Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Political chaos in the Philippines

With the May 10 national elections closing in, the Philippine political arena is in total chaos. Latest reports said administration stalwarts are bolting the ruling party and defecting to the Liberal Party, whose presidential bet Noynoy Aguino, son of the former President Cory Aquino who died of cancer a couple of months back, represents.

Perhaps, some of these politicians, who were former close allies of President Gloria Arroyo, had lost their confidence in the administration's bet and saw a sure victory in Aquino, who is now leading in the Metro Manila survey as one of the presidentiables that is likely to win the seat in Malacanang Palace.

If I were a former ally of the current president, why should I stick to her, if only to free my conscience and the wrath of the voters, most of whom belong to the more than 70 percent of the impoverished population. These are the same people who had banked on false political promises that whatever economic developments during President Arroyo's tenure could trickle down to the interests of the masses. Eventually, they were somewhat frustrated because until now, most of the Filipinos are in the quagmire of poverty. Perhaps, the same people saw in Aquino a new light and hope for a better Philippines.

His archrival--Nationalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar--had the knack to accuse him of being the son of a former president who made use of her political connections with the Arroyo administration. In fact, it was the other way around. Again, if I were to be asked I couldn't vote for someone who is a businessman for president. Why? I don't want to be judgmental in my opinion, but the way I look at it: a businessman is always a businessman. Many people right now are asking that should Villar win the presidency, it might be possible that underground private business transactions would be rampant, if only to cope up with what Villar spent during his campaign sorties, now amounting to almost 2 billion pesos. If he wins the presidency, do you think he won't do something to regain back what he had spent? And why would a president or any politician spend so much if he doesn't see any " gold mine" in the position that he is aspring for?

Now, the ball is in the hands of the people. This time, they must have learned their lessons well. Accepting money, in exchange for their votes, wouldn't do any good the country. If this happens again, there is no more hope that the Philippines will ever get out of the quagmire that she is in right now. Worse is the new president will inheret a government that is bankrupt due to rampant graft and corruption committed by the previous administration. In fact, at this very moment, the guilty parties are perhaps, thinking of running for public office to at least minimize the negative consequences  brought about by whatever accountabilities that they had made while in public office. If that is what they think, they're wrong. Political immunity from lawsuits will not exempt anyone from facing the bars of justice, once they are proven to have committed corrupt practices while holding public office.

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