Monday, September 1, 2008

What a big mess

See what this enterprise of incompetence our peace negotiators under the baton of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has wrought upon our nation? Now the lumads, our indigenous tribes in Mindanao, from Atas to Bagobos to Manobos to Higaonons to Subanens, also want the same kind of terms given the Moros. If the lumads have the kind of armed strength that the MILF has, they could well threaten this "strong" republic of Doña Gloria and Senor Esperon as well. That means all of Mindanao will be lost to the "strong" republic. What a big mess.

And soon, every ethno-linguistic group in this country will want their own "body part" removed from the "strong republic." Well, maybe all she wants is to head the Republic of Pampanga. I'm sure the king and queen of jueteng "bolitas" and the king and prince of "balas", or bato't buhangin from Pinatubo, will willingly oblige.

One thing that bugs me about this separatist binge though is, who's going to pay the national debt? The national debt, both foreign and domestic that has ballooned during the term of Doña Gloria? How do we divide the debt pile? Maybe we can inventory the kilometers of roads and bridges financed by public borrowing, and charge each federal state accordingly. Maybe. But what about the kurakot - the commissions, the "tongpats", the kickback, which in this particular reign has exceeded all public endurance, bigger than the real cost of projects? Can we charge all that to the Republic of Pampanga?

If we did that, why the Kapampangans will kick out their presidenta ning kabalen, faster than the Pinedas are trying to get barangay signatures to recall Among Ed.

Meanwhile, Vince Lazatin of Pera at Pulitika, a non-governmental organization that undertook the tedious job of monitoring actual broadcast minutes in the 2007 electoral campaign, has come out with a potentially lethal report. Lazatin, whose family name is highly regarded by Kapampangans, lists the big spenders whose accumulated air time for political advertising on television and radio, exceeded the legal limit of 120 minutes for TV and 180 minutes for radio.

Among the big spenders in 2007 are losers Prospero Pichay, the former OWWA administrator-pretender since reduced to LWUA appointee by his beloved Boss Woman Gloria, Miguelito el Defensor, as well as winners Joker Arroyo, Edgardo Angara, Manuel Villar and Loren Legarda. They or their campaign handlers bought more time than was allowable under the Fair Election Law.

Now Ferdinand Rafanan, who heads the Comelec's legal department, reminds us that apart from fines and jail sentences, the violators could be dealt with a lethal blow, which is perpetual disqualification from holding public office. So what is he waiting for?

Dura lex sed lex, right? All the Comelec has to do is ask Pera at Pulitika, through Vince Lazatin, who has been a consistent anti-corruption crusader, to show their records. They could likewise ask Nielsen to produce their monitoring sheets. It should be fairly easy to do real accounting of actual air time versus what the candidates submitted to the Comelec under oath. It should be such a relief to the country if for once, the Comelec showed real resolve to get our election laws followed, no matter who gets hurt.

In any case, voters come 2010 and even beyond, should remember who the transgressors of election spending limits are. Kung sa ganyan, nagpapalusot, what more when it comes to public funds? Di palulusutan din tayo.

Meanwhile, the once humongous Lakas, the party that catapulted Doña Gloria to power, and which of late has been treated like a leprous third-class citizen in the administration coalition of kakampis and sipsips, has been trying to bellow political noise. Except hardly anyone has noticed.

Lakas factotum Rey Roquero bragged about their multi-faceted presidential bevy, such as Gilbert Teodoro, who's NPC, and even Ephraim Genuino, whose party is a gambling empire. Maybe Roquero is saying that if jueteng lords can lord it over the Pampanga Republic, why not a big-time casino lord to lord it over the Philippine Republic? May konting logic nga naman.

As if for consuelo de bobo, Roquero mentions Bayani Fernando of Marikina and the pink tarpaulins, as well as Sonny Belmonte of Quezon City and the Philippine Star. And then Vice-President Noli de Castro, who simply refuses to bite the Lakas "apple".

And now, Ed Malay, FVR's spokesman, lists down senatorial hopefuls for 2010, again trying to get the nation to take notice of their once humongous, now limping, Lakas. And who are in his list?

There's the VAT champion, now NEDA director general Ralph Recto. Last time I knew, he listed down his party as Nacionalista. Also Juan Ponce Enrile, an incumbent senator, who won with the colors of Erap's PMP wrapped around him in 2004. And Miriam Defensor Santiago, who has her own party of one, PRP, which in 2004 coalesced with the K-4 of Dona Gloria's cheating enterprise. Jun Magsaysay, the twice-elected senator who as far as I know now sports the Liberal Party tag. Even Lito Atienza, three-term mayor of the City of Manila, who has always been a Liberal, even if Mar Roxas considers him outside the kulambo. And Edu Manzano, the nemesis of DVD-DVD, whose party is more Kapamilya than Lakas.

So sino ang totoong Lakas? Well, Malay mentions Jose de Venecia, the speaker who has yet to speak the unspeakable. And Bong Revilla, the incumbent senator.

But why isn't Lakas mentioning any cabinet member other than Ralph Recto, who is not even certifiably Lakas? Is this like saying they will divorce themselves, finally, from being kakampi of Dona Gloria?

But wait? What about Prospero Pichay? Has Lakas forgotten their loyalist from Surigao and all the vegetable patches of the land? Ni-luwa na nga ni Gloria sa OWWA, pinalulunok and LWUA, niluwa ang LWUA, ngayon, niluluwa pa ng Lakas? Ang sama nyo naman.

Meanwhile, the top sachem of Kampi, Doña Gloria's party, who is concurrently DILG secretary, has been quietly moving around, while his boys move stealthily towards "RP 2010".

RP 2010? That's Ronnie Puno for 2010.

Unbelievable? Well, stranger things have happened in these benighted isles.