Undermining P-Noy, with a lot of help from his friends
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-12-23
Always fear more the enemy from within is a lesson any diligent student of history will know. They would have noted that empires, kingdoms and governments had fallen mainly because of internal weaknesses, conflicts and concealed enemies.

Well, it’s the Christmas season so let’s be kinder. Let’s not call them enemies of President Noynoy Aquino III (P-Noy). Let’s be Christians and call them instead as ‘some friends’ of P-Noy.

Let me narrate to you this recent case of how ‘some friends’ of P-Noy put him in a very embarrassing and potentially politically costly situation. This recent development happened in the vote rich province of Pangasinan.

In the Presidential election of 2010, Pangasinan was a critical area in the delivery of the Ilocano and Pangasinense vote. With over 1.1 million votes, the province was a battle ground of necessity. The incumbent Governor, Amado Espino Jr., belonged to the then administration party of Lakas-NUCD – not because it catered to his preference, but because of political convenience.

In 2009, Governor Espino’s province had just gone through one of the worst natural calamities known to our nation – the Ondoy and Pepeng floods. As Ondoy and Pepeng kept the province of Pangasinan under water for many weeks, the destruction needed national government intervention and assistance. The release of Governor Espino’s calamity fund was subject to his allegiance to the former administration. Hence, he could not openly pledge his desire to support then Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate, Senator Noynoy Aquino.

The Liberals could not understand this predicament of Governor Espino and they decided to tap former Pangasinan Governor Victor Agbayani to run as LP gubernatorial candidate. A political veteran attributed this LP mega blunder to what he called “the imprudent political discernment of LP President Mar Roxas.” This act was the equivalent of spiting incumbent Governor Espino – the Action Man, as he is called, and new powerhouse of the province.

Throughout the campaign period, Senator Noynoy’s numbers in Pangasinan were down, ranking only a sorry fourth after Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar, and Gilbert Teodoro. Three weeks before the elections, Senator Noynoy’s numbers still continued to dip. Senator Noy’s Pangasinan numbers somewhat improved when he overtook Manny Villar whose public stock had plummeted because of allegations of corruption.

Through the intercession of dedicated and well meaning volunteers, Governor Espino agreed to help Noynoy. With barely two weeks to go before Election Day, Espino’s machinery went to work, delivering the province of Pangasinan with a win margin of 400,000 votes to then Senator Aquino! Watchers were even provided throughout the province, free of charge, by Governor Espino, just to ensure that then Senator Noynoy’s votes would not go astray. Espino won his second term with a landslide victory of 72.90 percent of the votes cast, versus only 26.33 percent for Agbayani. The Liberals in the province produced only 3 mayors out of the 48 towns under the control of Gov. Espino.

The DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) recently held a project inauguration in Pangasinan and as an act of utter political stupidity – only the three LP mayors were invited to represent the province. The incumbent Governor who had helped P-Noy win was not invited and to add insult to injury during the affair – election loser Agbayani was afforded the privilege of sitting next to President Noynoy Aquino.

Having been given the opportunity to speak, an LP mayor introduced former Governor Agbayani as the “TRUE Governor” of the Province of Pangasinan, saying: “Ang tanging kinikilalang Gobernador sa Lalawigan ng Pangasinan (The only recognized Governor of the Province of Pangasinan).” The LP Mayor’s ridiculous and politically incorrect comment caused P-Noy to smile, as many onlookers noticed. The affair was closely monitored by followers of Governor Espino and many of them felt offended and betrayed. No recognition was ever given to Gov. Espino, not even a courtesy phone call.

Wouldn’t you feel betrayed if you were Governor Espino? Would you still support P-Noy if you were him?

Instead of uniting the nation, it is slowly being divided from the inside. Allies suffer discrimination from these Liberals who posture as the makers of the P-Noy presidential election victory which they could not even correctly manage. Malacanang has been transformed from a house of tyrants during the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime to a home for credit grabbers and sleazy ogres.

Our nation expects no less than the unifying hero that we elected. P-Noy should start acting like a true leader of all his people. More misadventures like this major political fumble in Pangasinan will open P-Noy to being perceived as a puppet of the Hyatt 10, Balay and the LP.

P-Noy certainly does not deserve this. Over the past six months, he had consistently tried to forge unity. He had made Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile an ally. He extended to the Left an olive branch with the release of the Morong 43. There are a lot more quiet dialogues being held with other parties in order to forge a united front for the reforms our country desperately needs.

P-Noy’s initiatives are being undermined by some of the company he keeps.

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  Previous Columns:

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

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

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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