Originally posted on Facebook last Jan.1, 2010.
“Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”
Over the past few months, Noynoy Aquino has been bashed for many things, such as his stand on the Hacienda Luisita issue, his incompetent record as a legislator, and his candidacy which solely rests on the fact that he was sired by two famous politicians in our country.
Yet people are overlooking another valid reason to fear a Noynoy Presidency. Many people feared Arroyo’s presidency at first for her closeness to former president Ramos. Many people opposed FPJ’s candidacy because of his closeness to ex-convict Erap. For the same reasons, we should fear Noynoy 2010.
Red-tagging and red-baiting have become more common terms under Arroyo’s presidency. They refer to the practice of the Administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines of naming activists as ‘communist terrorists’ to justify the murder, abduction, and torture of the latter by the former.
Yet within the ranks of the Noynoy camp are people who carry the same mentality as acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, retired generals Jovito Palparan and Hermogenes Esperon, and Ateneo friar Romeo Integan, and other architects of Arroyo’s killing spree.
I recall that a few days before the MAKABAYAN coalition endorsed Manny Villar’s presidential campaign, PDI columnist and self-proclaimed intellectual Manuel L. Quezon III posted in his Multiply account a short note claiming that the underground National Democratic Front (of which the CPP and the NPA are part of) are about to endorse Villar.
When Villar was finally endorsed by the MAKABAYAN, another self-proclaimed intellectual by the name of Manuel Buencamino crowed that “the NDF should change its name from the National Democratic Front to the Nacionalista Democratic Front”.
Yet as of presstime, the NDF has never released a single statement supporting Manny Villar’s candidacy. Only the CPP released something close to that, which was a short analysis of all the 2010 presidentiables and simply said that Villar’s platform was the closest to the one advocated by MAKABAYAN.
Months before the national elections, they are already doing the job of the AFP: conditioning the minds of the public into believing that MAKABAYAN member orgs Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Katribu, Migrante, ACT, and COURAGE, are ‘terrorist fronts’. And that it is totally acceptable to violate the human rights of their members because they are, of course, terrorists.
Additionally, one of the most rabid supporters of the Noynoy candidacy is a certain partylist group that goes by the name of Akbayan. Aside from the fact that it claimed all ballots with “ANAKBAYAN” written in the partylist slot are theirs (ANAKBAYAN is a founding member of Kabataan Partylist), Akbayan is more known for being Gen. Esperon’s “good leftist group”. In the 2001, 2004, and 2007 elections, Akbayan members have been known to harass and even maim supporters of the MAKABAYAN partylist groups.
Possibly the best Filipino political blogger, Teo Marasigan, gives a good hypothesis to why Akbayan had latched on to the Noynoy candidacy in his blog entry “Quezon: Que Sira, Sira?” [http://kapirasongkritika.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/quezon-que-sira-sira/].
Blogger Carlo Ople, meanwhile, has written something about his experience with some Noynoy supporters among the middle class. In his “Cult of Noynoy Aquino” [http://thepoc.net/commentaries/3401-the-cult-of-noynoy-aquino.html], he explained how these supporters would dismiss issues such as Hacienda Luisita and Noynoy’s lack of a concrete platform as ‘black propaganda’.
Going back to the AFP’s favorite partylist group, they also represent a second category of Noynoy supporters who give reasons for his presidency to be feared.
As explained in Marasigan’s blog entry, Akbayan and its allied organizations by 2006 were losing hope in regards to the anti-Arroyo campaign. Because of their lack of support from the basic sectors in the country, the turnout of their anti-Arroyo rallies were rapidly shrinking. And because they put their all-out faith in working within the system, they saw a scenario of hopelessness in regards to changing society.
But with the sudden death of Cory Aquino and Noynoy’s meteoric rise in the surveys, Akbayan jumped on the bandwagon. PDI columnist Conrado de Quiros said it best: they were backing Noynoy because he had the best chance to win in the 2010 elections. Not because he had presented the most pro-poor agenda (as in the case of Villar) or most pro-morality agenda (as in the case of Eddie Villanueva), but because he was popular.
Essentially, they first chose the most winnable candidate and then formulated excuses on why to support him. It’s exactly the opposite of the MAKABAYAN camp who first formulated their agenda and then proposed to all presidentiables (except Gibo and Gordon) to adopt it.
Hence, some of the most popular responses to criticisms of Noynoy are “He loves the country”.
Notwithstanding the extremely moronic idea mentioned above, the same line of reasoning that supports Noynoy’s candidacy was also employed in the previous presidential elections: people were being persuaded to vote for Gloria Arroyo because she represented the best chance to defeat an FPJ presidency. And assuming she won cleanly, look where that reasoning got us five years after.
In summary, a Noynoy presidency would spell more of the same: intolerance towards criticism and opposition, especially from the poor. Noynoy’s iconic statements defending the Hacienda Luisita massacre are about to be applied on a national scale on peasant-landlord land disputes, workers’ strikes, urban poor community demolitions, etc.
His most rabid supporters have never considered using the elections to advance real change. Instead of using the present situation where a candidate similar to/supportive of/close to Gloria would never win to get presidentiables to adopt the most radical programs possible, they reverted to the style of traditional politics of picking the most winnable candidate.
P.S Another pseudo-leftist organization, the grouping of Sanlakas-BMP-PLM, is supporting Erap Estrada’s candidacy. Is an explanation on how idiotic that is still needed?