There was sufficient evidence to charge with plunder certain officials of the DA. Both reports were signed and approved by an overwhelming majority of the senators. They have since been ignored, archived and forgotten! Social justice has lost out to political expediency.
For all these victims of injustice, the sun may finally rise after May 10.
The famed broadcaster Ed Morrow once said, “A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves!”
Knowing that the Filipino prefers to mind his own business if he has a choice, some public officials use this as an opportunity to steal government funds. Already limited financial resources are strained even further. They overprice equipment and supplies, pursue ghost projects, and blatantly mismanage operations.
The scams will never stop until we get together, unite under one honest and tough leadership and kick out those crocodiles that have made government a rich feeding ground.
We need a new type of leaders to initiate true reforms. It will take many years and hard decisions to reverse the culture of corruption in public service. True reforms must be continuing. Honesty and integrity must exist in that new leadership.
My choice — tough, transparent, true
We need leaders who are tough, transparent, and true. Tough enough to make hard decisions. Transparent enough to open up cans of worms and expose the rot in public finances and transactions. True enough to commit to initiating and instituting reforms as deeply, as widely and as long as it takes to rid the bureaucracy of the parasites that weaken our moral fabric.
Senators Benigno C. Aquino and Manuel A. Roxas. Noynoy and Mar makes a team that is decent, strong and God-fearing. Both will do justice to the trust and confidence the Filipino people will bestow on them by electing them into office.
Both firmly and without any reservations vow to go after the corrupt and bring them to justice within the first 100 days of their administration. I believe they will do it. I know they and their group of principled politicians will pursue this objective as no other candidate will.
Noynoy and Mar have taken a strong stand, as they share the people’s deep yearning for justice and unity.
We must be united and stand with them in this perilous struggle to initiate the rebirth of the country, to build a just society that will give all Filipinos pride and dignity as respected members of the global community having cleansed themselves once again of the stigma of corruption, just as they did after the historic events of 1986 that made the Philippines a beacon of hope and an inspiration for all peoples trying to free themselves from the shackles of tyranny and oppression.” (End of statement)
Now that is an endorsement that adds votes.
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