BEHIND THE LINES: Who’s afraid of the north? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:18

BY BOB JALDON

The government has succeeded in arresting Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for an alleged crime of electoral sabotage committed in 2004 and 2007. She is under hospital detention as ordered by the court. Eventually, when her neck brace is removed and her intestinal discomfort cured, she will, like Joseph Estrada, be placed under house arrest – a special treatment, it seems, accorded to past presidents. When she is tried and subsequently found guilty for the crime and other offenses that may be raised against her, she will spend the rest of her life under house arrest in a well-kept square home away from the metropolis. And, before President Aquino finishes his term he might probably administer an Arroyo-kind of absolution and pardon GMA of all her sins as what she did to ERAP. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball and these are all guesses. But, who knows about the cycle of Philippine politics?
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Members of the Liberal Party (LP) in Congress are ready to stand solidly behind their titular head, President Aquino in his fight to jail the corrupt, starting with GMA. Allow me to take you back in the 1950s when the glorious LP had Elpidio Quirino as president. He was touted to be the foremost economist, save for the golden “urinola” that cost him his re-election bid against the “man of the masses”, Ramon Magsaysay, who eventually perished in a plane crash. Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson was going to carry the banner of the Nacionalista Party (NP), but he, too, died of a heart attack. GMA’s father, Diosdado, became president after he defeated the Great Boholano, Carlos Garcia. DM (Diosdado Macapagal) built the LP into a political empire with Ferdinand E. Marcos acting as senate president. Devoid of a presidential timber, Marcos butterflied to the NP, got nominated for president and eventually clobbered DM in the polls. That signaled the death of democracy, the demise of both LP and NP, the end of Congress and rise to power of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL).

Diosdado, together with Gerry Roxas, Mar Roxas’s dad, and the Osmenas transformed the LP into a political juggernaut. Tolentino, Puyat, Roy, Diokno, Tanada and Almendras, all NPs, formed the minority in the senate when Ninoy Aquino, Salonga, Manglapus, Padilla, Estrada-Kalaw, Katigbak, Mitra, Ilarde and Osmena controlled the upper chamber. The cities and provinces where also controlled by the Liberals. Cesar C. Climaco became the first elected mayor Of Zamboanga City after my grandfather, Mayor Manuel D. Jaldon, ran for congress against Roseller T. Lim. Climaco edged out Hector C. Suarez in a closely-contested election that saw the first case of statistical improbability filed with the Supreme Court by Suarez and his lawyers. (I leave the details of the law suit to Councilor Aman Nuno to explain.)
For added information about the LP, you can ask the only surviving LP stalwarts, former Mayor Vinnie Atilano and former Vice Mayor Bert Lim.
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Ironically, it is now the LP that Macapagal helped build that wants the head of his daughter. The substructure of the fabled “Dadong” is now facing the firing squad, as a matter of speaking, from the force that DM erected to be a titan. GMA once captivated the hearts of the Filipinos when she was DTI secretary, senator, vice president and during the early part of her presidency. Now, she is the captive. If she did wrong, she must be punished for it.
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Is there such a thing as the “Northern Force” to reckon with? On Nov. 24 (tomorrow), we shall know what a distant relative of mine has to say about his political plans for 2013. The opposition has been invited to Romy Jalosjos’ birthday party in Dakak. “No special pass, no entry,” is the word that I got yesterday. Barangay captains from this city, have-been politicians (the losers, as a matter of fact), the media (not all, anyway) and other individuals have been politely asked to attend the bash. An announcement as to “Nonong’s” political plans is expected. I heard that he will take the gambit of his political life by announcing his intention to run for mayor of Zamboanga city.

So, who’s afraid of the north? Such a move will stir the hornet’s nest. Celso, Beng and Erbie – the Triad — should now sit down and seriously talk about their plans for 2013 before it’s too late. His honor, the mayor should stop holding his cards close to his chest like a poker player and announce his plan for 2013. Do I hear him replying: “I will not telegraph my punches.”? The sooner the “Golden Triangle” gets together, the better. Otherwise, Celso will have no punches to throw. Even if he did, they will be as weak as Pacquiao’s.

Here’s today’s quotation coming from James Carville: “ ‘Poli’ is a Greek Prefix meaning ‘many’; and ‘tics’ are blood-sucking animals.”