The real nuisance candidates
Former Duterte spokesperson Harry Roque’s running as nominee of a new environmental party list exposes not only the height of his individual political opportunism, but also the rottenness of the political system our country has.
Amid the march of the clowns and the crooks that characterized last week’s filing of candidacies, nothing attracted as much level of fanfare as Roque’s.
For his senatorial ambition, he abandoned his record as a human rights lawyer and became an avid defender of the worst human rights violator.
He made an about-face on issues where he originally had a diametrically opposed view with President Duterte, such as on China’s occupation of our territories in the West Philippine Sea, which not only trampled upon our sovereignty but also led to the devastation of marine ecosystems in our territories there.
He took the cudgels for his boss’ dirty work and dirty words, yet the latter unceremoniously dumped him, like trash thrown into Manila Bay.
With Roque’s reputation in tatters, we can only wonder how he would carry out his purportedly clean and green agenda.
Although the party-list system has been an avenue for progressive organizations to make the voice of the marginalized heard, it has been bastardized and rendered servile to the interests of antipoor and antienvironment oligarchs.
Roque joins fellow wannabe Mocha Uson and other unscrupulous and opportunistic politicians, such as ACTS OFW Rep. John Bertiz and convicted kidnapper and former Bantay representative Jovito Palparan, who have used the party-list system to advance their own interests.
The electoral politics we have keeps away those who are capable of legislating propoor and proenvironment policies, yet do not have the money and machinery to do so.
The Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that allows even nonmarginalized groups to run under the party-list system has resulted in the party-list elections being swamped by charlatans and fakes pretending to be representatives of the marginalized, like former Ang Galing Pinoy representative Mikey Arroyo, son of former president Gloria Arroyo.
Like flies around a festering rotten mass that is our party-list system, these pretenders are the real nuisance candidates.
NATIONAL SECRETARIAT, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, [email protected]
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