Punchline

Local pols’ dilemma over Du30

EFG

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 

THE not-totally unexpected filing of candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte reportedly sent a number of politicos initially into a tizzy. Suddenly they saw a sure winner, a game changer! But how do they cut off from their original commitments to presidential wannabes Jojo Binay, Mar Roxas, Grace Poe and Miriam Santiago without straining their relations with their friends and followers?

This was their dilemma until they heard “Du30” say – “Go with the man of integrity (Binay), or the decisive man (Roxas), or the foreign candidate (Poe), or the brave woman (Santiago)during the campaign, just think of me six weeks before you vote!”

That made a lot of politicos happy! They don’t have to switch alliances today and can wail till March to have their pictures taken with the game changer.

So next time you ask a politico who he or she is supporting for president, just observe the eyes that don’t tell a lie, and you will know who.

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GRACE OUT, CHIZ IN. At presstime, the news is out that candidate Grace Poe is knocked out of the presidential race by Comelec’s First Division, the second from that independent constitutional body. What will happen to Ms. Grace is predictable. She will go quietly but not Veep wannabe Chiz Escudero!

There will undoubtedly be a lot of outpouring of sympathy for Ms. Grace, and a lot of accusation and blame will be heaped on Mr. Escudero, after all it was he alone who talked Ms. Grace into being a candidate for president in spite of the residency and citizenship issues hanging her head. Those in Ms. Grace’s inner circle knew it was Mr. Chiz who made her believe that the Comelec and the Supreme Court will rule in her favor because the two bodies cannot afford to go against her because she was riding the crest of political popularity. It was he who convinced her not to join the Liberal Party tandem as VP candidate when she could be the President.

She trusted Mr. Chiz and swallowed his ambitious bait, hook, line and sinker! Sen. Serge Osmeña and other politicos who saw through Mr. Chiz tried to warn her, but to no avail.

Alas, now she finds out she was led to the political slaughterhouse and left alone, bruised to fend for herself while Mr. Chiz will be out to exploit the emotional situation while he still can with his: “I will continue the fight of FPJ and Grace Poe!”

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NEXT A ‘BIN-IZ’? Early on, most astute political observers already saw in Mr. Chiz an agenda that would serve no other interest but his, and his alone. He was seen to have figured that with Ms. Grace, he would be a very viable candidate for VP after noting that his friend VP Binay’s popularity was already tottering dangerously towards a near political collapse because of the series of damning senate investigations.

Not a few shook their heads for Ms. Grace when she agreed to launch her candidacy with Mr. Chiz in tow, way ahead of everyone. That could only be the handiwork of Mr. Chiz, the consummate politico, he who made sure that the greenhorn but popular Ms. Grace can no longer change her mind for anything and for anyone. He had to be absolutely certain that he would be her tandem rider in his journey to the ultimate political power.

Alas, Ms. Grace’s bubble burst. It happened too soon, too early. Those in the know swear Mr. Chiz will scramble to salvage the situation by working on a not-so-strange tandem -“Bin-Iz” at the expense of Mr. Gringo H. He made the “Noy-Bi” happen in 2010, why not for himself, this time?

When that happens, expect Mr. Chiz to regale Pangasinan voters with a song and dance that Mr. Binay will be the best President that the country will ever have. Believe it!

But what would he do next if Mr. Binay is suddenly hauled to jail for plunder by the Ombudsman? Will he try to outflank Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano or Mr. Bongbong as VP candidates of Mayor Duterte and Sen. Miriam Santiago, respectively? Not that he will succeed but many believe he will try.

Leave it to Mr. Chiz to do all for his ambition. He’s certainly not your kind of politician who will subserve his personal interests to national and people’s interests.

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RIGHT TIMING. The substitution policy of our electoral laws has served the agenda of Speaker Joe de V and Manay Gina de V for the 4th District, in the same way that it served philanthropist Baby Arenas well in 2013.

The timing of the substitution by young Toff De V could not have been better than at this time. Noting Manay Gina’s impressive accomplishments and political networking that she worked on behind Speaker Joe’s legacy, these are enough to literally make son Toff’s political journey practically unopposed.

Being young, Toff de V may not be expected to be as aggressive and effective in delivering projects to the district like his mom and dad, but he is articulate and should be expected to hold his own at the Congress hall. His being a Manila homegrown kid can prove to be awkward for him but it is to his advantage that he grew up with parents who breathed and lived public service.

I have to agree, fielding Toff de V today was a right move for him and the district.

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DRUG LORDS IN CONTROL. For too long, our local governments viewed illegal drugs as nothing but a peace and order and law enforcement concern which explains why drug syndicates have proliferated in this profitable trade. For too long, our local government leaders were either in denial that illegal drugs have no serious implications and impact on our communities’ social, health and political environment, or have managed to quietly dip their fingers in narc hush money.

The realities of the impact of illegal drugs that confront our communities today have become mindboggling that our political and religious leaders could only resort to mouthing motherhood statements to give the impression that the situation is under control.

But is it?

On the contrary, the reality today is the drug syndicates are well in control, dictating the norms and the pace of the growth of their network while government is resigned to being a reactive force.

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ILLEGAL DRUGS, AN ELECTION ISSUE. The campaign vs. illegal drugs in the province should get a boost after presidential wannabe Mayor Duterte has made it clear that he wants drug lords vanish from the earth!

In case, our local candidates failed to see and understand why Mr. Duterte, in his rough and tumble talk, is fast gaining massive support from all economic households, it is because people share his deep frustration and anger towards the illegal drug trade. If people find Messrs. Binay, Roxas and Marcos bland and more of the same, that’s because they could not relate to the most serious problem of families everywhere – the fear of seeing one among the family being victimized by drug pushers or the tragedy that has befallen the family because of shabu.

If a candidate cannot even look at his or her constituents in the eye and talk about the ills of illegal drugs, and what he will do to secure and protect families from drug pushers, you can be sure that candidate is already coopted by drug lords. And if people will choose to ignore this sign, then they only have themselves to blame if that candidate is elected to lord it over while the drug lords have him or her in their pockets.

Like Mr. Duterte, our candidates must address the worsening illegal drug trade that’s waiting to maim or kill a member of the family. Reject those who refuse to talk about illegal drugs and acknowledge that it is a menace that must be eliminated.

(For your comments and reactions, please email to: punch.sunday@gmail.com)

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