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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Connecting the dots

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“When landslides destroy our vegetable farms or block the roads that bring the highland produce down to Metro Manila, are we prepared?”

The Department of Agriculture. through an assistant secretary, recently said it is “preparing for a more destructive La Nina.”

That line was used when meteorologists warned us about a strong El Nino. Were we prepared enough for El Nino?

Pray tell us, what gives anyone confidence our officials are prepared for La Nina?

If floods and strong rains inundate our palay and corn fields this third quarter, what our NFA calls the “lean months.” what harvest can we expect come September and October?

When landslides destroy our vegetable farms or block the roads that bring the highland produce down to Metro Manila, are we prepared?

The current reaction to El Nino is “ayuda pa more,” and no less than our president is going to El Nino affected-areas to dole out assistance.

Like we keep stating, we have become the Ayuda Republic. “Ayuda,” which is Spanish for aid or help, is about the only thing we can do, as Nature’s fury is unpredictable in its strength and timing.

The problem is, what happens when the “fondo para ayudar” dries out? Oh well, there is always “utang pa more.”


The Partido Federal, forgotten right after the 2022 victory, has been resurrected and, last week, in a much-ballyhooed “Alyansa para sa Bagong Pilipinas,” the party of Ilocos Norte congressman and presidential son Sandro Marcos and presidential cousin Speaker Romualdez, in the presence of the president as witness, declared their “unified vision” for a new Philippines.

“There are many, many considerations” in the newly-formed alliance, the Speaker said, formed in the run-up to the 2025 mid-term elections, though he added he “would prefer candidates who support Constitutional amendment”.

Connect the dots. Cha-cha ain’t dead. Like 20-peso rice, it is still an “aspiration” devoutly to be pursued.

That is further reinforced when our president declared on the occasion that “we have to make some very, very fundamental structural and policy changes…legislative support is absolutely necessary.”

Again, connect the dots.

Which is why I described in this column last week how important the 2025 mid-term elections are to the administration: “the resurrection of cha-cha and the positioning for 2028.”


Maybe that is why FPRRD keeps perorating about what many thought was a stale issue after surveys showed an overwhelming dislike for Constitutional changes now, not even in the near future.

In Dumaguete last week, atop an improvised stage after Mayor Ipe Remollo bowed to pressure from whoever and cancelled a pre-approved rally permit, Duterte again fumed and railed against cha-cha.

His problem is the PDP has been hollowed out by defections to the “Alyansa ng Bagong Pilipinas,” even as its remaining leaders have publicly declared support for the administration, though ostensibly “respecting” his right to state “personal” sentiments.

But for three re-electionist PDP senators, the “new opposition” slate seems hungry for winnables.

Even the so-called “independents” are being wooed by the Alyansa, which our president reiterates as a continuum of the UniTeam, minus the Davao bloc, I suppose.

How about the yellows, er, pinks?

Their spokespersons have been busy siding with the administration on foreign policy, as it coincides with theirs in their heyday. Their “political analysts” keep predicting the “forthcoming” ICC warrants of arrest on their blogger platforms.

Will PBbM and Speaker Martin accept their three senatoriables into the “Bagong Pilipinas” Uniteam slate?


In a statement that can only be construed as coming from whoever now calls the shots in the administration’s communications office, DOJ spokesman Mico Clavano publicly disclosed they are preparing a brief on the legal options available to President Marcos on the arrest warrants the ICC “may” issue.

“The briefer will be an objective analysis of the pros and cons of each option,” said the able and cool spokesman Boying Remulla chose for his department.

Now that is called preparation. Laying the predicate, or just another threat?

As far as my government experience has shown, “confidential” briefers are not pre-announced, unless the purpose is to threaten the ICC “targets” to behave … or else.

Only a trying-hard-to-be Machiavellian communications officer from the palace can be the author of this warning.

It’s not likely that the politically astute Boying would order spokesman Mico to publicly announce a “confidential” briefer, as in FYEO — the President.


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