Will mutineer-turned-‘senator’ Antonio Trillanes IV make a good Philippine president?

The vacuousness of Philippine politics is on a roll, delivering yet another no-surprise revelation: mutineer-turned-‘senator’ Antonio Trillanes IV may be inching his way towards a presidential candidacy for the 2016 elections. His statements on the matter are obviously just feelers at this point. He reportedly stated in Tagalog a few days back that he is “ready to run for higher office” — which really just means that he is now open to be included in a growing list of polticians’ names being tested for winnability by various parties, political commentators, and king makers.

All smiles: mutineer-turned-'senator'Antonio Trillanes IV

All smiles: mutineer-turned-‘senator’
Antonio Trillanes IV

There is much debate and speculation surrounding that list of names. But at the end of the day, they are just names — not the ideas that the Philippines’ political ‘debate’ has long been bankrupt of. Indeed, even Senator Bong Revilla who is currently in prison waiting for his day in court on charges of pork barrel thievery is in the race for the 2016 presidential elections. Revilla’s in good company. Trillanes himself ran for senator and won while he was in prison for treason after which he was “pardoned” by President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III shortly after he won the 2010 elections. Classy.

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And like Trillanes, Revilla has his own high-horsed, albeit unoriginal, claim to the Philippine throne…

“If we need to sail in 2016, as long as our countrymen ask for it, I’ll be up to it because I’m innocent of the charges being hurled at me,” Revilla said in an interview on radio dwIZ. “I can look every Filipino in the eye, and I have nothing to fear.”

Indeed, anyone can be Philippine president as long as Filipinos “ask for it”. The presidency, after all, is a minimalist office as far as qualifications are concerned. One just needs to be popular enough to win an election. Not much in the way of professional qualifications are required. Just a brainstem and a winning smile.

For that matter, what is a president’s role in Philippine government anyway, other than an ATM machine for the pork barrel funds that members of Congress salivate over? As Inquirer writer Neal Cruz observed in his column today, “Yes, the 2015 budget is an election budget.” Everything in the Philippine Government has taken a backseat to the political challenge that lies ahead in the next two years — winning the presidential elections and raising the funds to bankroll that win.

It now might be worth organising a pot where people could place bets not just on who might win the presidency but on which critical public projects will be canned in order for Malacanang to cough up the much needed “savings” from which The New Pork Barrel can be harvested for this purpose. Suddenly entire airports, train systems, and highways may be at risk of being left uncompleted by the time Aquino steps down from office in 2016. For him it will be worth the stigma of being a no-results president. He needs every cent to ensure he does not get thrown into prison on account of the “wrong” president ascending power following that election.

That’s probably the reason why Department of Budget Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad has been burning the midnight oil coming up with creative ways to redefine “savings”. Any Supreme Court ruling or legislation that aims to thwart efforts to keep pork politics alive will always have its loopholes. The DBM Secretary only needed to find them before they were plugged. Indeed, Abad has his work cut out for him. According to Senator Miriam Santiago, pork remains alive and kicking in the 2015 national budget thanks to some sneaky clauses worked into its small print…

the 2015 budget invents its own definition of savings in Sections 67 to 70, particularly Section 68, which provides that savings can be declared at any time for whatever might be considered ‘justifiable reasons,’” she pointed out.

In the 2011 budget, Santiago said, savings and augmentation were defined as “portions or balances, which are still “available after the cancellation or final discontinuance or abandonment of the work, activity, or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized.”

But under the proposed 2015 budget, savings was now defined as portions or balances from “(a) discontinuance or abandonment of the program, activity, or project (P/A/P) … which would render it not possible for the agency to implement the said P/A/P at any time.”

Considering that hundreds of billions of pesos have been appropriated to various projects within the Executive branch this year, Aquino and his henchmen have lots of potential “savings” to be harvested to fund their political agendas in the homestretch of their term.

That’s enough assurance to put a permanent smile in Trillanes’s face, seeing that he’s worked hard enough to topple future Philippine President Jejomar Binay even before his term begins. It’s win-win for Trillanes. He will likely be richly-rewarded by his patron and pardoner for all that effort in the coming years. Even if does not get to be president, the mutineer-turned-‘senator’ will likely be laughing all the way to the bank.

Where does that leave the hapless Filipino Voter? Perhaps on the same boat as Trillanes — also laughing all the way to the alkansya. Elections are a time for lots of handouts and rewards at the grassroots level as well. Indeed, come to think of it, a large election-winning war chest of cash thanks to Abad’s brilliant creative budgeteering this year, will likely mean there will be an even bigger pot from which a lots more “incentives” could be made available to “help” Filipinos vote “wisely” in 2016.

Who says democracy does not pay? It does pay handsomely — specially when you are a handsome dashing military “adventurist”.

[Photo courtesy Interaksyon.com.]

20 Replies to “Will mutineer-turned-‘senator’ Antonio Trillanes IV make a good Philippine president?”

      1. Di ako bumoboto sa Traidor.Di bale ng nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan,material lang yon pero pag nagtaksil ka sa tungkulin at ginamit para maging sendor ay kawalanghiyaan na yan. Ano ang gagawin niya pag presidente na,wala namang iiwanang project si Beho para magka kuwarta ang papalit sa 2016.Kaya ng masyadong maigsi ang 6 years dahil popondohan pa at dadan sa senado ang approval.Walang naiwang savings si Beho,paano yan..buti pa ,para di ma boring si trillanes as president..banatan niya si Gloria
        Ginamit ni Beho ang saving pang bribe,yon ang wala si trillanes pag nanalo siya

      2. Doesn’t make any different man, he still stands, actually he needs more Pawns and fall guys as cover.Convicted Pilipino leaders are kapal’ muk’s Thick face skin

    1. I second the motion!

      He put Filipinos’ lives in danger when he led that Red Magdalo before. How sure are we he won’t do it again if his temper rises again? He’s crazy and he won’t retrieve his right mind anymore!

      To everyone, research about this person and you’ll understand where we all are coming from.

  1. if this were a joke I’ll be ROFLMAO but tragically this isnt….. tragically there is still a lot of imbeciles willing to vote and support this vindictive asshat

  2. Oh man, I tell you, that would be a big improvement compared to the incumbent, Trillanes at least has balls and brain. My only problem is that this guy seems to have it reversed, the ball is between the ears; the brain, between the legs. Since PHL got already things reversed, one with a reversed outlook might solve things, you know, like minus times minus is positive. Man, oh man, I think I am gonna migrate out of PHL again. Help, the ship is sinking, Help.

  3. Feudal Oligarchy pays…just look at the Feudal Oligarchs and political opportunists; getting richer at your tax money.

    Trillanes is a known political opportunist. He has no battle experience; other than the political zarzuela “coup d’ etat”, against former Pres. Arroyo.

    Trillanes lacks managerial experience. He is a known political tool of Aquino. He is also a Pork Barrel thief…

    1. And he must be the lonely politician who upon saying that, no one will believe him. I’m sorry for my word but ANG KAPAL NI TRILLANES!

      He looks psychotic. He looks unfit to run for any higher office unless it’s okay for us to have a lunatic leader. I should have never commented anything about him but he deserves my disgust.

      Boo you, Trillanes!

      1. wala akong tiwala sa nasyonalista at liberal. Isang grupo lang ito ,na papalit palit at kung paano makaka kurakot at sisipsip sa burat ng presidente. Maswerte sila dahil ayaw ni Beho na ma-audit ng COA kung saan napunta iyong pork.Pab si Darl baden ang nanalo tiyak lusot si Beho sa DAP
        Sarsuwela lang kuno ang imbestigasyon ke Binay para disimulado,plano lahat ito ni Beho at ng fairy tale small lady

  4. Naw. He’s just lucky that he got in the spotlight during the Binay debacle. Prior that he was ignored by the media (mainstream and social) and rarely had a peep during the DAP and Yolanda problems.

    1. He’s definitely trying to steal as much attention as he could. I can notice he keeps on hitting the hottest political issues and pointing his finger on others just like Binay. Trillanes is full of excuses and words with no bases.

      He makes me laugh with his statement as if he’s suggesting he will run for presidency. Never will I vote for him in any office!!!

      I read all other comments on this article and everything is negative!!! I guess he’ll get one vote for him in the election, and that will come from himself!!! We don’t even pity you, Trillanes, we don’t care about you.

  5. Trillanes is definitely one of the many devils in sheep’s clothing, that even the evil king Satan would be so worried that his throne will be usurp from him.

  6. This guy is a snake oil salesman.Would do anything to further his ambitions and would be a more than ‘typical’ Filipino President: Rotten to the core, corrupt as the day is long, a total scumbag. So yes, he’d make a great Filipino President.

    1. I agree with you Sacre-Bleu. His credibility is questionable. Over the years that he has been seated as a Senator, what has he done for the people? Where was he when most of us were affected by different human and environmental disasters?

      And now that the coming election is approaching, he surfaces and takes up the spotlight. Who is he to deserve my time and trust? What is he doing to help better our everyday lives? Prices hike up, taxes double up!!! What broken promises will he pledge to do just so he can deceive us?

      I don’t believe this person. Don’t ever commit the biggest mistake of trusting this man with a dangerous split personality!

  7. That traitor who sold out to China our territory? The answer is pretty obvious here.

    The better question here will be: is there any politician these days that will make a good Philippine President?


    How can he even think of running for a higher office? Whether it’s for vice presidency or presidency, he cannot earn my approval even if he begs for it. How can I entrust my people and my country’s welfare to a man who is a mutineer and a psycho?


  9. All UNA party members are evil. The joined Liberal and Nacionalista are good guys.This UNA party was created and use as a fall guy for aquinos palpak government

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