On the political horizon: ‘Rainbow Coalition’ of anti-Aquino forces

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OSCAR SANEZ may be truly an apolitical man. But whether he was aware of it or not, his statements that declared that Mrs. Arroyo was the main architect and promoter of the BPO sector’s unprecedented growth, contrary to Mr. Aquino’s claim to ownership of that niche, were deeply political.

A few days after that declaration, and probably emboldened by Sanez’s statements, the former finance chief of Mrs. Arroyo, gave his own accounting of the Arroyo administration. Gary Teves, the former banker and congressman, said that the one other claim of the Aquino administration, that the ten years of the Arroyo administration were the equivalent of a “Lost Decade” was patently false.

(Background info. When contemporary economists refer to a “Lost Decade” they mostly mean the decade of secular stagnation that plagued the underperforming Japanese economy for years. It is not about a decade lost to official corruption.)

In fact, Teves said, it was the Arroyo administration that “ initiated several positive reforms that are benefiting the Philippine economy until today.” The credit upgrade from Fitch in March 2013 acknowledged that the upgrade’s foundations were laid by the reforms undertaken by the Arroyo government.


Teves’s declaration will have no bearing on the plunder cases filed against Mrs. Arroyo. But on the political front, it will have the effect of “firing up the base” or injecting life into the political groups, dormant for now, that are still bound by their support for the embattled former president. There is a substantial section of Philippine politics, all waiting to be fired up and motivated, still supportive of the former president. That the Lakas-NUCD-CMD did not die like the KBL is proof of that.

At some point, not now but later, Mr. Binay, the putative frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, will have to make an important political decision. This is on what to do with the Arroyo supporters, still a potent political force despite being in a virtual orphanage over the past four years. Politics, the pragmatic Mr. Binay knows, is about addition, not about ideas or lofty principles. Nelson Rockefeller (now the topic of an adoring bio just off the press), and Adlai Stevenson, got nowhere with their high idealism. Their failed presidential dreams are lessons Mr. Binay is probably aware of.

(Poor Adlai. As his dreams to lead the US and the so-called Free World came to an end, dashed by the swaggering upstart Jack Kennedy, only Eleanor Roosevelt came to mourn his tragedy.)

Everything in the political front is moving into this specific direction: disparate political forces with varying reasons for opposing the Aquino administration – but with their common desire to end the government of the Liberal Party converging — will have to coalesce under Mr. Binay and his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

The logical leader will be Mr. Binay despite his professed loyalty to the Aquino family and his personal friendship with the President.

The UNA, a loose coalition which has turned into a mainstream political party, will be immensely beefed up by a possible coalition with the Lakas-NUCD-CMD. The combined strength of the two will be further shored up by political groups and personalities cast adrift by the Aquino administration and alienated by the LP.

The convergence of the common desire to end the LP-led coalition will inevitably lead to the formation of Joe de Venecia’s fervent dream – the formation of a potent and winnable Rainbow Coalition.

Right now, a significant slice of the NPC, has cast its lot with the Binay group. Tito Sotto, who leads the polls on the senatorial preferences of voters, is the leader of this bloc. Sotto is not only a vote-getter. He is the patriarch of a showbiz clan with massive grassroots following. There are two or three incumbent senators who will join Sotto as he migrates his NPC bloc into the Binay camp

The political groups loyal to the three detained senators have no other choice but join the anti-Aquino coalition. The time-tested principle that undergirds this preference is this: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Bong Revilla has his presidential dreams lying in tatters. Where can he go? Erap Estrada, the leader of the Estrada clan, wants to give the presidency another try. But Erap is a firm believer in the surveys and his low standing in the polls will force him to just join the Binay camp.

Even if Mr. Binay does not get Jinggoy as his running mate in 2016, the Estradas do not have too many options left. They have to stick it out with Mr. Binay.

So many in the LP are right now chafing under the lack of democratic consultations within the party. Especially the recent recruits, those who joined the party after Mr. Aquino’s victory in 2010. They are ready to jump ship and are just waiting for the proper time to do so.

The LP is not really the thriving ground for political give-and-take. But the fact that it has no formidable presidential contender in 2016 is the most compelling incentive for party deserters to take their leave and just go. No one likes to cast his or her lot with a loser.

They will go straight into the waiting arms of the Rainbow Coalition. Then help start the process of ending the LP-led government.

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16 Comments

  1. How can we recover the lost 6 years under the miserable leadership of BS Aquino? Jail him for six decades…

  2. Vicente Penetrante on

    The LP has and will have more money, with insertions of lump sums into the 2015 budget according to Prof. Leonor Briones, for the 2016 election with or without the Rainbow Coalition.
    The Cebu declaration by citizens and religious leaders include the non-restoration of safety features and accuracy mechanisms by the Comelec as something to worry about.

  3. The end is coming for the LPs and
    Yellow sychopants. Goodbye to DAP, PDAF, Senate Grandstanding
    and Demolition in the guise of Legislation. Looking forward for the
    approval of long delayed Freedom of Information Bill.

  4. I understand the “pragmatism” needed to uproot an illegitimate regime. However, the choices that are given to the masses are not much. They are more of the same stupid trapos we need to get rid of now and forever.

  5. My question is: who are the big names that controls NPC? NP? LP? UNA and now the Rainbow Coalition? ANSWER PLEASE! just asking….

  6. Sonny Dela Cruz on

    Thinking of who is the best person to be the next president comes 2016. The only one Richard Gordon not Binay. Richard Gordon will make the Philippines move forward in country’s development and economic stability, but first the system of government should be change to Federal System and not the same Unicameral System. Federal System is more Filipino oriented system because through history, Filipinos were in tribal system similar to Federal system. I believe Richard Gordon will be t best for President. What’s your take.

  7. There is possibility that NUP will field Bongbong Marcos for the Presidency in case that the Nationalista Party will not declare him next year. Bongbong have the solid north as his bailiwick including region 2 and 8. If it will be Marcos and Villar tandem this will be Mar Roxas biggest problem. I believe the Liberal party will impeached Binay in the first quarter of 2015, they have the numbers and government funds to do it.

  8. The LP is a party so wounded it cannot survive the next election results. If one or two LP congressmen or senators survive, they will join another party. The results of the past four years in power have been a disaster. The last two years of Aquino will prove no better. The SC has a few decisions against Aquino coming down. EDCA, final decision against DAP, the BBL if enacted. These all show big abuses of power of the President.

  9. Voice from the Wilderness on

    With a slipping popularity and trust rating due to incessant attack from the attack dogs of the present inconsequential Regime led by an inept president in malacanang, what VP Binay needs to do is institute a counterattack to expose the ineptness of this Regime. Then after stabilizing the situation as the frontrunner presidential timber, what he must do is, this early, he must present a road map of reforms to the general public on where he will steer the country once elected to the presidency. One dramatic example of reform that he can publicly announce is that, he will no longer field his siblings and wife to be a candidate to any political position even if the there is no anti-dynasty bill passed. He can also announce the holding of a constitutional convention on the first year of his presidency to reform the toxic political system that is presently pervading the country and lastly that, he will appoint the best people in the cabinet based on their ability not because of their affiliation as a Kamag-anak, Kaklase and Kabarilan. If he can do this, then his presidential ambition will be assured.

  10. may your opinion come true for all our sake and get rid of this do nothing kkk groupies. tho i am not 100% for coalition. me thinks that this breeds agreements that can do harm to the people like welcoming to the coalition persons with questionable integrity just to get the votes that he or she can bring to the group.

  11. To be honest, I’ve read your previous articles in this paper and there were times when I have to reread them because I like their content. Today, however, I’d like to be apolitical in my approach. It gives me ‘goosebumps” just thinking of who might be the candidates for different positions come 2016. The Philippines needs “political” and cultural transformation. The country needs sincere and honest leaders. Leaders who care for the country- “Quo vadis, Philippines?”

  12. mikhail hieronymus on

    You could be correct Mr. Marlen V. Ronquillo. In the Philippines butterflies always seek the best flower in the political garden. As Amang Eulogio Rodriquez, Sr. said many, many years ago. “Politics is addition.”

  13. Herman P. Hondojare on

    You are very right Mr. Ronquillo of your analysis the unstoppable Rainbow Coalition of political groups to end the the LP Led Government.

    B.S Aquino and his people are government of criminals an evil genius twisting and manipulating the Philippines Constitution, corrupting, bribing and controlling the three (3) branches of government, the PNP and AFP.

    The Almighty God will guide the Filipinos to vote and elect VP Binay for President of the Philippines.

    May i request in your column to list names of a nationalistic person for VP, Senators and Congressman that will stop the corruption and elevate the lives of every Filipino for a just living and decent life.

    Our country has a huge and abundant natural resources, talented Filipinos to manage the country economy and governance.

    God Bless The Philippines

    • How can you be so blind about the Binay,s allegations of corruption..you mentioned a need for a VP candidate who is not corrupt…..and you forgot the presidential candidate that you prefer Binay as an honest and not corruptible candidate…why are you so blind and deaf …Look around what was on the news…all Binays family corruption …is he the best the philippines have??????

      If he is ……God Help the philippines for there is no end for your misery and poverty….its all issues of who is the better president but theres no issue of what they can do for this country to improved peoples lifes..Aquino won the presidency unexpectedly because he has a mission promised to change and fight corruption …The people voted for him on that promised and he did fight corruption . And in the progress of doing so….results are favorable ..the world admire his courage and they respond with investment and hope fo change….what are the next candidate promised to do if they get elected was the driving for on this coming election…nobody is saying anything of what they are going to do…only manueyvering to win the next election with no direction of change…filipinos are awake now,,, no longer they will sell they,re vote ,,they will vote who has a sound promised of change..but they will accept the bribe thats for sure and that i expect them to do , they are smaryed now…only my opinion…