Kris-Crossing Mindanao

Kris is back

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Now that Kris Aquino is home, will she be true to her word that she will resign from all her ABS-CBN shows? The promise is being awaited by legions, never mind Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys.

What does Kris say about the news reports—more of a leak, really—that she is being groomed for vice president in 2016? Edwin Lacierda was quick to condemn Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz as a “rumormonger.” Cruz was said to be the one who brought the “plot” out in the open. Lacierda’s retort was rather apathetic, evasive even.

Public office is a public trust and that, to be sure, includes the one held by his boss. In the face of the heightening public debate on political dynasties, Lacierda’s response turned up as a hear-no-evil-see-no-evil dodge. A hardly believable response from one walking the corridors of power and belonging to an administration that touts itself as one that is committed to stick to the “Daang Matuwid.” Lacierda ought to come up with better responses.

By some indications, it appears that the Cory magic has gone into the heads of some members of the Aquino clan. Bam Aquino leaves a bad taste in the mouth by reminding us in his political ads, amid the political dynasty discourse, that Cory and Ninoy were his  tita  and  tito  (as if we didn’t know already). So who was his paternal

lolo  then, because Philippine history on the Japanese occupation is not too kind on him?

But the Ninoy-Cory equation must appear to be too tempting for the Aquinos to ignore. Manuel Roxas II will surely run for president in 2016, if our reading of his ambitions is correct. But he will not win. “Too aristocratic and proud, and the public perception has noticed that,” a close cousin of mother Judy Araneta Roxas told us. At this point, even if it is unexplainable to many, Jejomar Binay seems to have the numbers.

A Mar-Kris teamup fits snugly into the picture. Here is where Lacierda’s role as Palace spokesperson needs to be balanced with prudence, not just for plain defense of the First Family by calling anyone criticizing or questioning their public and publicized acts as rumormongers. Kris herself has exposed her weaknesses to the public which perceives her to love public adulation in whatever form she can earn it, including using what many see as crocodile tears.

Kris as news fodder is not about show biz. It is about the integrity of the man who occupies Malacañang and happens to be her brother. It is about sincerity of intentions—not about promoting the Aquino family’s interests or about expanding its influence, even if one of its members is a popular president. In fact, the family should banish the idea, simply because it puts President Aquino’s avowedly “matuwid” intentions suspect; because that’s the way all crooked presidents and politicians treaded in the past, because that’s the way they still tread today. President Aquino must veer from that path precisely because he claims to be matuwid.

It certainly is not just about asking Kris to stop fooling the public, although that certainly is part of the solution. The point is: 2016 should see the end of the Aquino dynasty. This is the ultimate test of the integrity of the Aquino family. Ninoy and Cory are now immortalized. Aquino can always lay claim to a historical legacy as the president of “Daang Matuwid,” and a popular one at that. That is not to mention the cousins and uncles and aunts voted into government office because of the Aquino magic. But a Vice President Kris will not be public service, it will be public abuse.

She can enroll in law, if only to understand how politics has degenerated in this country as a monopoly of the elite, who would want the rest of us to believe that they are families that God has ordained to reign over us.

Ballsy, Pinky and Viel, supporting actresses of Kris’ tearjerkers, must be honest with the Filipino people. They are not just sisters. They are sisters in power. They too are expected to walk the daang  matuwid, even to guide us there. Are they part of the scheme to elect a Vice President Kristeta in 2016? The sooner they free themselves of such a shameful ambition, the better for the remaining three years of their brother’s presidency.

Archbishop Cruz was too kind to say that Kris has every right to run for vice president in 2016. But I disagree. She does not have that right, ethics-wise. Her family has already made full use of that right, twice and more. They have had their turn. Let others enjoy that privilege. When a family’s time is up, it is up. Philippine politics must be that.

Advocacy against dynasticism has lately come back with some sneer and growl. To sustain that campaign, I suggest that it use the face of Kris Aquino. It should scare the living daylights out of the voters in 2016. Let her be the face of dynasticism.

This is all about bringing integrity—not show biz—into a public trust.

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