"We should encourage our people to truly be more discerning… let the true, proper and responsible scrutiny of the party’s and Pnoy’s governance record get going."
Immediately after presenting their senatorial ticket for the 2019 elections, Liberal party stalwarts re-introduced themselves to the public with a mouthful of slogans revolving around the theme “LESSONS LEARNED.”
It is a catchy theme, a derivative of an ongoing narrative which this once mighty party has used since its trashing in the 2016 presidential elections. It is, for all intents and purposes, a dig at President
Duterte whom the group has been trying real hard to pin down as a clone of the man they have long demonized as a corrupt and brutal dictator for years on end since their forces took over government in 1986.
Well, it has not caught fire. In fact, to a growing number of people, their tirades against Duterte and even against the ‘dictator Marcos’ have lost luster. President Duterte won and the Marcos legacy is slowly but surely getting a better public briefing. Why, Bongbong Marcos has won two national elections and many Marcos associates have gotten back the people’s trust. Indeed, more and more of our people are revisiting the Marcos years with a fresher and better understanding. To them, these are old and tired denunciations meant only to divert people’s attention from their own failures and prejudices. These are slogans or intentions without any kind of grounding.
As one of their more prominent former colleagues exasperatedly noted after hearing the speeches at the senatorial launching these slogans, these statements are worse than motherhood ones. These are slick, tricky sleight-of-hand things signifying nothing. He reminded us as we took our coffee that good intentions, sweet high falutin rhetoric can lead to scams or to hell, as the case maybe.
In any event, it is well that the Liberal Party has decided to contest the upcoming polls using this over arching theme. It is time we take stock as a nation of the lessons we should imbibe and pass on to guide not just this generation but future ones as well. It is time we get a broader, much expansive understanding of ills bedeviling our country, our fears and hopes as a people. It is time we get to appreciate the good and the bad things we have gone through, the issues and concerns which have seemingly become constant in our lives. It is time we get to come around and look at our situation from unprejudiced eyes, uncolored by the bitter and divisive battles of the past.
By invoking the ‘evils of martial rule” and proceeding to ‘learn the lessons’ from that period as party narrative, it is clear that these guys are trying very hard to divert and skew attention from their own record. We should not let them escape their own past. After all, they have managed to gain extraordinary powers and lots of moolah, not to mention undeserved honor, by unduly blackening their political enemies before, during and after 1986.
In the 2016 elections, they actually went overboard targeting their every possible obstacle to their whispered ‘12 year plan’ (yes there was a 12 year plan which was put in place after Mar Roxas decided to give up his presidential ambitions in 2010 and run as Pnoy’s VP with the promise that he will be “IT” in 2016). First, they put then Vice-President Jojo Binay, the putative front runner right from the
get-go in 2010, through the wringer culminating in a punishing 18-month Senate skewering courtesy of then Blue Ribbon committee chairman Koko Pimentel and the twin Torquemadas, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes. Then, they subjected their ally, Senator Grace Poe, to a similar excruciating test questioning through various means her citizenship. This, after the party itself gloated in her number one finish in the 2010 elections as a ‘guest candidate,’ with Pnoy no less as her mentor. Finally, they conspired and snickered as then Mayor Duterte got enmeshed in a number of boo-boos before finally stabilizing and setting the country on fire with his unorthodox and totally out-of-the-box presidential campaign. And even before he got to Malacañang, the daggers were out to get him. The demolition job has not stopped since. It has only become more hysterical.
And since the target is no less than President Duterte’s half term record, then the obvious question is: are we better off and going in the right direction than in the previous administration? The answer, if
we go not only by the surveys but on the actual realities on the ground, is obvious. Despite the hiccups and his very own style, the public remains hopeful that Duterte will deliver on his promise to
make the country a better and safer place for our people.
He has delivered on his promise to stop the country’s demise into a ‘narco state.’ At the very least, despite the deaths associated with the war on drugs and the corresponding extra legal means employed by some security forces, he has somehow slowed down the country’s fall into a ‘Mexico-in-the-Far-East.” Not even the latest highly problematic smuggling of tons of shabu has dented the administration’s drive to rid the country of this scourge.
He has also delivered on a number of other promises from, among others, the Moro secessionist issue and the collateral problem of radicalization which spawned the setting up of an ISIS conspiracy;
the fight against corruption and laziness in government; levelling up of our police and security forces, including the disaster risk management service; setting the country’s finances on even keel; righting the
MRT-3 mess; and of course, the Build, Build, Build program.
The case of the MILF and other secessionist forces bears watching as the promised ‘Bangsa Moro” autonomous region comes into play. We are now hearing voices about the ‘failure of Marawi’ and the marginalization of certain sectors. Well, we should be hearing more sneering as this effort to finally end one of the longest secessionist movements in the world gets traction. Why so? Because some highly placed LP leaders appear to have had some hand in getting the core ISIS network in place long before the Marawi siege. That is, if we believe the intelligence reports, which circulated in the run up to that siege. There was even a report that top LP leaders were monitored dancing, in a manner of speaking, with the core ISIS leadership before the 2016 elections.
So, compare Duterte’s half term record with the full six-year PNOY record on all aspects of governance and nation building and you will have an idea how the 2019 elections and other political skirmishes
before, during and even after, will turn out to be. We should encourage our people to truly be more discerning and, yes, put into practice the party’s campaign slogan—“Makinig, Matuto at Kumilos.” Let the true, proper and responsible scrutiny of the party’s and Pnoy’s governance record get going.