IF YOU WISH THE BEST FOR THE COUNTRY , VOTE FOR WHO YOU THINK IS THE BEST, PERIOD
I have heard this comment, or the likes of it, too often: “I would vote for Gibo but I don’t want to ‘waste’ my vote on him due to his poor showing in the surveys.” That kind of thinking could lose Gibo millions of votes. People should vote according to their conscience and conviction and not based on unreliable surveys. It would be a real waste of vote if one were to vote for someone who is not one’s first choice. If we wish the best for the country, we should vote for who we think is the best candidate to lead the country, period. We should also vote for a candidate not only for him or her to win (as much as we would like that), but also to be among those counted to have voted for the same ideals and platform that candidate represented and stood for. As for his affiliation with GMA, after May 10, GMA is history, smirk and all.
Kamaganak Inc. and the Makati Yellow Brigade are getting ready again, licking their chops and jostling for key positions, official and unofficial, in what they hope will be a Noynoy presidency and a repeat of the good ol’ days of the late 80’s. Meanwhile, the poor and the clueless are once again being sucked into what they want to believe will be, this time, their true salvation… for the nth time. Hope, indeed, springs eternal and during elections, with prodding from the politicians, it gushes. Meanwhile, water and energy are running dry.
A reminder from a TIME MAGAZINE report in January 1990:
“No favors, no excuses.” That was the motto Corazon Aquino vowed to follow after her People Power movement toppled the corrupt regime of Ferdinand Marcos. But in the tumultuous four years since Aquino became President, charges of incompetence and graft have increasingly tainted her own government. When rebellious soldiers launched the seventh abortive coup against Aquino on Dec. 1, their most pointed complaints focused on the administration’s failure to deliver basic services and on allegations of corruption among the President’s wealthy and influential relatives. The charges, magnified by the Manila rumor mill, have inflicted serious political damage. While the President herself is considered incorruptible, critics accuse her of turning a blind eye to family and friends who are said to be enriching themselves at the public’s expense. “What good is a Blessed Virgin Mary if she is surrounded by Sodom and Gomorrah?” asks one disillusioned official. In a December speech after the coup attempt, even Jaime Cardinal Sin, Aquino’s most important supporter, warned of “a social explosion” unless Aquino swiftly defused “unceasing reports of the abusive roles of presidential relatives.” To regain public confidence in the wake of the abortive coup, Aquino last week sacked nine of 19 Cabinet ministers in the third such shake-up of her presidency. The Cabinet changes, acknowledged press secretary Adolfo Azcuna, were prompted “by the same reasons, perhaps, that precipitated the coup.” None of the ousted ministers had been accused of corruption, but some of their departments were widely considered ineffective, particularly Justice, Transportation and Education, where services had virtually broken down. Aquino also overhauled the Agrarian Reform Department, which has largely failed to deliver on her election promise of land redistribution. To many Filipinos, however, the reshuffling looked too modest to silence claims of scandal in high places. Though many of those tales flow from flimsily documented stories in the Manila press, which now enjoys unprecedented freedom, Filipinos follow them avidly. A frequent target of reports is Aquino’s brother Jose (“Peping”) Cojuangco Jr., a wealthy and powerful congressman. Shortly after Aquino took office, newspaper stories charged that Cojuangco had helped some of his cronies gain control of a lucrative cargo-handling business; he is also suspected of using family ties to get jobs for friends in Manila casinos. Cojuangco has denied any wrongdoing, and neither he nor any other member of the Aquino clan has been charged with a crime. Yet lack of prosecution means little in a country where the rich and powerful are perceived to be above the law. “It would take a first-class fool to testify against someone like Peping Cojuangco,” explains Blas Ople, executive vice president of the opposition Nacionalista Party and a former Minister of Labor under Marcos. In one of the few corruption cases the authorities have pursued, Cojuangco’s wife Margarita was suspected of having taken a $1 million bribe from an Australian businessman last year to help him obtain a gambling-casino license. In the end, the National Bureau of Investigation filed no charges: the probers said the Australian had been duped by a woman who impersonated Cojuangco’s wife. Critics often denounce Aquino’s first creation in office, the Presidential Commission on Good Government, as a bastion of ineptitude. Charged with the recovery of up to $10 billion that Marcos is said to have looted from the treasury, the commission has recovered nearly $1 billion so far but has been accused of abusing its powers. In one case, for example, Ricardo (“Baby”) Lopa, an Aquino brother-in-law who controlled a profitable Nissan auto- assembly plant and 38 other companies before they were seized by the Marcos regime in the early 1970s, was allowed to buy the firms back for only $227,000 within days after Aquino became President. A public outcry forced the commission to re-examine the deal with Lopa, who died of cancer last November. It found no evidence of improper behavior.
THE LAST 24 YEARS…
In 1986, Corazon C. Aquino took over the reins of government on promises of a better future for our country. Six years later, she stepped down as provided by the constitution and supported the candidacy of Fidel Ramos who acceded to power and led for another six years. After Ramos came the election of Erap with the largest margin ever since the multi-party system was incorporated in the 1987 constitution. Two and a half years later, Erap was unconstitutionally ousted and GMA became the de facto President, again, with the support of Cory and her family and their supporters. Nine years into the Presidency of GMA and 24 years since Cory came into power, where do we find the Philippines today in terms of poverty alleviation, job availability for our workers, quality of education, human rights record, peace and order, and corruption in government? Does Noynoy agree with GMA (Noynoy and those around him were among those that conspired to oust Erap and install GMA) that we are in a better situation now than we were before? If not, what is he asking the Filipinos to continue to support? He, Cory, Kamaganak Inc, and the rest of the yellow brigade have supported all those that have been in power since 1986 (except for the 2 1/2 years of Erap) and look where we are now? Ituloy ang laban against what and for whom?? For the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer?! Are we blind?? Don’t answer that….
POVERTY’S THE SAME AFTER 26 YEARS
By Mahar Mangahas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:25:00 11/07/2009
THE SWS SEPTEMBER 2009 SURVEY FINDING that 53 percent of Filipino households call themselves mahirap (poor), released this week, indicates that there has been practically no progress in the fight against poverty in the last 26 years.
The new poverty reading is from the 87th in a series of national surveys that started in April 1983, when the self-rating method was first applied nationwide, by the Development Academy of the Philippines. The original survey found 55 percent of household heads calling their families poor. The starting point of 55 and the latest point 53 are statistically the same.