Shallow and incestuous party benches mirror acute dearth of talent and qualification in Philippine politics

Inquirer columnist Doy Romero in his piece today “The Generic 5” frames the state of play today as “matrix politics” where “political parties now appear like administrative stables under an administrative head, from which are drawn players to form ad hoc project teams headed by a project manager.” In reality, this situation is symptomatic of the ever shallower talent pool caused by the defects in the 1987 Constitution. Why? The enabling law on political dynasties was never passed by Congress due to its vested interests and so the public is now stuck with what is deemed to be “the best of the best” of recycled candidates who take a break after term limits are reached then make a comeback.

The last batch of promising politicos was the “Spice Boys” in Congress. None of them were able to win higher office. Not even Chiz Escudero came close. He was deemed a Presidentiable in the 2010 election cycle but wasn’t selected by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) as he got on the bad side of Boss Danding Cojuangco because of his monetary demands. So now we have this phenomenon of what Romero refers to as “matrix politics” but what is actually a confirmation of the incestuous nature of our political structure. What no one talks about is how it is possible for a Presidential candidate to win without a slate or a party organization. Rodrigo Duterte did it in 2016. It was only two weeks before the election when the national and regional parties consolidated with him because of his impending victory. Then again, there isn’t a candidate in this election cycle who possesses Duterte’s political character.

Isko Moreno is trying very hard but failing. Given his fiasco of a sortie yesterday in Tarlac, it’s not likely he will make it in the same manner as Duterte did. One wonders why despite having Lito Banayo and Serge Osmena as his political strategists, Isko’s framing and messaging are off. It may well be he is unable to grasp the context in his head. This is the national political derby not the local. Leni Robredo is the same. During her foray into the Rotary Club of Manila meeting, she flubbed easy questions which she should’ve been able to answer given she’s been Vice-President for five years. Apparently, MaDumb is living up to her sobriquet. Her statements are like a narcissist’s word salad. Neither here, nor there, but everywhere, which leaves you clueless and reaching for a banig of medicol. It doesn’t look like we will see much of an improvement over Leni 1.0 in the 2.0 version we are seeing in this election cycle.

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The time is really ripe for the public to be educated about charter change. It can’t be that these politicians are the best of the best of what the younger generation has to offer in a nation of 106 million people. I’m waiting for the candidate’s official platforms to see who will include this in his agenda. I omit her because Leni definitely will not tamper with the sacred document that is the 1987 Constitution, which is the bible of the Yellowidiot cult. This, despite the many times they have circumvented its provisions about succession, whenever it has been convenient to their good versus evil narrative.

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