The Philippine opposition remains too flaccid and disorganised to EXPLOIT the current situation

The trouble with the Opposition today is that there is none such of consequence. And to be fair to the Yellow mob surrounding Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, they were, as oppositionists during past regimes, a tough act to follow. After all, as Opposition to former President Marcos, then during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Yellow mob was a force to reckon with. They put the big “O” in “Opposition”. They had a united front — united behind the Yellow shade and the “L” hand gesture that stands for Laban (“fight”) — and two well-loved national heroes directly associated to their “cause”, the ‘martyred’ former Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr and his late wife and former President Cory Aquino.

The colours and symbols of the Administration bloc remain potent mind candy to many Filipinos and their celebrities.

The colours and symbols of the Administration bloc remain potent mind candy to many Filipinos and their celebrities.

Unfortunately that Opposition mentality did not mature into an Administration mentality. Over the last four years, not only the Yellow mob but the President himself stuck steadfastly to the adolescence of Laban rhetoric — flashing the “L” hand gesture at every opportunity and wearing that yellow ribbon. Even more bizarre, President BS Aquino would paint the very Establishment itself — the Establishment he is currently a part of — as the Goliath to his David persona reminiscent of those old Laban days.

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It is the same warm fuzzy mentality that the President sought comfort in when the Big Bad Supreme Court shot down his beloved Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

That speech on the 14th of July where President BS Aquino had his claws out at the SC was classic Laban stance. It had all the ingredients that fueled the old ocho-ocho march-of-the-lemmings that characterised most street parliamentarism spectacles post 1986: populist rhetoric (many people supposedly benefited), end-justifies-the-means-rationale (they had to do what it took to get the results), and there was an evil empire standing in the way (the Supreme Court). The ultimate manifestation of President BS Aquino’s daft nostalgia for all that was his laughable call for his supporters to wear the yellow ribbon in “protest” against the SC. Unfortunately for him, that old Church of Protest that President BS Aquino continues to genuflect to even as President no longer holds Filipinos’ minds hostage.

From that perspective, however, one could now appreciate the challenge faced by today’s opposition (written with a small “o” for now). Just as the ol’ — d’original — 1986 Edsa “Revolution” could not be replicated by subsequent rallyists, so too can’t the signature unity of the Yellow mob be replicated by those in mainstream Philippine politics who seek to oppose the current administration.

The opportunity for the opposition to shine today is golden. Recent events have turned the tide against President BS Aquino and his Yellow mob. Aquino’s popularity is on a downward spiral and the stink of the DAP fallout is likely to stick to his government over the remaining two years of his term. The opposition has unwittingly (no credit to any semblance of a political strategy or conscious collective effort on their part) got the Administration on the run. But will it be able to continue giving it chase and run it to the ground in the lead up to 2016?

The prospect of that happening isn’t very promising. Not one of any of the mainstream politicians in the Philippine opposition today possesses the cojones to let rip the sort of firey, evangelical, rhetoric that could move millions of cattle head down a single direction. The opposition today lacks celebrity firepower and relies on D-list turncoats like Mae “Juana Change” Paner and a largely-discredited Leftist community to lead the charge. Top celebrities many of whom came of age under the notion that Yellow equals Holy are either too indoctrinated to snap out of that induced stupor or remain reluctant or unsure about challenging an old three-decade school of partisan thought.

The facts behind the fall from grace of President BS Aquino evidently aren’t enough to galvanise the country’s opinion shapers. Well-respected journalists tiptoe around the carcass of the rotting elephant in the room. A tweet fielded last night by Senator JV Ejercito captures that overly-cautious (and, as such, ineffectual) approach to real Opposition (with a big “O”)…

I will stay and continue to be in the opposition. Was elected as an oppositionist. Will try my best to be a constructive opposition.

…yes, of course, Mr Senator. But that’s not good enough to crush the deeply entrenched and dysfunctional thinking that underpins the Yellowist mind that, despite the DAP-induced setback of the Administration, remains a strong force to face. I say that mindset needs to be crushed because this same style of thinking in the majority of Filipinos will likely result in a not-too-different outcome come the next elections. As Albert Einstein say: You can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it. And to doing one’s “best”? John Mason (played by Sean Connery) had a good response to that emo truism in the 1996 film The Rock: “Losers whine about their best. Winners go home and [bonk] the Prom Queen.”

If we don’t want a repeat of the Aquino administration in 2016, then the thinking that catapulted BS Aquino and his lot to power needs to be stamped out. You cannot do that with opposition leaders who believe in organising love-ins. You need a warrior to challenge a bloc whose singular enduring slogan is LABAN. We are talking about an Administration that mounted a no-mercy scorched earth purge of its enemies over the last four years. President BS Aquino sought to beat his enemies. That alone tells us the sort of Opposition needed to beat this political bloc.

I responded to Senator Ejercito’s tweet thus…

In times like these, a leader of the Opposition needs to take a clear unequivocal pos’n on specific matters & NOT mince words. @jvejercito

At the very least, Senator.

25 Replies to “The Philippine opposition remains too flaccid and disorganised to EXPLOIT the current situation”

  1. The problem is if you were to divide politicians in this country based on their individual political and social ideology there would be the reds and a much bigger pile of N/A. And we wonder why the opposition is limp wristed? It is not like the president is limp wristed?

  2. The victory of the Aquinos’ against Marcos, was an overated one. Marcos still had the firepower; but the U.S. State Department warned him not to use that force. The U.S. Air Force, from Clark Air Base, protected the Aquinos. The U.S. Navy Seal was ready to kidnap Marcos and his family, like Panama’s Noriega…

    This is the reason; then, Secreatary of State Schultz came to the Philippines, wearing a Cory Aquino doll, after Cory Aquino became the President. The reason was Marcos was against the continuation of the U.S. Bases here. U.S. interest was at stake… Again,this is the why; Aquino allowed the U.S. Bases to be here again, in violation of the Philippine Constitution. He is afraid to be overthrown by the U.S. And surely, he will be, if he did not comply…

    There is an opposition…we, the people are the opposition against the massive graft and corruption of the Aquino administration. A leader will emerge…he/she will be a good one.

    We have a lot of conflicts in this world. Lybia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran nuclear project, Al Queda, Islamic Terrorists…results of protecting and expanding U.S. influence /interest thruout the world…

    1. Other conflicts…Israeli-Palestinian; almost 60 years conflict…never will be resolved. War is there again against HAMAS in Gaza, Palestine…

      1. I forgot the ISIS Caliphate of Iraq and Syria…Al Bagdadhi, the ISIS Caliph , is gaining territories in Iraq and Syria. There is a war also in Syria…almost, more than a year now…

    2. Blame it all on the USA? IDK, that is all little too simple.
      Israel is perpetraiting a massacre right now and that is not the USA’s doing. SOMEONE, ANYONE should step in and STOP IT.

      1. @Thom Hardy:

        When the State of Israel was established; the Arabs were displaced as refugees. Before;the Romans removed all the Jews in Israel and Judah; after their revolt. So, the Arabs and other people took over the land. While the Jews were dispersed thruout the world as refugees.

        The Jews went back, after their Holocaust in Nazi Germany; and reclaimed their homeland…this is a very difficult and sensitive issue…it has resulted in many wars already. I, myself, don’t know how will this end. Israel has nuclear weapons…it is really a flamable situation…

        1. Historically: The Jews were not the original inhabitants, they murdered the original inhabitants, the Cannanites…and tried to justify it with their sacred ‘Talmud’…which is written by a human being but is allegedly the word of ‘God’.

          The Jew’s, after WW2 did not really ‘claim’ the land but were gifted it by Great Britain and the allies.

          How this is all going to play out? I have no idea, but murdering women and children is cowardice….and both sides are doing it.

          The body count seems to indicate the Israeli’s feel completely justified in doing a lot more of the killing. Checking out the internet comments in different countries around the world is really eye opening as many are infuriated by ‘Hamas’ and many are infuriated by the ‘Israeli’s actions.

          to be sure, itssa mess.

    3. @HT, You are very correct and that is the biggest problem faced in the Philippines. Because the country sits in an area that is of strategic importance to the USA, the admin in power MUST kow-tow to the USA line. That being the case, the admin in power is pretty much free to do as they like inside the country and hence all the thievery.
      An overthrow of the current regime would then be faced with dealing with Uncle Sam and then,of course, the country is back to where it started.

      as for the fils becoming a USA State, no way.The USA has enough poor people already as it descends into 3rd world living conditions.

      1. The U.S. Borders are now full of unaccompanied children from South America; crossing as “refugees”. No way, the U.S. will allow 100 million Filipinos, to become U.S. citizens, if we become the 52nd State of the Union. There are too many Filipino “TNTs” already residing as illegal aliens in the U.S.

  3. What is worse is that anyone who opposes the Administration and who is not part of the left is automatically linked to former pres. Arroyo. The opposition rhetoric of the administration (man, that just sounds wierd) is being used as a shield and to legitimize his “end-justifies-the-means” approach to his beating the administration’s enemies.

    Take for example the rumor that there are some retired generals seeking to destabilize government. This rumor, which is being spread by Sen. Trillanes is being linked to Gloria Arroyo. I don’t know if you would agree with me, but this rumor just seems so laughable, I couldn’t believe my ears when the media reported this.

    I guess its just one of the problems also with an administration which was once from the opposition, they always need a target to vent their wrath. Without that target, they just can’t seem to justify their own existence.

    1. @ Richard, Imma so sorty to contradict your theory.It may very well seem that way BUT BUT BUT, if it were that way….someone would end up in a real jail and their property would be forfeited.E-RAP,if he were to face a real justice system could never be Mayor of Manila.GMA, on the helicopter scam alone, could never be a sitting congresswoman….and both would be jail and would have lost what they could not prove was honestly earned. Since none of that EVER happens there is ,sadly, one inescapable conclusion.THEY ARE ALL THIEVES and what you are witnessing is a well choreographed ‘charde’.

      I am sorry if the rain on your parade has ruined this illusion you have.Someone would have done it sooner or later.

        1. Yea, you can look at it that way too. Don’t worry about my parade. To some extent I’m sure, all these thieves are in it together, daang matuwid or not, some just happen to be more favored than others in this administration.

        2. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I am not pro-Arroyo. If they can convict her, then all well and good. I’m just saying that getting branded as pro-GMA wont do anyone any good

      1. @thom Bit like being in North Korea lets all clap the Dear Leader.
        Lets all shed a tear with the Dear Leader.
        Lets all agree with the President, clap clap clap.
        Blah Blah Blah
        Pathetic the lot of them.

    2. Trillanes, the political opportunist, just want to be noticed. He is also a Pork Barrel Swine. Spreading rumors (tsimis)…or rumormongering is for house wives, who does nothing during the day. Not, for men…Trillanes, the “tsismoso”…

  4. Philippines does not have political parties the country has political alliances.
    Majority of those clapping during the SONA use to clap Gloria.
    Two faced lying cheating stealing murdering scheming backstabbing immature pathetic cowards.
    All of them are traitors to the country and total failures.
    No doubt the next bunch who take over will be exactly the same.

    1. @ YAWN,The Filipino should be sooo fuckin mad at these scumbags ,accurately described by you above, and just march, 500,000 mad as hell Filipino’s, to the Palais/Senate and demand resignations or face firing squads. What would they all do? Run for their lives I bet, but NO, the Filipino’s do not have it in them.

      IDK what it will take before they all wake u to reality…as if this thievery ,blatant outright thievery, is not enough…LOL!!!

      1. @Sacre-Blue They will not wake up, they will not do anything. They love it. They must love it because they put up with it and they talk about it 24/7.

        State Sponsored wholesale robbery of a nation.
        Supported by 100 million serfs.

    1. However you perceive Binay . Should that affect how Noynoy behaves or not behave or his shelf life in office depending on Noynoy ‘s own doing ? Don’t bLame Benign0 for calling a spade a spade. Blame Noynoy for being clueless . The Filipino people voted for Noynoy and Binay and yet they complain when their judgement is made fun of.

  5. It is hard to pick a side when there is no hard platform, or focus on either side’s rhetoric. No proof or driving force that ideas can be a reality.

    It’s why in all the years I could vote, I did not. And why many others do not. I can’t complain about the way things are considering i freely gave up that privilege. We are aware things are getting worse but neither is a choice between sludge or less sludge. We deserve better. It is simple— show us the drive instead of the empty words; the start of a movement that could be a ripple effect, and we will be able to choose, finally.

    Otherwise is best to govern ourselves, and then HOPE, that even if we feel change will not come in the remainder of our lives; that the door is open to the possibility of being surprised.

    Where this hope comes from is simple. I work in the construction industry; I see ideas come to life everyday brought about by varied Filipino teams— from the masa to the educated to the actual owners. The method of building is the same whether its a bus waiting station or a company or the whole country as something tangible. It starts from an idea, THEN the drive to execute this same idea within a timeframe, no excuses. This type of teamwork, and people, are what I believe are WORTH dying for, and better— WAITING for.

    Throwing words and criticism into the air is the same as throwing all your stones into the pond; instead of using those stones to create piles of stepping stones. It’s just a waste of available resources.

    Until then I will watch and wait. And work towards what I think is right for me and community (which compromises of about 6 people, but hey, its less than one).

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