When Sen. Ferdinand Marcos , Jr delivered his sponsorship speech of his substitute bill to the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law), it was a mark of civility and decency that several key authors of the BBL—such as Mr Mohagher Iqbal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Ms. Miriam Coronel- Ferrer , chair of the Government Peace Panel, and Ms. Teresita Quintos-Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process – were all on hand to listen to the senator’s address and to scrutinize the senator’s substitute measure.
They all listened glumly and gamely as Marcos enumerated the constitutional infirmities and inimical pro visions of the BBL, and the correctives that he and the Senate committees provide through the substitute bill.
They held their peace while Marcos discussed his proposal for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) in the best light, while casting the BBL in darkness.
When it was all over, there was a polite exchange of pleasantries. Marcos chatted with them and they posed for pictures.
It was, I daresay, a heartwarming sight to see them all together in a non-accusatory encounter, because our public life during BS Aquino’s watch has had few instances of public men and women on opposite or different sides of the fence showing civility and respect toward each other on public occasions.
President Aquino sent civility into exile when he acceded to office in 2010, by refusing to take his oath from then Chief Justice Renato Corona, and then launching a relentless campaign to have Congress impeach Corona.
President Aquino spread rancor like a virus among us. And now, as his comeuppance, it seems like he has impeached himself through his vindictiveness and narcissism.
I will reserve my analysis of Marcos’s speech and substitute bill for my column on Tuesday, so I will have more time to study this weighty issue. I don’t want to jump the gun on the inevitable debate over BBL vs. BAR.
Roxas as Mr. Palengke, part 2
Mar Roxas, LP presidential candidate, has quietly revived his Mr. Palengke brand in carrying his campaign to the masses. In print, on TV and on social media, he is now visiting public markets to show that he can still feel the public pulse when he has a mind to.
With no thought of claiming any influence on his image buildup, I remember suggesting soon after Mar’s coronation as LP standard bearer, that he needed to establish his identity and authenticity as a presidential candidate (“Roxas needs identity, authenticity, not hand-me-downs,” Times, August 1, 2015).
I wrote that he has to return to his strengths as a public figure, namely, (1) his successful Mr. Palengke campaign, which enabled him to top the Senate elections in 2004 before the advent of the Hocus PCOS magic machines, in a now bygone era; (2) his sponsorship and tenacious advocacy of the Affordable Medicines Act; and (3) his membership in the Cabinet of three successive presidential administrations.
If he can also authenticate his alleged, but disputed, role in ushering and nurturing the (business process outsourcing) BPO industry, which now almost equals what Overseas Filipino Workers send or bring to the economy, he could project a plausible and creditable record as a public servant.
The Mr. Palengke campaign worked in 2004, because it had legs, and could be replicated anywhere in the country. My wife, a food writer and columnist, says Mar embraced this persona because he lives near the Cubao Farmers market, arguably the biggest and best public market in the country, which his family owns. Mar is not like me, who strangely enjoys going to market for our family.
Palengke could be a better knapsack for Mar to carry than Daang Matuwid. No one will think of stealing it from him.
From Villaroyo to Binayaran
In the 2010 campaign, “Villaroyo” was the favorite term of abuse by the yellow forces of Benigno BS Aquino and their media allies. With this, the Aquino campaign sought to tie then frontrunner Manny Villar to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, suggesting that Villar was the secret candidate of the then unpopular Arroyo.
Today, in the nascent 2016 campaign, the rising word of abuse is “Binayaran,” which in Filipino means paid for or bought.
It is a coinage designed to explicitly attack Vice President Jejomar Binay and discomfit anyone, especially journalists, who have something good to say about the man.
The heaviest users of Binayaran are trolls of rival campaigns and dedicated Binay detractors. They are all over social media.
Even when I make no reference at all to the vice president, I have read a comment or two saying that I am “binayaran.”
This is effective up to a point in the sense that it makes us pundits think twice about writing anything remotely favorable on candidate Binay.
But it also gets me riled up enough to want to help the veep just to annoy his detractors and rivals in return.