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Inquirer Opinions

Posted by akosistella on April 13, 2010


Editorial: Campaign violence

If news is “anything new under the sun,” then election-related violence in the Philippines would not count for news. In this country, violence comes with every election so that what would be news is if no violent incident marred the campaign season. In fact, with less than a month to go before this year’s elections, political violence has erupted in many places across the land—to nobody’s surprise. With some 170 private armies on the loose (by official count) and 558 cities and towns identified as by the police as “hot spots,” not to mention guns for hire and criminal syndicates that admittedly could be used to quickly remove obstacles to one’s ambition, it takes very little to spark violence.

After the most gruesome massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, last Nov. 23, we thought political warlords could not do anything more to make the 2010 elections the worst, if most violent, elections in Philippine history. And not just because the massacre was more than enough to confer that ignominious distinction. More importantly, because it forced the hand of government to make long overdue moves against private armies—or so we thought.

via INQUIRER.net.

Theres The Rub
By Conrado de Quiros

Poor Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, it must be a lonely place where he’s at right now. Though I don’t know why he couldn’t have foreseen something like this happening to him.

His was a lost cause from the start. It wasn’t just that he would have been a fool to expect his patron to be true to her word, though there’s that, too. What did he think, the person who could not be true to her vow that she would back out of 2004 would be true to her vow that she would never back out of him? You believe things like that, you should not be a politician, you should be a Pollyanna.

But it’s not just her, it’s him too. Gibo’s campaign pitch was not unlike that of Manny Villar, one that seemed to hold possibilities but was really self-defeating, or self-refuting, in the end. Villar’s pitch was that he was one of the poor, one with the poor, and one for the poor, a pitch that was refuted by a campaign whose very extravagance showed him to be one of the rich, one with the rich, and one only for himself. Teodoro’s own pitch was that he was the most intelligent among the lot, a pitch refuted by the fact that he was an Arroyo protégé. As people kept saying, “Matalino pala siya, ba’t s’ya na kay Gloria?” That perception is a career-breaker.

Click Conrado de Quiros

Making a distinction
At Large
By Rina Jimenez-David

With the so-called “psychiatric evaluation” by the Ateneo de Manila University of candidate Sen. Bengino “Noynoy” Aquino III having been exposed as an outright fraud, one hoped that the matter ended there.

But Aquino’s main rival Sen. Manny Villar insists on raking up the bogus “findings,” calling on all presidential aspirants to submit to psychological evaluations that would determine their “fitness for office.” At the same time, Villar’s Nacionalista Party seeks to distance itself from the report, or the sources who allegedly made it available to the media. This is strange, because if the NP believes the document is spurious and throws doubt on the mental honesty of those behind its release, which explains their hand-washing, then why is Villar still issuing a call based on its false and manufactured findings?

Click Rina Jimenez David

Bogus report brings psycho issue to fore
Political Tidbits
By Belinda Olivares-Cunanan

To some observers I’ve talked to, this document seemed tailored to be denied, but the question is, who floated it? An ABS-CBN source said it was obtained from two Nacionalista Party sources, but the NP, deemed by the Liberal Party the “usual suspect” of any black prop against Noynoy, denied it. But it’s hard to imagine that the NP would commit such a blunder, as the document really looks fake. And surely the NP knows that Caluag, a classmate of Noynoy in the Ateneo, sits in the ABS-CBN’s board and regularly co-hosts a dzMM radio show wearing his signature yellow attire. Surely he would lose no time denying authorship.

The theory that seems to be gaining currency among observers is that it could have been the Noynoy camp itself that floated that report so it could deny it, in anticipation of an authentic report on his psychiatric state about to come out. Former Sen. Ernesto Maceda, who was in exile in the US at the same time that the Aquino family was in the latter part of the Marcos era and is the current handler of Joseph Estrada, was the first to raise this issue in his Daily Tribune column. Coffee-shop habitués theorize that if an authentic document on Noynoy’s psychiatric health in the past were to surface now, it would be easier for his camp to deny it after that bogus report.

Click Belinda Olivares Cunanan


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