"What is the senator saying?"
When Senator Lacson rejected the offer to run under the newly organized opposition coalition known as 1Sambayan this coming 2022 presidential election, he said: “to [have me lead] would be inconsistent and incongruous for the groups to endorse, let alone, be identified with somebody who is one of the authors and principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Law.”
His position on this particular issue is rather illogical, a shallow excuse for an ambitious politician like him. He cannot even differentiate his role as legislator from that of an author of a particular law that was approved.
It is Lacson’s duty as senator to submit bills for legislation, and we pay him for that. He should have detached himself from whatever law he submitted. He should not consider himself as a lesser tyrant or dictator all for the fact that he is one of the authors of the much-criticized Anti-Terror Law.
If that be the case, Senate Lacson seems to have no trust of himself as a legislator. Worse, if he has no confidence in what he submitted. What is awfully bad is the fact that he has no trust in the Filipino people. He should take note that once a bill is approved, all are enjoined to obey and enforce that law. This explains why we do not call an elected President a dictator or a tyrant for enforcing the law that has been approved. The law he authored is not personal to him, and no sane person should blame him for being the author of that law.
Another, he should not set conditions on others to set sail his ambition whether he will decide to run for president on condition Senator Vicente Sotto III will take him as running mate. This to the mind is an awkward condition, not to say inconsequential to his being the author of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Political observers also noticed that between the two conditions he set are not only incongruous but illogical. Choosing Sotto as his running mate is totally unrelated or has no connection to his being the author of the ATL. No supporter of him will ever consider that condition. Some even consider him silly after claiming authorship of the ATL. Maybe we can admire him for his firmness to make a stand against the communist insurgency which he and his misplaced neoliberals rebranded as a terrorist organization.
Moreover, when Senator Lacson opted to put political color to the law by measuring what he did to something incongruous or incoherent to what others would say of him, many could hardly understand what he meant. He is not supposed to shy away from his duty and responsibility. His stand now reveals that he is a wavering coward who cannot decide for himself.
Rather, the Anti-Terror Law exposed him as utterly subservient to the wishes of the US. There is nothing new in that law except that it added teeth to our law enforcing authorities to pin down subversives by classifying them as terrorists. Before that, there was the Anti-Subversion Act of R.A. No. 1700. Subversives can be arrested on that basis alone. The hypocrites, after that great political swindle at EDSA, argued that to openly profess belief in communist ideology or be a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines should not make one liable for criminal acts.
When PC Chief Fidel Ramos later became President and wanted to cleanse himself of being identified as the former hangman of the President scrapped the Anti-Subversion Law, only to come out with a much harsher law under the aegis of democracy and freedom called the Anti-Terror Law. It is for this that Lacson now appears schizophrenic in distancing himself as author of that law. Maybe he is right because he knows he would be landing right into the lap of the hypocrites who were vigorously chanting against the very law he authored.
Lacson feels uneasy standing side by side with the same people who opposed his bill. He can be branded as the greatest hypocrite of all time, and his fear is when one of his fellow candidates in the opposition they will denounce him before the public. The opposition coalition will instantly cave in because people will know that the opposition is nothing more but a band of people with different ideologies but united for the single purpose of grabbing political power from the administration.
When Lacson stated he will only run if Senator Vicente Sotto will team up with him, that condition spelled out the truth about himself. I say this because Sotto’s candidacy has nothing to do with his stand on certain issues like his support for the ATL. Sotto may win on his own merits but not on the condition set by Lacson. Besides, he assumes that Sotto will accept his offer. People do not even know whether Sotto will run as his running mate or he will be the one to run under Sotto.
Finally, Lacson exposed himself as a consummate opportunist. His refusal to accept the invitation made by retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio to run under the newly formed 1Sambayan Coalition was a lost opportunity for him. It was an honor despite the fact that some consider him as some kind of washout candidate for the presidency.
Despite the questionable ideology with which he disagrees on issues like human rights, our stand in the West Philippine Sea, our relations with China, the Visiting Forces Agreement, extra judicial killings, dictatorship, authoritarianism, and in defining our foreign interest, he remains an odd ball but not sufficient to be identified as hardcore member of the opposition.
On the other hand, it seems that 1Sambayan was formed by the exigency and necessity to form a coalition against the Duterte administration. One that is visibly missing in them is their lack of a particular candidate to lead them from their current political quagmire. Lacson’s refusal to accept the invitation effectively resulted in 1Sambayan’s decapitation as a political party.
For its part, the opposition is completely pathetic. This is the only political party in our history that is having difficulty fielding a credible candidate that will not be treated by our people as kibitzer. It cannot be said the opposition has run out of issues, such that they are the same issues they raised against the Marcos administration at a time when martial law was in force. Many suspect that the opposition is running out of financial brokers to fund their candidates. While admittedly, the cost of election in this country is getting costly, financial brokers whose interests are tied up to the outcome of the election are getting leaner. This is symptomatic of a change in ideological orbit both for the lackeys and the brokers.