Why I Will Not Vote for Noynoy Aquino

This is in response to a friend’s bewildered query as to why I’m not voting for Noynoy.

In September of last year, I wrote a post in which I said that we should give Noynoy Aquino the benefit of doubt until he shows us that there is something behind that bland (bald?) demeanor other than tired platitudes and empty promises, the hallmark of the trapo. Nine months on, he has not said or done anything which would have convinced me that he has the qualities to become a capable president. In addition to other reasons enumerated in another later post, the following points have convinced me that the country is in deep trouble should he succeed:

1. He did not fight a “good fight” — In the sense that St. Paul meant, that we should exhibit intelligence, humility and moral courage in all our struggles. Or at least try to.

Instead, he relied on mudslinging and black propaganda. Most of the presidential candidates did so too, but his was the most odious in terms of viciousness and because of his oft-stated claim of virtuousness by reason of parentage. This two-faced and cynical approach to politics means it will be business as usual if he gains power. While mouthing high-minded ideals, he conducted his campaign at the level of the gutter. He will bring this hypocritical outlook to Malacanang.

His true character was revealed when Chiz Escudero unveiled the NOYBI initiative to stab Mar Roxas in the back. It took him a long while to publicly repudiate the effort and reaffirm support for his embattled running mate. This despite the fact that Mar selflessly paved the way for Noynoy’s run.

It was Mar again who immediately and graciously stated that any support for the standard bearer is welcome although it might bode ill for him. Say what you will about Mar Roxas, no one can deny that he’s a class act. In contrast to Noynoy’s new buddy, Jojo Binay, who out-trapoed the trapos in order to build a dynasty in Makati. Jojemar is telling the truth though. If he wins, he’s going to do to the rest of the country what he did to Makati, which is to say institutionalize patronage politics and corruption. Continue reading “Why I Will Not Vote for Noynoy Aquino”

Read more...

The Hope of Audacity

If anyone seems to be having the most fun out of campaigning for the presidency, it looks to me like Dick Gordon.

Just check out his video with the comedy duo Moymoy Palaboy which has gone viral. This is not the demeanor of a man lagging far behind in the polls. He looks and sounds like a winner.

The irrepressible Gordon is nothing if not audacious. After failing to keep the U.S. bases in his bailiwick of Olongapo City (God stepped in anyway with the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo to ensure that the Americans well and truly left), he turned what could have been a calamitous situation into a golden opportunity. Pushing for the establishment of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, he converted the former U.S. naval base into a thriving freeport, creating more jobs and revenue than when the U.S. military was there.

As Secretary of Tourism, he once again showed his marketing savvy (he was at one time a brand marketing exec for P & G), boosting foreign and local tourism after years in the doldrums. He was also the high profile head of the Philippine National Red Cross, making his presence felt at every natural or man-made disaster even while serving in the Senate.

All is not sweetness and light in Gordon country, however. Long-time anti-U.S. bases activist, child-welfare advocate and Gordon critic, Catholic priest Fr. Shay Cullen, paints a dark picture of a Godfather-like warlord who will not hesitate to use extreme measures to silence his critics and get his way. But this image did not gain wide acceptance in the public mind. Continue reading “The Hope of Audacity”

Read more...

The Villar Conundrum

Do you trust Manny Villar (to be the next president of the Philippines) ?

The answer to this question is the stumbling block of the Villar campaign and must keep the candidate awake most nights. That many Filipinos are undecided, at best, about how they would reply if asked is why Villar trails at the polls, albeit closely nipping at the heels of Noynoy.

He certainly has a reputation for being an astute, even ruthless, businessman. This is partly because an instinctive mistrust of the very wealthy. He could not have gotten his fortune without having done something bad, the thinking goes. But this only accounts for a small percentage of his detractors.

The main reason is that he has more than a few skeletons rattling in his closet, the scariest being the C-5 scandal. Thus, despite all the money and effort poured into his run he has to play catch-up in the homestretch. And why the smear campaign about his being “Villaroyo” has taken its toll.

But Villar also has a lot of things going for him, which is why he has a good chance of defeating Noynoy Aquino and his fearsome yellow army. And I don’t mean just his money. At a certain point in the election (and I believe this point has been reached), money becomes less important. All the money in the world will not get you elected if you’re truly unelectable. Cash becomes critical as election day nears only as a means of ensuring the party machinery is kept well greased and to keep your capos and foot soldiers happy and motivated on the day itself. You will need warm bodies and money to safeguard your vote. On this score I believe Noynoy and Villar have achieved a rough parity. Continue reading “The Villar Conundrum”

Read more...