All that really matters to the political and economic elite is that they continue to be the political and economic elite for as long as possible.
The Philippine Constitution (pick any of one of them), the government (it doesn’t matter what form), the legislature, the court system, and all other institutions are there precisely to maintain and protect the status quo.
The biggest lie Filipinos are living is that they have a democratic government because they vote every three years and because they supposedly have ‘free speech’.
What most of them still don’t realize is that there is hardly anything different among the politicians that campaign for various positions. They don’t represent choices at all because they’re really the same except for their names and the way they word the array of promises that they use to curry favor with the electorate. In fact, if you review the platforms of government that Presidential candidates were circulated, you’d note that they seemed to covered the same areas with the same promises and emphasized the same things in different ways.
Of course, I’m looking at things from a voter’s point of view and not from the point of the country’s political and economic elite.
In the article, Blanche David-Gallardo recounts a conversation she had with Kris Aquino while they were on the same airplane flight from Hongkong to Manila. Blanche, who introduces herself in the article as a retired journalist, asks Kris about why she chose to endorse VP Jejomar Binay as her candidate for the 2016 elections.
And here’s the meat of the article…
“What is it about him that makes you think he can step into your brother’s shoes?” I persisted, like a dog worrying a bone. Perhaps, I was looking to be convinced. Maybe there is something in the man that I am missing, failing to see.
“I like him. It’s a personal choice!” she said.
“But why?” I insisted, and as she started to answer, I thought to further qualify my question: “Is Binay really your honest idea of the person best able to take over and carry on your brother’s daang matuwid legacy?”
“I was in the process of replying, and you interrupted me,” she threw back at me, apparently irked.
“Sorry. My mistake, carry on.”
“I like him. We like him. He’s helped us a lot. He is always there for us,” she said.
End of conversation.
What? That’s it? Is that really all there is to it? A matter of preference because of present/past favors? A matter of personal gratitude? With Butz Aquino’s announcing his and the other Aquino/Cojuangco clan members’ support, what could be more dismaying for the Filipino public?
The country as fiefdom to be awarded to the most accommodating vassal! And I thought we were living in a more enlightened age, and feudalism is a thing of the past.
But of course, feudal lords will always be on the side of their fellow feudal lords… Kris of Hacienda Luisita and Jojo Binay with his 500 hectare farm in Batangas!
Not stated in the article are the two main reasons why the political elite will support a candidate… One is whether the Presidential candidate has a strong chance of winning and two is whether they derive some benefit from the Presidential candidate.
Winnability was actually emphasized in a conversation on Facebook I had with Inquirer Columnist and Gawad Kalinga advocate Jose Ma. Montelibano.
I engaged Montelibano in a Facebook post of his where he put up a link to an article showing that Vice President Binay was leading in one survey or another. I asked Montelibano about whether the survey indicated if the people who responded to the survey gave any indication that they were making their choice with a full understanding of what a President is supposed to do and what national issues the country was facing. As expected, Montelibano said yes but couldn’t really say for sure how he knows that the people were responding to the survey based on an understanding of the Presidency, full information about the personalities involved, and on accurate information about the issues the country was facing.
If I have to spell it out, surveys are really just measures of popularity. And for most Filipinos, popularity is a virtue.
Anyway, in the Facebook conversation, what was apparent was that all that mattered to Montelibano and presumably Gawad Kalinga is that Binay was winnable and that they had strong connections with him.
When I asked Montelibano about whether it bothered him that there were a lot of allegations of corruption against Binay, he merely brushed it off as if none of it mattered and there’s pretty much an argument going around in GRP that corruption as an electoral issue take the backseat to actual competence. (To say that Binay represents competence because he was a mayor of Makati is another whole ball of yarn that needs to be unraveled and one starts that by asking if it was Binay or the Ayala’s the put up the Makati Business District.)
To put it bluntly, the supposed advocate of “servant leadership” modeled after Jesus Christ’s example turns a blind eye to a question and a rather lengthy article written by Miriam Grace Go… Can Binay explain his wealth?
Though certainly not an exhaustive list, one meme keeps circulating asking how Binay acquired the following properties…
400 hectares Binay FARM-Rosario Batangas
40 hectares Binay FARM-Bauwan Batangas
10 hectares Mango Orchard
2 Condominium units in Rockwell woth P30 Million each
1 Three Storey Mansion in Banuyo Street, San Antonio Village
Rest house in Tagaytay Highlands
Rest house in Alfonso Cavite
Rest house in Zambales
Rest house in Pangasinan
Houses in Paranaque, Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Muntinlupa
And yet another question that keeps nagging at me is this…
Why is ABS-CBN allowing Kris Aquino to virtually campaign for VP Jojo Binay through her shows in the TV station? Why hasn’t ABS-CBN come up with an investigative report on Binay’s hidden wealth?
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