An immoral candidacy

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THE allegations that have been thrown at the Liberal Party’s favored son Manuel A. “Mar” Roxas 2nd in the past few weeks are breathtaking in their scale, all the more so because there are glaring indications that they may be entirely justified.

Aquino’s ‘Plan A’ candidate, as he is being sarcastically referred to by many critics, is finding it difficult to escape scrutiny for three serious issues. The first, which we have examined several times since the beginning of this year, is the dubious “bottom-up budgeting” or BUB program, which Roxas has been dangling before local government officials all around the country as a reason they should support his candidacy. The offer sounds so much like a quid pro quo that some entertaining public commentators in the social media have suggested the acronym BUB actually stands for “bribe ur barangay,” and as we pointed out in an earlier editorial last month, it is almost impossible for Roxas and his camp to promise that it will continue under his administration without it sounding like funds-for-votes exchange.

What makes the tactic laughable is that the program is far from the benefit it is portrayed to be by the Aquino Administration and its would-be replacement. In an independent assessment released at the beginning of this month, only 23 percent of BUB projects started in 2013 have ever been completed, and a mere 1 percent of those begun in 2014 have been finished.

Even more alarming, only 4 percent of the not-yet completed projects from 2014 are still considered ongoing (the figure for the previous year is a little better, at 25 percent), meaning that under the current program that Roxas promises to maintain should he be elected, only one in four projects at most have a chance of actually being realized.


The second nagging issue, which has been widely reported, is Roxas’ liberal use of a fleet of expensive aircraft owned by close cronies of the Liberal Party, and of which at least a couple were exempted from proper importation taxes under questionable circumstances. Again, even though Roxas and his team have sought to reassure the public that the availability and use of these aircraft are entirely aboveboard, documentary evidence to back that assertion has yet to be offered.

The third issue, which was discussed in great detail earlier this week by our own columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, is the astonishing amount of money being spent by the Roxas campaign; if the figures, which Tiglao gathered from a number of sources, are even close to being correct, the implication is that Roxas has spent, at a minimum, P250 million more than is allowed under the law for the entire campaign period that still has about 11 weeks to run.

What is particularly distressing in all this is that, even if the Roxas machine is not actually using any public funds, the public machinery that is supposed to protect us from any candidate gaining an undue advantage through unethical or possibly even illegal means has been cold and quiet when it comes to these legitimate concerns about the conduct of his campaign. There has been no investigation or inquiry of any sort, and it has been made plain – albeit not explicitly stated – that there will be none, so long as the current regime is in a position to have anything to say about it.

It is not simply a matter of vast amounts of money that could be put to better use being thrown down a hole. It is the extremely disturbing confirmation that such disregard for the acceptable standards of campaign and selective application of rules have become the norm, that the Golden Rule has indeed become, “He who has the gold, rules.” It is an immoral mockery of our already imperfect democracy, and the people of the Philippines must, if they value their future at all, make certain it is not allowed to continue beyond May 9.

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14 Comments

  1. Who should we vote then? Binay the plunderer? Dirty Duterte the ‘syano thug? Miriam the stand-up comic? Or, Grace Llamanzares the kano?

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    22 Feb. 2016

    Mar Roxas knows that he can never be elected President “on his merits” and explains why he is forced to ignore the rules on election spending, plus allow his buddies in the mining business to make him use all those planes for his campaign all over the country–of course, on a quid pro quo basis.

    He has had a reputation for INCOMPETENCE, and what he is doing now, obviously in desperation, is scary proof that if ever the Filipino people should make the mistake of electing him President, he will be CORRUPT to the core!

    Fortunately for the country, Mar Roxas will go down in defeat–and that should be the end of his political ambitions.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  3. Yes! The best President that could lift our country and regain back the status as the tiger of asia is Sen. Meriam Defensor Santiago. Go! Go! Go! Santiago – Marcos – the unbeatable tandem.

  4. The best President that could lift our country and regain back the status as the tiger of asia is Sen. Meriam Defensor Santiago. Go! Go! Go! Santiago – Marcos – the unbeatable tandem.

  5. How about Binays expenses di nyo nakikita, at least yung ke Mar eh di sa pera ng taumbayan galing nd if galing man yun sa katiwalian it has to be proven kesa naman dun sa nkademanda sa ombudsman dahl sa corruption lahat ng tumatakbong yan di naman perpekto kasi lahat tao yan nasa atin ang pgpapasya kung papaloko o pabobola tayo lahat me mga vested interest na kaiba….wag tayo pakatanga tingnan natin ang track record lahat yan me mga kapintasan nasa kamay natin ang ating kakahinatnan….

    • Ferdie ballesteros on

      Parang ang gulo ng statement mo…..ahh hindi nga kasi kapag si VP binay ang issue kahit wala pang convictions guilty agad pero kapag si mar roxas na it has to be proven pa????whahahhaa bias pa more

  6. I think the baranggay captains will be taken for a ride. Look at the history of budgeting during this administration. It is always underspending.So, there is a good chance that there would be saving on this budget that can be re-aligned because it is easy to claim tyhat while there is a budget for that project, it looks not feasible and hence delay!

  7. No free nation on earth have legislated “morality”, and on this year’s Philippine election, it will be the “Law of the Jungle” applies. “The strong will survive and the weak will die”. The strength of any candidate is measured in terms of popularity and money. Educational level achieved, intelligence, honesty, integrity, love of family, law abiding citizen and religious upbringing do NOT count anymore. By the way, good looks falls under popularity.

  8. There has been no investigation or inquiry of any sort, and it has been made plain – albeit not explicitly stated – that there will be none, so long as the current regime is in a position to have anything to say about it.
    —————————————-

    There never is, even if a investigation is conducted they will only find fault with opposition members and never the Liberal Party or allies of Aquino.

    Take the Pork Barrel Fund

    20 senators gave their pork barrel allocation to Napoles
    100 house or representatives gave their allocation to Napoles
    De Lima charged 3 opposition senators and that’s it.
    De Lima now running as a Liberal Party senator.

    The 159 billion unconstitutional DAP fund ?

    Still waiting years later for the Ombudsman to conduct a investigation after the Supreme Court ordered it.

  9. obviously a Liberal interpretation of problem solving, Abad one actually……

    “Kung may problema , tapalan ng pera”.

    Marami naman ang “savings” , underspending, no-hiring etc. etc.

  10. Abnoy is being judged by our people as honest President, doesn’t steal and always smile as he talks. How come he allows his KKK coteries, his cabinet officials, most gov officials and other party mates get involve in all forms of graft and corruptions (check their cases at the office of the Ombudsman in case of doubt)? How is that? Is he stupid, moron, wise fool, unchristian, or what? I don’t know. Everything is a mess in our country, except the LP people and their cronies.

  11. Demetrio Ponce on

    The hypocrisy of this so called “Tuwid na Daan” regime, preaching about self righteousness but practicing another. The Filipino electorate is smart enough not to put this same crowd back to power come election day given the incompetence and the holier-than-thou attitude that the BS Aquino crowd publicly and arrogantly display. Enough is enough. The Filipino people deserve a fresh start on June 30, 2016.