Abandon Mar and take the bitter pill?

I am not for using memes for the way they turn to over-simplified propaganda rather than encouraging an in depth analysis of facts but this one brings a stark message: Of all the candidates in the campaign, only Mar Roxas has no desire to associate himself with the Marcoses. Thats four against one, does this mean a victory for historical revisionism?

Dean Tony La Vina is suggesting that it will be a choice between Mrs. Llamanzares and Mr. Duterte in the coming elections. According to La Vina, who was a member of the SWS Board of Directors before signing on to the bandwagon of Grace Poe’s presidential campaign, Mar’s supporters should now take the bitter pill and vote for Grace Poe, daughter of the King and formerly an American Citizen. (Mother and wife to American citizens until now) or to Rody Duterte, beloved Davao Mayor, king of stolen kisses, and clumsy barong tagalog. The not-so-compelling reason is that Mar has dropped the baton and that he has ran out the advantages of his anointing, that he could not possibly pick up an additional ten percent to gain the lion’s share of the votes according to surveys.

Let’s set aside the fact that Dean Tony La Vina is an adviser to Grace Poe. All arguments are basically flawed simply because the surveys don’t necessarily make the winner. Sure, it indicates the popularity of each candidate at the moment of the survey was taken and that still depends on the kind of questions one asks. In this tightly contested fight, it is not a solid reason to switch candidates.

Calling Grace Llamanzares’s American citizenship “the bitter pill,” is an absurd euphemism. We take the bitter pill to get cured. I don’t see how an Americana running the government will cure us of anything. She has not proven to have done anything heroic, she abandoned her native country (granting she is a natural born citizen) and seems to have to qualms at hitting on her former ally, Mar Roxas. She was sly at hiding her true intentions when President Aquino invited her for dinner with Mar Roxas, tagging along her ambitious Rasputin, Chiz Escudero. According to Rody Duterte, she even volunteered to become his vice-president at some point in time. Evidence is enough that Grace has looked at personalities rather than platforms when deciding for her political career. I have no reason to believe that she will do otherwise if ever she becomes the first American woman to be president (ahead of Hillary)

The truth is, Grace Llamanzares has tried so hard to paint herself as an underdog, thriving more than languishing in her numerous disqualification cases which brings her closer to the image of a Fernando Poe, Jr. who always has the last laugh, who makes his nemesis kiss the dirt in turn at the end of every action movie. In popular opinion and disregarding for a moment the constitution, no one ever actually wanted her disqualified or bullied on the basis of being a foundling. The question of her loyalty is aimed at the lie she committed in filing her certificate of candidacy  for Senator and her whimsical switching of citizenship whenever it was convenient.

Duterte’s claim to fame, by making Davao the 5th safest city in the world in the world is not a myth but the source saying that is not as reliable. Aside from the fact the Numbeo.com is user-generated and one can easily manipulate the results by having a bunch of people with internet access vote for a particular entry, how does Davao even compare to Manila, New York, Paris, or Tokyo?  It would be safe to say that a lot of people find Davao to be safe but if there should be a more credible survey to prove that. The  problems of a provincial capitol are different from a metropolis and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the crime index of a more densely populated city with more people living below the poverty line will automatically be higher. Rodrigo Duterte may have no problem dealing with all the drug runners and petty thieves of Davao City but multiply the average number of criminals by 122 (thats just the total number of cities) and you see the problem. How would one Rodrigo Duterte decide to summarily execute with precision all the criminals and all the corrupt officials? Shouldn’t his platform divulge how he would specifically put in effect an effective mechanism?  I don’t doubt the noble intention to stop criminality and corruption, by all means, it’s about time we take a tougher stance against these plagues but I doubt even with Solomonic wisdom that one person can carry the weight of deciding for the lives of all suspected criminals and drug pushers. I also see the problem of replicating the DDS, the Duterte/ Davao Death Squad in all provinces as this will inevitably run into conflict with our legitimate crime fighting agencies such as the NBI and the PNP. The constitution clearly mandates only the Philippine National Police as the only law enforcing unit of the nation. Besides, we are not only after the petty criminals, teenagers who might have lost their way at one time and be denied a chance to reform themselves later on. We are after the menace of organized crime and international drug cartels, of which Duterte has no record of eradicating. Again, the challenge: name all the drug lords you have killed and maybe I will change my mind and vote for you. Until then, you’re nothing but a braggart, a barrio toughie, good as the next goon, wife beater.

One of the main reasons why I singled out Mar Roxas among all the candidates is because of his clear opposition to Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.  While all the other four candidates have compromised in one way or another with the late dictator’s son, Roxas maintained a dignified position against corruption and historical revisionism. Mirriam Defensor-Santiago is the less-informed college student’s choice. She has a penchant for pick-up lines and passing it off as wit. She appeals to the pseudo-intellectual in her Stupid is forever, her best known book, which is a bit disappointing because she has written 30 other books on Law and the social sciences. While I don’t really blame her for voting against the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona, I still hold her accountable for voting against the opening of the second envelop during the impeachment trial of Erap Estrada, even if she probably only insisted on the rules of evidence in a highly irregular court. But what about the mansion at Loyola Grand Villas? Didn’t she vow to jump off a plane if Erap Estrada is arrested? (He was arrested and convicted alright)

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 9.18.24 PM
From the April 27, 2001 issue Opinion Page page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. One reader demands a stop to Mirriam Defensor Santiago’s bizaare promises. She lost the next election.

She is an opportunist with serious insecurities about her intellectual capacity, who would lie about having cancer and beating it to appeal to the emotion of her gullible voters. It would take a miracle to cure 4th stage cancer and how often do miracles happen on politicos? She is running with Bongbong Marcos, who seem to have no problem entertaining the idea of a tandem with Duterte, even after her partnership with Defensor-Santiago has been officially announced.

This is the kind of world we live in today.

The same case with Llamanzares who suddenly worked up the myth the she is the daughter of the late dictator. Nabuang na!

While Duterte has firmly said that Cayetano is his running mate, he seems to have no qualms at saying that he will handover the presidency to Marcos, Jr. if he doesn’t solve criminality in three to six months. I don’t know if the guy has temporary amnesia but statements like that only prove Duterte’s weakness to his commitments. He was annulled once, maintains two other concubines, dilly-dallied on running for president, flipped on his friendship with Roxas, and even said Binay is more qualified than him to run for president. What is this guy playing with public opinion? You’re supposed to be running for president because you think no one else is more qualified to run.

If Llamanzares and Duterte are the bitter pill then I would rather sink with my “losing” candidate. I did not support an unpopular candidate from the begginning only to bow down to his being a lost cause. That’s just ironic. He is a lost cause, precisely why most of us are sticking it out with him ’til the “bitter” end.

I was already old enough to remember when the great and beloved Jovito Salonga ran and placed sixth among ten other candidates in the 1992 presidential race. This was after he voted “No” against the continuation of US Bases in the country.  I remember my father voted for Fidel Ramos because he was of the opinion that Jovito Salonga, his best choice, will not win and his vote better add up to a more winnable candidate. Little did he know that a lot of his friends had the same reasons and if all of them had voted according to their best instincts then maybe, just maybe, Jovy Salonga would have a chance at winning. This was how the Filipino was fooled into having a lesser candidate assume the presidency in 1992.

The best advise one can give is to search your heart and vote for the presidential candidate you want regardless of popularity or winnability. Jose Marti, the national hero of Cuba, once said that “The first duty of a man is to think for himself”. Our duty as citizens is to accurately reflect the will of the people by merely being true to our individual choices. No need to take the bitter pill because that’s only putting yourself under a more ideological illusion that surveys are scientific and therefore infallible. Medicine is scientific but it does not guarantee complete accuracy even with the most advance technology.

While I believe that Mar has the Lord’s anointing in this election, I would be the first to say that it is only my humble opinion and I never really used that belief to convince anyone to vote for him. Judging from the way he has conducted his campaign and choosing Vice-President Leni Robredo, a remarkable woman, I’d say that Mar has been the most circumspect among the candidates. If he wins, I’m sure he will try even harder to use his power to bring the nation to greater progress. If he loses, he can always bank on his track record as a leader of the opposition.


When I first saw him, the Liberal Party was composed of a few good men and was held in a higher esteem. One cannot have a memory too short to recall that only a few years ago, the Liberal Party congressmen and senators, among them Noynoy Aquino, Franklin Drilon, and Mar Roxas, marched with the people on the streets and fighting for a good cause, and that many years ago, though most of them were harassed and imprisoned and even sabotaged, they were the only political party which never compromised with Marcos regime.#


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