The Opposition must find its balls

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For the sake of the country, the opposition—which I presume is led by Vice President Jejomar Binay must find, ASAP, the courage to be a real opposition to President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd who has been wrecking our institutions, continuing his criminal negligence in effective governance, and allowing corruption in all levels of government to flourish.

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Just because Aquino runs a student-council government, as former Senator Joker Arroyo vividly described its amateurishness, doesn’t mean that the country deserves a student-council opposition, which is what we seem to have so far.

Binay has been savaged in Aquino’s ‘yellow ribbon’ committee. There is not a shadow of a doubt that the demolition job against him for his alleged corruption as Makati city mayor has been orchestrated and funded by the President and his inner circle, led by Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. Binay himself has practically begged his detractors to spare his children from the mudslinging. Aquino’s operators are out to undertake his impeachment, believing that they can execute a Renato Corona Part II.

Yet what does Binay do? He attends a Cabinet meeting called by Aquino, one of his rare ones. He even asks for a purportedly secret meeting with Aquino, who of course, immediately announces to the nation that he has granted Binay an audience, as the vice president has requested. Did he really expect Aquino to keep the meeting secret?

And oh, the agenda for the meeting? Binay asking (read: begging) him to ask the Senate blue ribbon committee investigation on him to be stopped. And Aquino says that, of course, he can’t do that, much as he wants to, since he respects the separation of powers of the two branches of government.

One could almost read the thought bubble atop Aquino’s head just after he said that: “You have to buy them, idiot, as I did in removing the Chief Justice.”

Senate President Franklin Drilon publicly made a fool out of Binay when he told the press (and I admire his managing to keep a poker face as he said it): “Tumawag po sa akin si President Aquino at ni-relay ang request ni Vice President Binay na itigil na ang investigations,” Drilon told reporters.

“Ang sagot ko, ‘Sir, you were part of the Senate before, alam niyo na nobody can dictate on the senators what to do, especially when the matter of when to start and to stop an investigation is addressed to the chair and members of a committee. Not even the Senate President can tell them to stop’,” Drilon said.

I suspect after that, Drilon rushed to the washroom to laugh his heart out, as he thought “You have to buy us, you idiots. Ano, libre?”

It’s too bad there was no reporter at Drilon’s press conference to ask: “So the billions in Disbursement Acceleration Program money Aquino gave the senators to take out the Chief Justice wasn’t necessary?”

Fence-sitters
Binay should be reminded that Filipinos hate fence-sitters, which is why a related adage in Pilipino — Namamangka sa dalawang ilog (Riding a boat in two rivers) – is so powerful as a censure against those who seem unable to choose which way to go.

If he’s concerned about the feelings of Aquino’s sisters, why doesn’t he just tell them: “Pasensyahan na lang tayo, but you spoiled your brat so much he is pulling this country down the drain.”

Do Binay and what Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda calls in private “Nognog’s Three Stooges” (the governor, the congressman and what’s-his-name-what-is-he?) make up the entire Opposition? If not, where the hell are they? Can’t we have other political leaders in UNA defend Binay?

What happened to those three macho senators – Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla? Can’t they launch an offensive against Aquino, given their hundreds of millions, maybe even billions of pesos, they earned wherever? Don’t they realize they could spend the rest of their lives in jail if Aquino’s proxy wins the presidency in 2016?

What happened to the swashbuckling colonel who defied  Cory and the Americans – Gregorio Honasan? Has age stolen his thunder? I was told Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. asked his staff ‘to tone down’ their press releases against this Administration, right after Drilon asked him: “You also used your PDAF, didn’t you?”

I suspect Binay and the opposition have their balls still tucked in their pockets, because of poll surveys that show Aquino is still popular, despite his boo-boos, the corruption in his government, and his failure to deliver basic services, such as mass transit.

Indeed, as quite expected, the Social Weather Stations again has come to Aquino’s rescue by claiming that its latest poll, done September 26 to 29 shows that Aquino’s net satisfaction rating has bounced to positive 35 percent from 29 in June.

As I have explained several times in the past, “opinion” surveys are grossly inaccurate as they capture the whims of respondents, not their convictions as are captured in voter-preference surveys. And as Binay would know from confidential surveys shown him, he is way, way ahead in such voter-preference surveys for the presidency.

Aquino is history, bad history; Binay need not fear him.

SWS flawed
I suspect SWS’ method for its recent survey is even scientifically flawed. The latest SWS poll reports that the President’s net satisfaction rating in Metro Manila jumped to positive 35 on September 26-29 from 29 on June 27 to 30, a remarkable increase of 20 percentage points in just two months, which explains why Aquino’s overall ratings improved. Would you believe that, given the fact that in those two months nothing significant occurred to explain why more Filipinos were satisfied with him?

Or is it because the SWS polled only 300 people out of a population of about 15 million, and statistical principles do not hold because of the heterogeneity of urban residential areas?

Maybe two years ago, Binay and the opposition had much reason to adopt a constructive criticism pose. This can no longer be, as this government has proven in the past two years to be so corrupt not only in the usual sense of the word but in the more import sense of corruptor of our institutions:

■ Three senators have been charged and arrested for alleged abuse of their pork barrel funds. Why don’t Binay and the opposition pressure the Commission on Audit to demand Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to release records involving the pork-barrel use of administration legislators?

■ The Supreme Court had ruled the Priority Development Assistance Fund as violating the Constitution. Why doesn’t the opposition file a case at the Supreme Court accusing Aquino of continuing with the pork-barrel scheme, merely renamed “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting?” Shouldn’t the Court be asked to issue a restraining order against the new scheme while it is deliberating on the issue?

■ The operation of the MRT-3 is such a mess and the corruption there is so obvious. Why doesn’t the opposition demand a more thorough investigation, and for its allies to file corruption charges against Aquino’s officials to augment that which was filed by the Ombudsman?

■ The Supreme Court has ruled Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional and even called for those responsible for it charged in courts. Why doesn’t the opposition file malversation charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad? The number of such charges would be in the thousands, or the number of budget releases Abad ordered but had not been appropriated by Congress. Doesn’t the opposition realize that much of the billions released as DAP funding actually form the Liberal Party’s war chest for the 2016 contest?

■ Why has there been no call by the opposition to investigate the billion-peso-per month jueteng operations, when it is an open secret that it has flourished under Aquino, with the Central Luzon gambling lord having allegedly struck a deal with him and his inner circle.

This list is far from being comprehensive. If it wants to really find out the dirt of this Administration and lead the nation out of this current pigsty, the opposition should set up what in other democratic countries is called the opposition’s “shadow government.” There is really nothing shadowy about the concept. It means assigning one opposition leader monitoring a particular department or agency, not just to investigate corruption there but to determine whether it is doing its tasks.

Binay should realize that there are two apparently contradictory sentiments in the Filipinos’ psyche. Yes, they’d side with the underdog. But they also don’t like wimps who’ve lost their balls. The opposition has to find these.

Binay must cut now from the Aquino government, and it doesn’t even have to be clean.

tiglao.manilatims@gmail.com
FB: Rigoberto Tiglao

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27 Comments

  1. How could the opposition show their balls when they themselves have rotten skeletons hidden in their closets. They know it very well that if they crossed swords with Pnoy, he will not hesitate to use the resources of the government to get back at them. They have learned their lessons from the Corona impeachment.

  2. Well said, Mr. Tiglao. We cannot count on Binay to take up the cudgels for the opposition. I never heard a word from him about the Corona impeachmant, the PDAF ang DAP scandals, the MRT mess, Pnoy’s bullying of the Supreme Court and all other substantial issues. Nothing.! His silence is deafening. Fence sitters, play it safers and opportunists do not deserve a second thought.

  3. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    Remember the “CLEAN HANDS DOCTRINE” that means if you go to court, go there with cleans. How can this binay be an effective opposition or be a president when
    he has a lot to hide? Property in Batangas? he has not given a satisfactory answer yet.
    The debate between him and Trillanes? He backed out. If he has nothing to hide, why did he backed out? Family dynasty? A daughter congresswoman, another daughter
    senator, a son mayor, he himself the vice-president? Kanila na ang Pilipinas. Filipino
    people, think about it.

  4. What kind of opposition will Binay and others be? Let us assume that they will take the reigns out of Aquino and company, what then? With their inexcistent good records, what will the people gain? Nothing!!

    It will be just like the lyrics in an old song by THE WHO, called WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN.

    There’s nothing in the streets
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Are now parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight..

    … except that the people always get fooled….

  5. Nasaksihan na natin ang palabas na moro-moro ng magkabilang panig. Isang tao lang may (pasingtabi po) “balls”, at ‘yan ay si Rod Duterte. Mahimok sanang tumakbo sa pagka-Presidente. Di man s’ya perpektong tao ay determinadong to walk his talk. Suportahan nating may pagtingin sa kabutihan ng bayan ang “Duterte for Movement”. Payong-kapatid, po na kalakip ay taimtim na dasal.

    • Sonny Dela Cruz on

      Gaya nga ng sinasabi ko. Basta hindi gamuhong sa corruptions, sa lesser evil ang pipiliin. Si Richard Gordon mahuay na manager kaya niyang paunlarin ang bayan at mapatino ang pamahalaan. Siya lang ang nkikita kong gagawa ng mabuti sa Bayan.

  6. Easy lang! Kahit papaano gumagamit pa rin ng utak ang nasa opposition!
    Alam- na alam nila na lahat ng nasa gobyerno ni abnoy ay hayak niya sa leeg!kahit kumukolo din ang mga dugo ng mga ito,di sila makakatangi kay abnoy dahil,corrupt din sila at kayang kaya sila hiyain at ipakulong ni abnoy!
    Alam ni Aquino at abad saan titirahin ang sinoman kumalaban sa kanila!
    Kaya sa himala na lang aasa ang mga opposition! Baka magbago ang ihip ng hangin!
    Marcos jr.. Ang pueding pagkakatiwalaan,kaya lang binigyan ng sample ang ina!
    Panapanahon lang yan, wait-wait lang,hindi lagi pasko,meron ding mahal na araw sa mga yellow cult!
    Kung paano kasama ang nangyari sa magulang ni Aquino malamang mas masahol pa ang aabutin ni abnoy na karma!
    Kung ano ang itinanim mo siguradong ito ang aanihin mo!

  7. Binay is not opposition, never will be (at least vs this government). He is far too beholden to the Aquino family that gave him the political break. He does not have clear political ideology to bank on, his UNA party is a hodge lodge of opportunists and turncoats.
    There is no real opposition in the Senate even. With Joker Arroyo’s retirement and Miriam Santiago’s ill health, there is no one left there with credibility. We cannot count on Grace Poe as she is too raw.
    Hate to say this but our political system is doomed. The only option we have is for the people to vote into office virtually unknown people and make known to these that they can be recalled any moment. Wishful thinking perhaps.

  8. JOJO BINAY is not and will never be opposed to BS AQUINO. He is an extended family of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan.

    To contemplate the thought of BINAY as an oppositionist and leading the opposition is a futile exercise in naiveté.

  9. jose btaganahan on

    The real opposition is not the corrupt and coward Vice President who is in fact a member of the Cabinet of President BS Aquino and wants his cake and eat it too. In the provinces the VP styles himself as the head of the opposition and is criticizing the present Aquino government but in metro manila and during Cabinet meetings he is a member of the Aquino Administration.

    The real opposition are the Marcoses, the Enriles and the Estradas. Unfortunately, these real oppositionists failed on their rule in this government or they simply lost their balls!

  10. Binay is NOT opposition. I will not be wondering if he eventually ends up as administration candidate.

    • @ Ricelander, this President wanted to be sure where Binay stands , and so if Binay decides to run and eventually wins , BSA and DAP allies will go scot-free. Ninoy Aquino’s family pledge their support for Bnay if he runs for President.

  11. mr tiglao, binay is biNOY. he thinks he has boy sisi’s support even if it is very obvious that boy sisi is well aware of the dark schemes of the dirty tricks dept of the LP of which boy sisi is the titular head. unless of course if boy sisi is just a figure head.
    mr tiglao, what is your take on the opinion of kit tatad about what boy sisi is really serious in declaring a revolutionary gov’t just to prolong his stay in power and to protect his hide from going to jail. it looks like he is really hopeless in finding a winnable person to protect his hide after june 30,2016.

  12. There is no clear opposition, Mr. Tiglao. Mischievous PNoy saw to it that he is holding the necks of those we call “opposition” other than UNA which is even suspected as playing with PNoy, especially Jojo Binay and several others who have been receiving bribes from PNoy. There is a semblance of oppositionists in the Lower House which is led by Congressman Martin Romualdez, we call independent opposition because the “opposition” group is led by Zamora who is a PNoy acolyte. Other than the group of Romualdez, there is no real opposition in this administration.

  13. The charges against Binay have rendered him on the defensive that even if he wanted to, he could not mount a credible offense. Somebody other than Binay should take up the cudgels for the opposition if they want the scoundrels in the Pnoy administration stopped.

  14. The essence of a democratic system is the presence of an active an vibrant opposition to provide a check against possible abuses by the majority. When the opposition begins to keep silent, that signals the death of democracy and the birth of tyranny. The Filipino people never signed off on that kind of arrangement. Binay is stupid if he continues with his peaceful co- existence policy with this administration. There is no way he can win the presidency when he is perceived as an opportunist and an Aquino loyalist. Sooner or later, a real opposition candidate will emerge and steal Binay’s chances of giving the people what they want, unless Binay rethinks his position right now, to stay ahead of the pack.

  15. Very well written Mr. Tiglao. What we have are fence sitters who likes the best of both worlds. The supposed opposition do not have the balls to challenge Malacanang. That is why we must have other options than the VP in 2016.

  16. Mr. Tiglao, this is not the right time to cut ties with Pinoy Abnoy. Remember those who hated Binay in Pinoys cabinet just waiting VP Binay to relinquish his post and once Binay no longer with the cabinet those around with Pinoy will pounce on him all the way down. Let Binay continue his job, anyway Pinoy said that the VP is doing his work very well. Maybe Pinoy just waiting if the popularity or the rating of Binay goes down, if not I think Pinoy will invited Binay and his UNA Party to have a coalition to form formidable line up comes elections time. At least Binay and Aquino family ay may pinagsamahan since Edsa ’86 revolutions bigayan lang nman yan eh. If somebody will win the 2016 pres. and not Aquino ally, like Trilla_Ines and CayeTALO, and Pimentel (3 Bugok) Aquino will be in trouble. Im sure they will do what they are doing now to VP. I think Aquino is weighing is options he is making sure that the next president is truly with him and Binay is the right choice. Who knows it mignt be BINAY-POE. Thats unbeatable!

  17. Mr. Tiglao, I am a fan of yours reading all your tirades against Pnoy’s administration and pro-opposition aricles. I find your articles to balance the pro admins. However, this article’s ‘The Opposition must find its balls’ is the best of them all. VP Binay’s camp never showed any balls at all, eversince the start of Senate’s inquiries about the overpriced Makati City Hall II, the Makati HS building, OSMAK, Binay’s Hacienda and now all of his Makati Condos. And for him to be the next President of the Philippines, OMG. I pray for the future of my Lupang Hinirang and to the future generations of Filipinos. God Bless….

  18. The comment suffered from certain omissions/typographical errors and should read as follows:

    I agree with you 100% but this does not appear likely to happen soon. The VP is too comfortable where he is to break away. Where he is at right now serves his personal agenda. For as a cabinet member he is able to go around the country effectively campaigning at government expense without the risk of being accused by the COMELEC of electioneering almost two years clear of 2016. To him the opposition is incidental, just a front and vehicle to catapult him to the presidency without the conviction of a real, genuine opposition leader. To an unscrupulous leader, that is just simply convenient. Besides, It is beginning to look to me that, going by his reaction, the man is simply bereft of a sense of personal honor allowing himself to be smeared, demolished and shamed and pilloried with abandon. Have you wondered even for a second, why he is taking all the blows thrown at him without as much as a whimper except for meek denials and incredibly lame excuses? I would have expected him to defy all odds to defend his honor. After all, they are slapping him both cheeks black and blue. Could it all be true? It is terribly disappointing and a disillusionment. Yes, find a new leader that inspires and commands.respect.

    • Agree 100 % , its all for a show, they have secret alliance ” come what may” knowing his buddy Mar will not be winnable.

  19. Yes Sir, I strongly agree with your observation, loud and clear that the opposition finds there balls! Wala tayong bayag, nakakahiyA tayo! Mga madlang pipol, HOY GISINg!!!!!

  20. Remulla!!! Dapat sa impiyerno ka tumira. Palagi mong ipinagtatangol ang mga kasamaan ng mga BINAYS. Sana ma-konsensiya ka na. Ang ipinagtatangol mo ay isang demonyo na sinungaling (panoorin mo ang debate ni Binay at Fernando). Magnanakaw talaga ang mga Binay. Remulla, bakit hindi ka magsalita tungkol sa pekeng hospitalization certificate galling sa UERM dala ni drogang Tiangco. Malinaw na malinaw ang katarantaduhan at kasinungalingan ni Binay at saka yong katulong na si Nancy cake Binay na walang alam sa senado. Alam ko na I-de-delete ang komentong ito ng Manila Times pagkatapos ng isang oras dahil bayaran sila ni Binay.