See, this is why I continue to assert that the Philippines is an intellectually-bankrupt society. Well into the second decade of the 21st Century, Filipinos continue to fail to step up to the challenge of injecting a bit of innovation in their politics.
For all the hoo-ha about “empowering” effect of “social media”, activism has all but degenerated into no-substance selfie-fueled attention whoring costumed frenzy. Despite unprecedented access to the world’s knowledge, the Philippine National “Debate” remains starved of useful insiqht. Despite a whole plethora of apps claiming to be the new tools of the “tech savvy” generation, the Philippine media and arts scene remains woefully unoriginal.
Nowhere is this new low in Philippine social and cultural capital reflected than in the emerging list of “presidentiables” lined up for the 2016 elections. Is it just me? Or does no one yet notice how traditional the emerging lineup is? Just look up the names making this list: Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay, Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, Mar Roxas, and (check this one out) Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson.
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I mean, come on.
Is there no one else?
Between these bozos, the most important question one would think matters when choosing the top leader fails to show itself amidst the chatter:
What might the Philippines look like in 2022?.
With just a little more than two years to go, electioneering for the 2016 Malacanang power grab is starting to get into the swing of things. As in the past, showbiz celebrities, unqualified politicans’ offspring, and dynasty heirs and heiresses persist as the banes of “activists” championing a more “intelligent” vote. As expected, the usual election-winning machines are being set up. Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay, for example, is on the homestretch of a long and carefully-engineered decade-long journey to the top of the pile. The kick-off for his final sprint is in his bolting from his party, the “Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas (PDP)-Laban” to “form a new political party”. The cherry on Binay’s parfait is Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto who, Binay says, he is “considering” as his running mate in 2016.
Then there is Senator Kiko Pangilinan (who also happens to be Mr Sharon Cuneta) who is being considered as the Aquino administration’s Plan B, now that former Golden Boy Mar Roxas has all but turned into political dandruff. We will recall back in 2010 how presidential sister Kris Aquino attempted to wield her awesome star power in a failed bid to catapult Pangilinan to the Senate Presidency. Sources back then listed a crew of shady characters Kris Aquino was wheeling and dealing with to make it happen, characters whose names have recently come to be synonymous to pork barrel scam…
The celebrity actress is said to have firmed up the commitment of three senators – Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Senators Manuel “Lito” Lapid, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
According to the source, Kris promised Lapid and Revilla that their committee chairmanships will be retained under Pangilinan’s watch.
Lapid is currently handling the Committee on Sports, Games, and Amusement, while Revilla is chairman of the Committees on Public Services and Public Works.
Aquino reportedly promised Estrada that he will remain Senate President Pro Tempore under a Pangilinan-led Senate.
Yikes! No wonder the Napoles List cannot be released. There’s a whole network of political connections and deals just waiting to emerge from the woodwork!
So, yeah, Plan B is in full swing. Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III had recently appointed Pangilinan “Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization”. Whatever that means, one would be forgiven for wondering whether his chums being rather preoccupied with wiping the stain of the pork barrel scam off their asses would dampen this important “mission” to save the Philippines from starvation. He’s right up there, supposedly at “Cabinet-level” rank with that other presidentiable, Ping Lacson who was earlier appointed “presidential adviser for rehabilitation and recovery.” Go figure.
With Ping and Kiko set up in positions where they could spend the next two years ramping up their media exposure portfolio, we could all sit back and watch the coming circus.
The Philippine public will, of course, eat this all up. It is par for the course in Philippine bobo-politics. For example, ask the question, What exactly does Binay’s “new political party” stand for? and you will probably get no more than the sound of pointed heads being scratched. Back in 2009 our call was simple: Platform Plez. The same call will likely remain unanswered considering that Filipino voters remain the same ignoramus bunch they’ve always been. And the same traditional Philippine politicians will, as usual, thrive in the same intellectually-bankrupt political landscape. No learning, no innovation, no reform. Just the same bulok brand of politics that has long been Filipinos’ warm and fuzzy comfort zone.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.