EDSA message: what it should not be
posted 5-Mar-2016  ·  
4,313 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

TIDBITS: How true are reports that PAGCOR top honcho Jorge V. Sarmiento is set to resign (or has already resigned) from the cash-rich gaming agency to campaign for his friend vice presidentiable Chiz Escudero? If true, many surely won’t be on the same mind as Jorge, knowing that until now he continues to enjoy Malacanang confidence in so far as his decent stewardship of PAGCOR is at issue. Many are still salivating over his post even if the PNoy days are about to end. In any case, Jorge can bring in votes for Chiz. But how to make Chiz overwhelm co-Bicolnon rival Leni  Robredo especially in Region 5, is a tough adventure for Jorge. And last but not the least is that he should show up to campaign for re-electionist Cong Cesar whose supporters are reportedly getting disheartened at seeing thousands line up for medical check-ups provided by the mobile medical clinic donated by determined rival former Gov. Hector Sanchez

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I almost got floored when President PNoy’s speech at the 30th EDSA celebration drifted into a seeming public exorcism of the Marcos family, highlighted by what could be a misplaced presidential call for an absolute, if not infinite, ban on the Marcoses from re-occupying Malacañang. This is the first time in 30 years such direct and unambiguous condemnation of the Marcos clan ever highlighted an EDSA event. Cory Aquino, foremost victim of the Marcos strongman rule, did observe EDSA rites during her term with subtly displayed bitterness but not with much open political and personal bias against any identified sector or families, be they from the Marcoses or their cronies. She was president then out to unify the country and heal the wounds brought forth by the Marcos regime and she became an icon. Succeeding EDSA messages by Philippine presidents henceforth followed with calls for solidarity and reforms, with less ill will or none at all. The last EDSA event, the last for PNoy as president, was different however.  Resentment and acrimonious patutsada pervaded the celebration which otherwise could have mirrored positive legacies of an outgoing president, to be remembered for long by the next generation of Filipinos. 

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There was much graphic portrayal last week of alleged military abuses to the discomfort of a significant establishment that for decades had already learned poignant lessons and had also suffered from deep internal wounds as well as public censure. Incidentally, the long rhetoric PNoy used in the event was by no mistake a well-timed political rebuke of the vice presidential candidacy of Marcos scion Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who in an election campaign is now being made to account for the alleged sins committed by his father more than three decades ago. Certainly, PNoy wants Bongbong to lose in the May polls, but to disenfranchise a political clan as big as the Aquino-Cojuangcos from taking part in future high-level elections is the height of absurdity. PNoy can’t do that; only the Filipino electorate can. And if PNoy’s speech was a pitch, as it obviously was according to most, for his May 9 candidates it remains debatable whether the latest EDSA message will factor in their victory. Many in PNoy’s political camp are not EDSA participants at all but mere revelers, only after the Marcoses had fled the country.

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PDP-Laban catching up: A friend -- businessman-civic leader Rico Alberto of Pandan – may soon find himself busy once more in the rough-and-tumble world of Catanduanes politics. Not as a candidate in the May polls but as leader of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban ) in the province, a task that will likely put him onstage with PDP-LABAN presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte when the latter goes back to the island in the remaining months of the campaign. Rico has been recently called to the Office of Sen. KoKo Pimentel, party president, reportedly to help in the local reorganization of the PDP-Laban which came back to life after taking in Duterte. PDP-Laban, which has its beginnings as an anti-martial law and pro-Cory Aquino political party headed in the early 80s by the eminent Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, has had negligible presence in the island. The late Pedro “Tio Pindoy” Surban of San Andres town and myself (from Viga) were the only mayors picked out by President Cory from the PDP-Laban together with then the late OIC-Vice Governor Calvin Arcilla. While the UNIDO party of the late Gov. Leandro Verceles had then dominated local politics, we enjoyed however support from Catandungeño allies in the national level PDP-Laban. Among them were Vic Valledor of Payo, now an insurance industry heavyweight, the late Honey Cueva of Bagamanoc who was Cory’s first appointee to the POEA, Atty. Marlen Velasco of Bagamanoc and Atty. Poly Reyes of Pandan, former law office partner of erstwhile PDP-Laban head Vice President Jejomar Binay.

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Resurrecting the party from its dormancy will be a big yet easy challenge for Rico Alberto. Duterte is currently ranked high in presidential surveys and a candidate so easy to sell. His a la Donald Trump antics draw the thrills from and approval by the Filipino masses, not counting yet his strong declarations against the drug menace, criminality and graft and corruption. Rico may also collect and swing to the PDP-Laban Duterte’s federalism supporters and fraternity brothers in Catanduanes. So with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) candidates in many towns. Catanduanes KBL chair Art Tarnate was spotted recently meeting with Duterte campaigners at the White Knight Hotel in Intramuros, Manila. The side issue left for the local PDP-Laban is whom to support in the slots for congressman, governor and vice governor, over which the party unfortunately did not have the time and luxury to anoint. Will the PDP-Laban emerge as a swing vote for the provincial level candidates? Its depend (forgive the grammar), says a mischievous party member.

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ROSULO welcomes comments via: rosmanlangit@yahoo.com

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