• Missing government, missing opposition

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    VICE President and now UNA Chairman Jejomar Binay would have a more credible case against the allegedly “missing government” of President Benigno BS Aquino 3rd if he’d also offer a truthful accounting of “the missing Opposition” in national politics. And even more so with a truthful confession that in all those five years of President Aquino’s rule, the VP has been a loyal member and supporter of this Administration.

    Until he surfaced the other week, claiming to be “the leader of the Opposition,” there has been no visible political Opposition around, in Congress or in the public square, that diligently tried to make President Aquino and his government honest and truthful to the people.

    Until the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) surfaced on July 1 as the new Opposition party, there has been no such political party in national politics. There was only the shell of a party, propped up by occasional and self-serving publicity stories.

    UNA was originally cobbled together to contest the elections in May 2013, led by the triumvirate of former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Binay and then Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. That coalition no longer exists, having split into many parts, with Senator Enrile now languishing in detention, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada subsisting with his own Partido ng Masang Pilipino. Only Mr. Binay remains of the original triumvirate, holding up the three letters of UNA.

    There is some basis for Mr. Binay’s charge that the government has been largely missing during these five years of the Aquino presidency. The Manila Times is witness to the lapses of governance all these years, as it has covered the Aquino presidency from day one up to today. If the Times editorials over the past five years were laid out end to end, it would make for a more complete critique of the Administration than Mr. Binay’s speech last Wednesday.

    As he formally accepted the UNA chairmanship, VP Binay claimed that while the Aquino Administration has been occupying the seat of power over the past five years, there has actually been no functioning government to speak of.

    He said: “After five years, the rate of unemployment is still high, the number of people who have suffered and are still suffering from hunger is still high. People who are sick still cannot afford medication. Many of our youth remain out of school as their families cannot afford their tuition. The crime rate is fast rising and the illegal drug trade continues to proliferate in communities. Poverty is everywhere. Thus, the people are asking: Where is the government?”

    “Because of corruption and extortion in the MRT, we have a deteriorating service in our mass rail transit system. In fact, for the more than 500,000 daily passengers of the MRT who have to suffer the mile-long queues at the stations to and from their offices, it would be a blessing if nothing wrong happens every time they ride those train coffins.

    “Again, the people are asking: Where is the government?”

    Then he zeroed in on the Mamasapano tragedy. “Forty-four noble commandos of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Countless investigations have been conducted but up to now, no one has been held responsible. No charges have yet been filed in court. The people are asking: Where is the government?”

    In our book, this laundry list of complaints and laments against the Administration does not qualify as a serious opposition critique of the government. There is no documentation of the failings in governance. Instead, we find a scattering of sound bites, bleeding sentiment for the poor.

    The mantle of a leader of the opposition is not claimed by a mere assertion or profession of desire. It should be earned through a record of consistent criticism of the Administration and the majority party.

    Over the past five years, that work has been more vigorously exercised by the media and the party-list groups in Congress, and some members of the citizenry.

    UNA as the Opposition Party
    We welcome the decision of UNA to constitute itself as a political party to contest the elections next year, because what Philippine politics has been missing for some time now are authentic and functioning political parties.

    We have ambitious people eagerly contesting positions in government. We don’t have parties that aggregate members, political ideas and support groups. Conviction politics is missing in Philippine political culture.

    We hope UNA will move forward to develop a real platform of government and a system for membership and inclusion in the party.

    We also hope that VP Binay, having served in the Administration and having suffered the sting of being in disfavor, will evolve into a courageous critic of the government and a credible candidate for the Presidency.

    But he must flesh out serious policies and programs. This is the work of real political parties and their cadre.

    Where is the government? Where is the opposition?

    Let’s see who will answer and persuade us first.

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    16 Comments

    1. bonifacio muit, jr. on

      Before The Manila Times could welcome UNA as the real opposition which is chaired by VP Binay, at least Manila Times should have also mentioned that Binay must answer the allegations hurled against him. Binay himself accepted when he was asked the very first time when these allegations were thrown against him that he would answer all these allegations in the proper forum. The question is, why does Binay not want to attend to the invite of the Blue Ribbon Committee to speak out and tell the truth?. All these five years, he had been very quiet and so quiet that people did not even notice that he was amassing wealth for his family. If it is the wish of The Manila Times that this “true opposition” would do something miraculous that this Aquino government would not have been able to do. I can certainly give you answer that it would be the worst governance we the Filipinos would ever have if UNA would be elected to office notwithstanding the Presidency for Binay. Look at the Binays lording over the Makati government. They made Makati as their “Family “Corporation” in the guise of a national and local elections, from Jojo Binay to the wife, then to the son and the two sisters split the Senate and the Lower House, as Senator and as Congresswoman.

      The very reason that there have not been a “real opposition” because Aquino government is doing the right thing. You just don’t oppose for the sake of being branded as opposition. If there is real agenda or issues that a group or a person is opposing, then this is the right time to look for “real opposition”.

      The following issues that you mentioned in your column are issues for the past 30 years, and you just don’t blame the present administration for these issues. At least President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd is NOT CORRUPT as compared to your Binays.

    2. VP Binay’s personal accounts of corruption and scandals in the Aquino regime is indeed very credible and believable for the reason that he is an active and hardworking former cabinet member of the Aquino administration. The people must be aware that Jojo Binay is a credible witness against the crimes committed by the present LP regime.

    3. Manuel Jaime jr on

      When the Abnoy administration started its harassment and vendetta of all the political affiliates of the previous administration,opposition stalwarts and previous Arroyo allies froze.almost all of them silenced their mouths except only 2,Senators Santiago and Joker Arroyo.The tandem was reiforced by Marcos,a lone oppositionist from a party,Nacionalista,who has coalesced its members to the administration.The 3 of them stood their ground when everybody else,21 of them succumb to extortion,hush money that deprived former CJ Corona of the true justice he deserved.Arroyo and Santiago has since then mellowed,but the staunch opposition in the person of Marcos continued.He has since then became the only,singular voice who decried the ineptness,the abuses and the irregularities in government.Marcos has oftentimes been labeled as a corrupt son of a dictator and an excess of the martial law regime out to legitimize the wrongs done by his late father.In all of this unwanted and unbearable ridicule,Marcos stood his ground and have tried in all his capacity to fiscalized government agendas he thought would not benefit the public’s interest.He was the lone voice who held that BBL is unacceptable to replace the ARMM,that only needed refinements to benefit all of Mindanao.When Binay seems at a loss,of being a pro or an opposition to the administration for 5 years,Senator Marcos was there to fill the gap as a worthy adversary of the government.His actions were contradictory of his partymates that were friendly to the administration.But his opinions were all sanctioned by the party he pledge to be loyal to.There was an OPPOSITION,and its a fact.It never was lacking or missing,government and opportunist just dont want to acknowledge it.Is Bong Bong Marcos a worthy candidate for the Presidency for the opposition party? He is,and make no mistake,for he will give the other candidates a real run for their money,when he starts full blast his campaign for the Presidency…

    4. Larry Ebersole on

      Now the comparison comes;
      Marcos- manipulated and bribed the congress to the extent of eliminating/changing it with something easier to handle with a PURPOSE; to fast tract the development of the country by eliminating opposition.

      BS Aquino; manipulated/bribed the congress including the judiciary- to satisfy his whims and help his KKK to pocket government resources to the extent of shielding them when these KKK buddies are exposed;ie MRT fiasco; DAP;PDAF;PPP;CCT- the shoring of government money or contracts;to have a kitty became the norm.

      so how can there be opposition when every one has his own little kitty or if not very thick budget ready to be harvested. the only thing now to compare is which brought better good to the people and not only for a few.

    5. Lito Yap David on

      Ang ating politika ay parang pandesal na gawa sa parehong masa ng harina at niluto sa iisang pugon kaya’t walang pinagkaiba sa timpla, hulma at lasa. Nagiiba lamang ito depende kung ano ang ipinahid – butter, cheeze spread o mayo. Madalas ikaw na rin ang bahala kung isasawsaw mo sa kape para madaling nguyain o hindi. Si Binay, Noynoy, Mar, Ping, Bongbong, Chiz, Grace, Rody, Erap at iba pa ay nagmula sa iisang timpla at hulma. Dapat pa nga nating pagingatan ay marami sa kanila ay may amag na nakalalason pa.

    6. Vic Penetrante on

      There seems to be no disagreement that the President has successfully eliminated the Opposition. PNoy had expertly used the VP, the Ombudsman, and almost everybody, except the SC in the PDAF and DAP cases, to do his will.

    7. Mr. Binay Opposition? Most likely Opportunist! A complete Traditional Politician (Trapo), that is all that he is, sadly.

    8. I totally agree , UNA should make a stand now. Focus on the real issues of the nation and not be dragged down by this issue of overpricing of a makati building that is still standing , which is quite petty compared to the PDAF/DAP/44 MAMMASAPANO MASSACRE/MRT /BBL/ DRUG CRIMES/POVERTY/ EDUCATION/ UNBALANCED JUSTICE ETC…ETC……We should not allow BS Aquino and his party to get away with such hideous crime to our society .
      UNA must start to Build and lay out a vision and plan of how to Eradicate this problem and be a Leader to UNITE this nation.
      Manila Times , I am glad that you take on the real issues of this country and giving a voice to those unable to speak it.

    9. A true opposition is someone who criticized constructively with suggested solution. And it was only BBM who qualifies to be opposition.

    10. Now that Mr. VP Binay has parted ways with Pre. Pnoy, everything that he spouses against the govt is “politics”. Pure. Simple. Convenient. Hypocrite. Pretender. Cheat. Credit Graber. Liar. The time for him to talk about what is wrong with govt. and what he thinks should be done to correct it (them) is when he was an insider. When he could something directly, effectively, timely, substantially, and with imprimatur. Now, everything the VP says will take the form of promise. Vicious cycle, All politics…why can not Mr. VP just use all his time answering the various graft and corruption charges against him and his family?

      • Edward Larubis on

        When he was with the Administration as VP and head of HUDCC, he work with the institution trying to prove that even not a member of the party he can do his share. Despite of those efforts to WORK WITH the administration, he already speak out about the difficulty of working with the administration due to favoritism within the group one of which is the budget to keep it moving. After trying to be cooperative during those years, he was fed up….The reason why he has to resign from the cabinet simply to speak against it. TAMA na yung mga oras, araw, buwan at taon nyang pagsunod sa utos ng isang Presidente na nakita nyang walang patutunguhan. It is time for him to be independent and stand to oppose the wrongdoings and wrong road of the administration. He has done his part as team player.ENOUGH!

    11. Where is Mr. Gilbert Teodoro? I still believe he is the most qualified to lead and set the stage for better Philippines. I hope Gibo still have that desire to serve the country and take another attempt at the presidency come 2016.

    12. There is no opposition, because nobody stand for anything. Opposition become opposition when they think it’s their time to shine. Until then they are all happy together at the expense of the people.

    13. Mar Padilla, Jr. on

      Who will believe this Man? He work with the government in power for five years with a record he was awarded Millions of Pesos in his Department to do his job, but now in a split of a day he becomes and endorse himself as the leader of the opposition with the name of his party as UNA. People are asking where are your ACCOMPLISHMENT as Vice-President and member of the governing party of Pres. Panot Aquino -III, for the last FIVE YEARS. If you want our vote, please show us your accomplishment and answer the GRAFT AND CORRUPTION charges against you by the Senate. Our vote is very important and very dear to our heart, DO NOT TRY TO PAY AND BRIBE US. WE WILL GET YOUR MONEY AND RUN AND WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR YOU. WE WILL VOTE FOR HONEST CANDIDATE.