jump to navigation

The Necessary Evil June 5, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Armchair Politics.

NOTE: This entry was recently edited since it was pointed out to me that Manny Villar and Sonia Roco are from the Genuine Opposition, and not Independents, which I originally thought them to be. Bad Atty. Perez! Ah well, it strengthens my argument that I voted based on individual merit, and not on political affiliation.

Reading last Monday’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I was struck at the opinions written by both Neal H. Cruz and Conrado de Quiros, specifically the stand their staunch anti-administration stance. Equally pro-opposition (if not more so) have been the recent scathing remarks written by Manuel L. Quezon III, who is also a columnist in PDI. I was struck because all three columnists are people whose opinions I listen to and ponder on. Cruz and de Quiros are anti-administration while Quezon is both anti-administration and pro-opposition.

I, however, am anti-Opposition.

I’ve looked over the Genuine Opposition’s list of senatorial candidates and there are only two candidates there that I could stomach. I am not totally pro-Administration however, I just support some of their senatorial candidates. I voted for 10 senatorial candidates, two of them from the Genuine Opposition, three of them from an Independent party and the rest from Team Unity. I crossed out the remaining two of my senatorial line-up, preferring not to pollute my ballot with undesirable candidates. I only voted straight for one party, Kapatiran, of which all three candidates found their name in my ballot. My Genuine Opposition candidates were Senator Manny Villar, and Mrs. Sonia Roco. I didn’t vote for Kiko Pangilinan because I’ve always found him eccentric and misguided, judging by the laws that he’s authored and his statements made on public issues.

The difference between my stance and those of the three columnists could probably be due to the fact that all three reside in Metro Manila while I am from Metro Cebu, and as they say, the NCR is opposition country while Cebu is an administrative bailiwick.

But I believe that would not be a fair thing to say about Cebu.

Let me explain. From what I understand of the situation, people are supporting the opposition primarily because they are anti-administration. Specifically, the election turn-out, as they say, is a reactionary vote against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (“GMA”), akin to the Democrat coup in the recent U.S. Senatorial elections which they said reflected an antipathy towards President George Dubya Bush. In the Philippine elections, the picture being painted is that of the people getting tired of GMA’s tyranny and lust for power.

And then there’s Cebu.

In Cebu (the totality of Cebu City and Cebu Province), we stand out from most of the country in the fact that the administration prevailed in our votes. Eight Team Unity candidates entered the Magic Dozen, while the rest of the spots went to three Genuine Opposition candidates, and one Independent. Those were more or less, the real votes cast by Cebu, contrary to claims made by the Genuine Opposition who are quick to remind the nation of the “Hello Garci” incident. I speak from my own experience, since I was very much involved in the canvassing of votes at both the local and national levels as one of the watchers and I can tell you honestly that although I did see for my own eyes certain tampered certificates of canvass in Cebu affecting the national votes, these occurred only in one municipality, and a few isolated precincts. All of these tampered COC’s were in far-flung places which were under the strict control of certain local candidates. More or less, the cebu votes reflect the real pulse of the Cebuano electorate.

When I went to Manila for the national canvassing, I was able to talk to people there who asked me for the Cebu results. When they saw the COC that I brought with me, three people in three separate instances all said the same thing, “The Cebuanos are very discerning voters.”

Speaking as a Cebuano, I must say that I am puzzled why in the face of their anti-administration stance, the Manileños are staunchly pro-opposition. There’s a logical inconsistency there, I know, but let me clarify. You do not have to convince me that GMA cheated during the 2004 and 2007 elections. You do not have to argue with me that the Little President and her Big Husband are corrupt. I concede those points. I even concede that there have been many human rights violations committed by La Arroyo and that there are many of aspects of her administration that are left for wanting.

But for the love of practicality, who else would you have sit on the throne???

We go back to 2004 when, for all intents and purposes, there were two choices to make: GMA or Fernando Poe Jr. On one hand, you have one debatably corrupt government official, who did however, studied Economics and graduated with Masters degrees in a prestigious school abroad, versus the people’s choice, a man who did not even have a college education and whose only merit in life was that he made famous movies during the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema. To a Cebuano’s mind, we would much rather take our chances with a corrupt government official who knows how to run a country rather than a noble-intentioned fool who would run this country to the ground. Remember, the memory of having an actor President was very much fresh in our minds as we saw the heights of insanity that Erap Estrada left to the Philippines.

Of course, there was also Raul Roco who would have made a much, much better option in lieu of GMA and FPJ, but we Cebuanos felt that he had an ice cream cone’s chance in hell of becoming President, compounded by the fact that he was dying of a disease (and indeed, he did die immediately after the elections, thus validating our choice to support GMA). We wanted to make sure that at least we would throw our electoral weight on someone who could stand a chance a chance against FPJ. We weren’t voting for GMA. We were voting against the situation of having yet another actor President.

Ping Lacson? Yes, sure, he used to be an adopted son of Cebu. But, in general, we don’t trust him. We’ve seen the way he’s been playing in the national level and the truth is that we find him scary. If you think GMA is one crazy biatch, you should be worried that Ping Lacson can now legislate at the national level.

And so far, I, and I believe the general majority of Cebu, stand by our vote for GMA. She does have unforgivable faults. She has a blatant lust for power and has been trampling on human rights. But we Cebuanos are practical in the sense that we tend to look at the bottom line and overlook certain character defects. The bottom line is that the Philippine economy is doing particularly well, which has translated to an economic boom in Cebu. Although there really is a need to ensure that this wealth should and must trickle down to the poor and underprivileged sectors, at least we have some wealth to work with. It’s all now a matter of execution to make sure that things, overall, are made to work.

In short, the reason why Cebu voted in favor of mostly Administration candidates is that we voted based on each and every candidate’s individual merit, and not because we wanted to send a message against the President. We would not vote for unqualified people just because we detested the President. In other words, a Cebuano would not cut off his nose in order to spite his face. It just does not make sense.

Which brings me back to my original query… why IS the NCR region so pro-opposition?

While I do agree that GMA’s power lust must be countered by a reactionary force, I however must say that given a choice between the President and the people behind the Genuine Opposition, it’s better to support the devil I know than the demons I don’t. Chiz Escudero? The man is not qualified to be a law-maker. Name me one single law or bill that he authored while in the Lower House because frankly, there is none. Indeed, the empty tin can is the one that makes the most noise. Loren Legarda? Hypocrite. How dare she raise a cry of blatant cheating when she of all people cheated just as hard as the others. Antonio Trillanes? Conceited puppet who would not think twice on putting the lives of innocent civilians on the line for an ill-conceived military coup. The same can be said for most of the so-called “Genuine” Opposition.

I have no delusions about Team Unity. I know for a fact that there was rampant cheating involved in the 2007 elections. What I find distasteful is that the Opposition is quick to act pure and holy when they cheated just as badly. Hypocrisy pie, anyone? Administration or opposition, both sides cheated, plain and simple.

I supported certain Team Unity candidates however, on their individual merit, and not for the party that they stood for. My votes went to Joker Arroyo, Ralph Recto, Jamalul Kiram, Miguel Zubiri, and Vicente Magsaysay, although in light of recent events I’m not sure if I made the right choice with Migz Zubiri. But to his credit, I did vote for him becaue he authored the Biofuels Act, which I think is a very good law.

The pragmatic side of me, however, is content with the fact that although a lot of the people I don’t like made it to the Senate, at least, we do now have some semblance of balance of power. While GMA cannot quickly use her office to abuse power now that the GO is there to watch her step, at the same time, the GO cannot just push their weight around because GMA and the rest of administration is there to counter them.

Tomorrow does indeed make for interesting times. Let’s see where it will bring us.


1. Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » Mining is all hers - June 5, 2007

[…] thoughtful piece by The Magnificent Atty. Perez explaining the political landscape as seen from […]

2. john marzan - June 12, 2007

This entry was recently edited since it was pointed out to me that Manny Villar and Sonia Roco are from the Genuine Opposition, and not Independents, which I originally thought them to be. Bad Atty. Perez! Ah well, it strengthens my argument that I voted based on individual merit, and not on political affiliation.

lol. You voted for them because you initially thought they were not from the opposition.

3. northwolf - June 12, 2007

Haha. Well no, honestly, regardless of whether these people were from the GO, I would really have voted for them. 🙂 As it happens, I was under the mistaken belief that they are Independents.

4. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Publicity « The Magnificent Atty. Perez - June 28, 2007

[…] at my statistics, it seems like my most popular entry is The Necessary Evil, a discussion on why GMA’s administration is supported by Cebu. It has led to a link/mention […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: