Without a doubt, more Filipinos have become disgusted with the family of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Although the Aquino name is still probably going to be popular among gullible Filipinos (who compose a huge chunk of the population) for the next few years, there is little doubt that many have turned their back on the Aquino name. As the Aquinos’ name has begun to lose its spark, the opposition, of course, has started to make its move.
However, the opposition’s move has concerns about hindrances and some wrong moves. In this writing, I seek to give my perspective on what the anti-Aquino forces have as obstacles and what has been done wrong.
A weak party system. This is evident because we have not had a majority political party ever since the KBL of Marcos. The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan dominated the Batasang Pambansa, winning 90% of the seats in 1978 and then the number went down after the KBL lost support and they ended up winning just 66% in 1984 (although a huge decrease, this was still a strong majority). Post-EDSA parties have had no majority in the legislature. Such has impaired the passages of important pieces of legislation.
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The weak party system has led to personality-based politics. Thus, it is the political parties that depend on the oligarchs, not the oligarchs depending on the political parties. Political parties would seek the funding and support of big businessmen and some landlords. The weak party system also allows quick party-switching. Let’s recall the recently ruling parties. Under Marcos you had KBL. With Cory you had LDP, with Ramos you had Lakas, with Estrada you had LAMPP, with Arroyo you had Kampi, and now with Noynoy Aquino you have LP. But, if you look at the members of the KBL, LDP, Lakas, LAMPP, Kampi, and the LP, it’s the same list of names. The country has no strong party system, and because of that, there’s no organized opposition.
Unorganized opposition. After the arrest of Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, there was no longer any real opposition leader. Under the current setup, the Philippines has no organized opposition. Vice President Jejomar Binay left the Aquino cabinet only a few days ago, and his United Nationalist Alliance has yet to leave the majority coalition in Congress.
The anti-Aquino opposition is actually divided into five. You have the UNA supporters. These are the people beholden to Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada. There’s also the Marcos supporters, I do need to explain much about this. You also have the supporters of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The fourth group is the left-wing group, led by Rep. Neri Colmenares, Teddy Casino, Renato Reyes, etc. The leftists are those who have accused every single Philippine President of being a U.S. puppet and some are even sympathizers of the Maoist CPP-NPA. The fifth group is the group of total reformists. The people I am labelling as total reformists are those that seek a major overhaul of Philippine politics. You know, those people who are against Marcos, Aquino, Arroyo, Binay, Estrada, and every single person who is in an elective government position. This people want change and they want big change, a thorough revamp of the Philippine government. There’s no way they will collaborate with Binay-Estrada or Marcos or Arroyo forces. They do not want any of the names we have in politics today to remain.
We cannot defeat the oligarchy if we oppositionists ourselves cannot unite and organize one group. If you can add more groups you know to the five that I enumerated, then that makes things more complicated for the opposition.
Improper propaganda. This aspect is more on the part of the people than the politicians. I was able to read the book “Foundation for Resuming the Philippine Revolution” by Jose Maria Sison. The book contained selected writings of Jose Maria Sison (under the nom de guerre Amado Guerrero) during the earlier years of the Marcos administration. Of course, we know how Sison organized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which later merged with the New People’s Army (NPA) of Bernabe Buscayno (nom de guerre Kumander Dante) to oppose the Marcos government. Sison’s use of words were smooth yet sharp. The writings of Sison had the quality and projection of a true oppositionist and revolutionary. In fact, it paid off as the CPP-NPA was able to recruit thousands of members. Even Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. collaborated with the CPP-NPA to oppose the Marcos regime.
Sison’s writings against the Marcos regime were persuasive. He used terms such as imperialist, fascist, puppet, dictator and corrupt, among others. Now, let’s take a look at the choice of words of many people who are posting online against Noynoy Aquino: Abnoy, Budoy, tanga, luko-luko, sira ulo, inutil, bobo, abnormal, special child, panot, and tiyo ni Joshua, among others. When criticizing acts of the Aquino administration, people would post internet memes of Aquino’s weird laughing face, instead of properly presenting one-by-one what he did wrong. The choice of words of the anti-Aquino forces are more libelous than persuasive in nature. Of course, Sison’s words against Marcos were also libelous, but they were nevertheless persuasive and they were better political jargons than what Aquino critics today are using. They were strong words, yet simple enough for the least intelligent Filipino to understand.
It is not that I disagree with the messages of the memes and propaganda against Noynoy Aquino. I wholeheartedly agree with them. However, the manner in which the critics are presenting their arguments are messy and complicated. Only a few people would be able to understand the messages of such memes and posts. If there is to be anti-Aquino propaganda, then it must be simple enough even for the most stupid person to understand.
The Aquino government runs on propaganda. Therefore, it can also be destroyed by counterpropaganda. The key for the anti-Aquino forces is to expose all they can about the true nature of the Aquino family and make such information simple enough to be understood.
Until these concerns are addressed, then the anti-Aquino forces should not be celebrating victory anytime soon.