A rare moment of civility in our public life


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.



Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Robert Doller on

    How can Amnata Pundit posit a theory on d Plaza Miranda bombing which was already discredited by its foremost victim Sen Jovito Salonga? Per the good senator it was d handiwork of the left headed by Joma Sison to create a revolutionary situation, as per highly placed sources from d underground movement..

  2. We are in deep shit by electing a captain who does know starboard from port in our ship of state… We don’t know where we are going .. We haven’t checked the weather .. We are just traveling full speed ahead to stupidity and doom

  3. So because of civility, we still have to defer to the laggard as “President” when he was never one who was duly elected nor ever exhibited the decorum fit for the office he represents? Why not just call him simyon when his name is just simyon? He just usurped an office so he is just like everyone of us.

  4. Philam observer on

    Most of us here in the US pity people like you. It seems to us that you prefer corrupt
    people like Erap and Gloria or the Dictator like Marcos to lead the Philippines. And Mr MakaBENTA magkano ba ang BENTAhan ngayon sa opinyon mo?

  5. How can a slacker become a president is one for the books, and being described by some (mainly yellow media) as the best president ever??? We definitely have to change our system of election, perhaps adding the presidential qualifications and not allowing those on welfare to vote. A corporation would not just hire anybody to be their CEO, what more with running a country.

  6. Bongbong was brought up well by his parents. Maklkita natin sa pagkilos at pagsalita nya – at higit lalo na sa kanyang pagiisip – na magalang sya at hindi sya bastos.

  7. ABNOY AND ROXAS , one and the same . Cut from same cloth. They cannot reinvent
    themselves anymore, otherwise it will all just be a Fake! We don’t need Fake Leaders!

    The people should vote for the True Leader who truly appreciates the common tao!

  8. Leodegardo Pruna on

    What can be expected of BSA but anger, revenge, hatred, lies, blaming game, etc. And, almost the same traits with his followers. God bless the Philippines.

    • dont expect good to this abnoy and cohorts they like bwaya and linta walang kabusugan image contineous daw ang ibig nila if that san pupunta na ang ph///????

    • Woop-da-doop YeHEYYY One-to-sawa!!! Actually, what I want to say is HOORAY for Pilipinas Konstitusyon and Noynoy is on his last months as President. Bawal kasi ang “One-to-SAWA”… can’t wait for Noynoy to be gone, and please please please huwag naman where ‘One-to-SAWA” gets put into Malakanyang.

  9. Amnata Pundit on

    You are wrong. Civility first flew out of the window when the yellow tribe led by this idiot’s hypocrite mother came into power in 1986. I remember her first press conference when after just reading a statement she stood up abruptly without a word, walked out in a huff and left her press secretary to face the reporters. Then she called Doy Laurel who played an indispensable role in making her president by agreeing to slide down to VP, “Langaw.” Then the theory to which I fully subscribe that Ninoy the father bombed Plaza Miranda then blamed it on Marcos. Last but not least, there is Kris Aquino. This lack of civility which is an understatement obviously runs in the blood of this family.

  10. I say amen to Marcial Lex comment. It just so happen that no word could describe Pnoy as the worst President we ever had and come to think of it, we allowed ourselves to endure five years now, having an abnormal being sitting in Malacanan.

  11. Sino ba ang mahilig manuhol?Di ba si NOYTARD.Sinuhulan niya ang mga solons sa bCorona case,sa BBL,mga surveys firms,sa RH bill etc.

  12. How can Ferrer and Deles face their countrymen with the unsconstitutional provisions in the proposed BBL? These are glaring inconsistencies with the Constitution. It would seem that they were just ‘robots’ of the administration who thinks that acquiescense could mean ‘peace’. I am not surprised if a case was field against them for ‘treason’.

    ‘Marujas’ big chance is gone! His being a ‘point’ man in a mediocre administration with no remarkable achievement of his own, will prove to be a big ‘burden’ to his candidacy, irrespective of who will be his running mate. His partner is no help either.

  13. Personal and emotional politics is what the Aquino’s invoked on us, a leader with substance is the one who laid policies and never treated those who oppose with it as his enemies, beside being a politician should be a job to introduced what he believes in would benefit the majority and not mere a personal or social status of victory and power!!