BOO  CHANCO:  WHAT  HAPPENS  AFTER  MONDAY'S  POLLS?

MANILA, MAY 11, 2007
(STAR) DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco - I can’t help admiring how the French conducted their recent elections. The campaign period was as noisy as a multiparty system is expected to be, with fringe parties competing with the mainstream parties in expressing their views. And then, there were just two contenders — with two very different views of the problems of France and how to fix all that.

A couple of hours after polling places closed, the French voters and the world knew who won. Shortly thereafter, the loser was delivering her concession speech. And the winner was reassuring his countrymen that he will be president of all of France.

How utterly civilized! It made me feel so embarrassingly Third World as I glanced at the morning papers and quickly looked at the headlines of stories from our own political exercise set this Monday. About a hundred people have so far been killed in election-related violence and the important issues aren’t being discussed.

Worse, there was this item about a political dirty trick in Naga City engineered by politicians allied with Ate Glue. The really disappointing thing is, the Comelec is playing along with the dirty trick. They actually disqualified incumbent Mayor Jesse Robredo from seeking re-election supposedly because he failed to prove he is a Filipino citizen.

It is a naked and despicable strong arm tactic. The Comelec has resolved the citizenship question four times in Robredo’s favor — before this latest decision. His birth certificate states that he is a Filipino citizen and that his parents are both Filipino citizens; his father’s birth certificate states that he (the father) is a Filipino citizen. He was allowed to run five times, petitions for his disqualification having been denied all along.

Robredo is finishing his fifth term as mayor of Naga, and is running for his sixth. He is a Magsaysay awardee and is probably one of the best mayors in the country today. Aside from the Magsaysay award, Asia’s Nobel Prize, he has won many other national and international awards and so has the city of Naga under his stewardship. Robredo should be running for President.

If the Comelec can so brazenly play along with the trapos in Camarines Sur to stop a model public official from being elected, what hope do we have for good government after all the fun and games are over? I was ready to give the Comelec the benefit of the doubt, against my better judgment, until this Robredo decision was made. Even if the Comelec or the Supreme Court rectifies this travesty now, it would have done enough damage, confusing voters on Robredo’s eligibility.

The scary thing about it is that the political dynasty behind the dirty trick on Robredo is headed by a politician who may end up Speaker of the House, if Joe de V loses his re-election bid, or I am told, even if he wins. This is the kind of scum Ate Glue surrounds herself with. How can we be hopeful of the next Congress, with people like these? Alan Cayetano I didn’t expect much from Alan Cayetano, the FG’s favorite congressman, when he dropped by the Tuesday Club this week. Based on his media image, I expected to see a trapo from the opposition. I also have a problem with two Cayetanos in the Senate. I am undecided about voting for him. And if I finally decide to vote for him, it is only because, masyadong ina-api. The Comelec has not decided with finality on the exclusion of the other Cayetano, an obvious nuisance candidate.

But Alan surprised me. He sounded reasonable. I asked him what will happen after Monday. He quickly answered it all depends on Ate Glue. He said an impeachment move is not automatically going to happen even if they get the numbers in the House. The opposition is ready to focus on the economy. They are ready to rise above the level of normal politics to prove their worthiness in 2010.

In this regard, Alan said they have challenged Ate Glue "to present a national reform agenda we cannot refuse" and they will be ready to positively respond. But Alan said he is not hopeful. He expects Ate Glue’s babies to try another run for charter change to among others, abolish the Senate. If they try cha cha again, then the nation is screwed. It means Ate Glue’s not ready to leave in 2010.

Actually, Alan explained, the opposition is not fixated on throwing Ate Glue out. They can wait three years because if they win convincingly in the Senate election, they will consider her as history already. They will only be forced to try impeaching her again if there is such a horrible and brazen act of corruption that cannot be ignored.

Oh no… that’s just like saying it is going to happen because even now, that Chinese sponsored National Broadband project with a reported overprice of about $130 million qualifies as plunder. And there are more shady deals like that begging to be exposed. Final list I am often asked, who I am voting for. The local election is not a problem. Mayor Belmonte is virtually unopposed and you have to be an idiot not to vote for him after all he has done for Quezon City. I don’t know who are running for City Council so I will ask my Barangay Captain because in the end, it is he who will have to deal with them on behalf of our community.

For party list, I will choose the scientists of Agham.

For the Senate, I plan to vote the Kapatiran ticket. I don’t think they have a chance to make it, but if enough protest votes are registered to give them a respectable finish, we may deliver a message yet. I particularly like the story of one of the Kapatiran candidates, this Dr. Bautista who came back from America to try to make a difference here.

Among the mainstream candidates, I am only sure of voting for Manny Villar. I have known him since our college days. We were even in the same ROTC company. I admire his rags to riches story that was fueled precisely by his sipag at tiyaga. We need a successful entrepreneur in the Senate. And who knows… an entrepreneur like Villar who is street smart, results oriented and whose personality is pleasant is just what we need in Malacañang in 2010.

I think I am voting for Joker Arroyo. I know a lot of my friends think he sold out. I don’t think he did. Joker is Joker and I guess he is just trying to survive. He didn’t actually want to run again. We need a maverick like him in the Senate who understands how to catch the crooks. At the end of the day, Joker’s only loyalty can be deduced from his life story. I am sure he won’t compromise his legacy in his twilight years.

The other name on my list is Sonia Roco. She had been working on social development causes for the longest time. She was attending an NGO conference in Baguio when she almost died in that devastating earthquake many years ago, trapped in the ruins of a hotel.

I was responsible for Kiko Pangilinan’s early foray into public affairs shows at ABS-CBN in the early 90s. I have worked with him and I have confidence in his abilities and character. He deserves re-election.

I think I will vote for Noynoy too. With the legacy of his father and mother to protect, he isn’t expected to do wrong. I just wish he had more passion. I covered Ninoy Aquino when I was a young reporter and Noynoy thus far, has not shown one tenth of Ninoy’s passion and brilliance of mind.

I still have to make up my mind on the rest. Or just stay with this short list.

Kapwa ko, Mahal ko

Here’s Atty. Sonny Pulgar.

Ako, gusto kong maging nurse para makatulong sa kapwa.

Ako naman, doktor, para makagamot ng kapwa.

Ako, mayor, kasi, tutulungan ko ang kapwa ko.

Ako, presidente, maglilingkod ako sa kapwa ko.

Ako, gusto ko na lang maging kapwa.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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