Déjà vu all over again: Elections 2016 will be all about winnability and nothing about platforms

So once (or rather yet) again, the Philippine Opposition is in that all-too-familiar process of coagulating into some semblance of an election force in the lead-up to 2016. I wrote about the moronism of it all way back. In the thick of electioneering in 2007 that group known as the Black and White Movement (B&WM) was already mounting a pathetic scrounging around for evidence that the Opposition of the time (which it was a member of) stood for anything of substance beyond its prime agenda to remove then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This is all they had to say in their website back then when challenged to produce such evidence of substance…

Many in the opposition have clear advocacies and agenda for good governance […]. And there are some in the opposition today who were reformists within the GMA administration.

Party does not matter, only winning: Vice President Jejomar Binay
Party does not matter, only winning: Vice President Jejomar Binay
Not very impressive, to say the least. “Many in the opposition” of the time did have clear individual advocacies (agendas would probably be the better choice of word). But that does not necessarily mean that they were united in spirit as an Opposition group in any way more profound than the name (“Genuine Opposition”) that they went by. History shows that once the typical “opposition” objective (removal of an incumbent) is achieved, the lofty ideals of any “united” opposition (past and present) vaporise as well. Each moron politician that was originally part of the preceding “united opposition” then goes his/her own way to found his or her own splinter “party” and pursue their own respective personal agendas. “United” opposition parties or alliances in the Philippines are almost always unions of convenience, no more than that.

True enough, despite pages and pages of blurb on the need for “reform” all over the Black & White Movement website, it all came down to this statement by “helga” (one of the B&WM owners) in a comment in their blog:

[…]it would be a no brainer list, really. Everyone from Team Arroyo would be on the Black List. No fun in that.

This was referring to how the Movement at that time presumed to classify Philippine politicians into Black (no-vote) and White (yes-vote!) as a “guide” to the electorate in their efforts to “elect into Congress men and women of moral courage…”. To which they add “…who will exact accountability from the GMA regime for the unabated corruption and extrajudicial killings”.

Fast forward to 2014 and all that verbose pomposity dished out by the B&WM is now all but framed by the broken promises and flaccid performance of the Second Aquino Administration. The massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao allegedly perpetrated by former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr not only remains unsolved, the case is progressing at a snail’s pace — obviously not one of the “urgent” priorities of Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS” Aquino III.

For now, as I wrote previously, there is no semblance of any “opposition” that is as organised and “unified” (arguably) as it was back in 2007. Moves to oust President BS Aquino via the impeachment process are being mounted not by the mainstream but by largely marginal Leftist coalitions.

Indeed, one can even argue that there is no opposition at all nowadays. The leading contender for leader of this election’s “opposition”, Jejomar Binay wouldn’t even put it past himself to consider an offer from the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to join them as their presidentiable for the coming elections. Binay’s words: “Walang imposible sa pulitika” (“Nothing is impossible in politics”); implying that anything can and will be done to win, whether it be selling out to the incumbent party and that incumbent party leaving its erstwhile presidentiable Mar Roxas hanging out to dry. Anything is possible.

Never mind, of course, that ideologies and principles may differ between the opposition United Nationalist Alliance party to which Binay currently belongs to and the LP. Then again, the nature of that difference is anybody’s guess. For that matter, ideologies and principles do not even matter in Philippine politics to begin with, much less the differences in such between competing parties. Such is the character of Philippine political discourse now as it always had been. Indeed, promises of reform; that things will be different under the watch of BS Aquino have all been baldly broken (pardon the pun). It still remains all about winnability.

[Photo courtesy WN.com.]