Back with a vengeance PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 September 2015 10:43

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

After over a month of silence, we’re back with a vengeance. In my travel around Zamboanga Del Sur, almost all the municipalities of that province  have one topic during their past time —  “politics”. In carenderias, coffee shops, barber shops and friendly neighborhoods, politics is the top piece of conversation. Almost all of them know the political developments in their areas, both local and national issues. Table Talk will deal more on national political issues as perceived by people in the province, because in the local issues, like for provincial governor or Congress representatives, it is given that Governor Antonio H. Cerilles and Congress Representative Aurora Enerio Cerilles camps are still a political force to reckon with. This is the main reason almost all politicians, veterans and neophytes want to join their band wagon. Just wait for further developments, especially those who doubt the clout of the Cerilles camp.

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On the national level, VP Jejomar Binay, for now is ahead against Grace Poe and the rest.  Rodrigo Duterte and Bongbong Marcos are the dark horses, because they have not publicly disclosed their serious intentions. With the issues of graft and corruption against VP Binay and the tactless comments of Senator Grace Poe in many interviews and lately her comment on the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) rally in Manila, It may have dented their popularity among the province “intelligentsia” who really call the shots during election, because their followers, employees and workers are like INC members, who follow their leader without question.

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Sen. Grace Poe, the front runner in surveys, who made national limelight in her superb handling of the Senate’s Committee Hearing of the BBL and adopted daughter of cinema action icon, the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ), bungled her popularity on many tactless comments and interference on some internal matters of some powerful groups and vote-rich lobbyists. She has shown political immaturity on a serous matter that collides with government laws and religious beliefs. Worse, she tends to side with those groups that have erroneously interpreted some provisions of the law and has shunned those officials that are tasked to enforce  the law. like the Department of Justice (DOJ)  and demanded from them (DOJ), to prioritize and be transparent in the handling of some cases lodged with the DOJ. This single, unprecedented matter seemingly led to the collapse of her popularity ratings among the people. Sen. Grace Poe squandered her many years of political preparation, in a few minutes of TV and radio interview. She has unmasked her real aspiration.

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On the other hand, damaged has been done on VP Binay’s reputation of a “Mr. Clean”. The many charges of corruption, and unexplained wealth eroded his political career. This will take many years to heal until those charges will be resolved. It is impossible to control the damage in a few months time, especially the national and local elections will be held next year. Knowing those voters who have pledged allegiance to VP Binay’s presidential bid, many of them belong to the marginal line group, poverty stricken and in want of a “knight in shinning armor” might be disadvantageous, because this is the sector that can be tempted and swayed for many reasons. VP Binay’s presidential bid might be very expensive to wage and if he wins the “presidency”, the cycle of corruption will resume. One has to recover. Politics whether we like it or not, is big business in the Philippines. Even a “haciendero” or a very religious man, tends to be corrupt sometimes.

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The “ball” is now in the hands of the voters, not on the political parties. Voters should cast their votes independently with no strings attached, an idea or virtue which is impossible to follow at this time of hardship. On the other hand, when will we learn? Until this country will be administered by crooks and hoodlums?  “We shall reap what we sow”, choose your “wild” for our future.

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Scoop: They say that part of the deal to end the INC rally was for DOJ Secretary De Lima to resign, but she will not as she publicly announced. What will happen now? Like the BBL, according to many Filipinos, the “difference is the same” Agree or disagree.