As I See It

Ban the Bum and political dynasties

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Like some hideous creatures from outer space, political dynasties are multiplying in the Philippines in spite of a constitutional provision banning them. Even neophyte politicians like Manny Pacquiao, from whom one would expect better behavior, has started his own dynasty. At the same time that he is running for reelection as representative of Saranggani, he is fielding his wife, Jinkee, as a candidate for vice governor of the province, and his brother as a mayoral candidate. Next, he may field his mother, Mommy Dionisia, as a dancing candidate for governor.

Manny is surely banking on his popularity and his billions of pesos (for which the Bureau of Internal Revenue is chasing him for additional taxes) to catapult his family to elective positions. So early in his career, Manny has already become a disgusting trapo. Yet people elected him, thinking that he would be different, being a boxer and not a professional politician. People are dismayed that this early, Manny has already turned from a white knight into a dragon.

Popularity has really gone to Manny’s head. Today Saranggani, tomorrow the Philippines, the next day the world!

Perhaps Manny intends to transform himself into a professional politician because he became laos (a has-been) as a boxer after he was knocked out cold (he was really in dreamland) by Juan Manuel Marquez in their last bout.

But Manny is not even minimally successful as a congressman. What has he done in his first term? Nothing, zero, nada. He was absent most of the time while training for his bouts but continued to collect his salaries and allowances. He didn’t need these, being already a multimillionaire from his boxing purses, but collected them anyway. Isn’t that greed and opportunism?

There are many other politicians spreading their tentacles to form their own political dynasties and stay in power indefinitely. They are like the roots of bad weeds that spread and grow and kill all the other plants in their territories. We must eradicate these weeds, pulling them out of the soil with their roots. Otherwise, the roots will grow again and spread their malignancy.

The worst of these political dynasties is the Jalosjos clan led by convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos. The clan is spreading from its home territory to the whole Zamboanga peninsula. I think it is the dynasty that has the biggest number of family members running for various offices in the May elections.

Zamboanga folk should not be deceived by the clan. They should vote for any candidate opposing the clan. Do the Zamboangueños want to be ruled by a rapist?

The national electorate should choose senatorial candidates who have promised to file bills to implement the constitutional ban against political dynasties. That is why I am endorsing Teddy Casiño, Risa Hontiveros, and Mitos Magsaysay. They have all promised to push legislation in Congress banning political dynasties. There are others out there, I know. They should come out so the people will vote for them.

And God bless the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for joining the campaign against political dynasties.

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Meanwhile, senatorial candidates who are members of political dynasties in the Team PNoy and UNA tickets are clinging to the apron strings of their better-known relatives. In their TV commercials, tarpaulins, posters and handbills, they emphasize that they are relatives of this or that famous personality. As if mere relationship qualifies them to become senators.

The worst of these is Bam (Bum?) Aquino. His TV commercial shows his mug beside those of Ninoy Aquino (whose appearance he tries to imitate, like he is an imitation Willie Nep), Cory Aquino, and P-Noy and calls them “Tito” and “Tita” to emphasize that he is a family (dynasty) member. Then two fists come together and the word Bam explodes on the screen.

No word at all on his qualifications to be a senator. There is none. From out of nowhere, Bam wants to be a senator right away. It’s as if he is saying: I am an Aquino, I look like Ninoy, I have the same name, I am related to two Presidents, Cory and Noynoy. I don’t need any other qualification. But does he have the brains of Ninoy? I think not. Otherwise, he would have conducted his campaign differently.

Why did he not mention his grandfather, the Aquino patriarch, the first Benigno Aquino from whom he got his name?

Why is Bam ashamed to mention his lolo? Read the history books on the Japanese Occupation and find out why.

The advertising agency who made Bam’s commercial was playing cute, unable to say anything good on his qualifications. His only government experience was as a collaborator in the hated administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom P-Noy is now trying very hard to put behind bars. Bam’s father Paul, was GMA’s campaign manager. During the “Hello Garci” scandal, many officials of the Cabinet, Commission on Elections, and other agencies resigned. Not Bam. He decided to stay on as a GMA appointee in the National Youth Commission. That is his only experience in government. But he wants to become a senator immediately because he is a member of the Aquino dynasty.

Ninoy himself started as a councilor of his hometown of Concepcion, Tarlac. Then he became mayor, then congressman, then senator. That’s not the way Bam wants it. He wants to be a senator right away because he looks like Ninoy and he is an Aquino. Next: the TV commercials of Grace Poe, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and JV Ejercito Estrada.

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