Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza
[07 January 2010]
Noynoy Aquino, presidential candidate of the Liberal Party, has been projecting an image of an anti-graft crusader for some couples of years now. To recall, he was cajoled by his Mama, the late president Corazon Aquino, to join the anti-GMA movement precisely on the issue of good governance.
After his Mama’s death, public sentiment blew the winds of electoral fortune for Noynoy to take on the Aquino’s unblemished mantle and run as president of the republic. Seeing this groundswell of public sympathy arising from his Mama’s departure, vested interests of every shade found a window of opportunity to reap future rewards as largesse of a would-be victorious campaign of Cory Aquino’s son.
Indeed, as shown by preliminary information that reached my ears late last year, Noynoy is surrounded by diverse vested interest groups that (a) couldn’t see each other eye-to-eye and (b) are in active search for a smokescreen for their largesse pursuits. Some of the leading elements were former Ramos- and Erap-era bureaucrats, while others served GMA during her early heydays. Some others represent ideological blocs that are known for their classic opportunism, obstructionism, factionalism, and ‘termite behavior’.
Anyone who is interested to do serious empirical studies on graft and rent-seeking is advised to start with the Noynoy camp. There are couples of circles surrounding Noynoy, all of which the bachelor has no control over.
• Friends and kins comprise a ring of influence-peddlers. This ‘circle’ alone comprises a diversity of “we-bulong” factions that somehow show a semblance of goodwill though on a superficial level. A Noynoy presidency would serve as bread-winning opportunity for the crocodiles within them, in case Noynoy wins.
• Experts comprise another ring of potential state carpetbaggers. While the first ring shows semblance of mutual goodwill, the experts’ ring hardly shows such goodwill at all. During the crafting of Noynoy’s platform, the factions couldn’t even see each other eye-to-eye to iron out the agenda. No wonder that the final platform turned out as a hodge-podge of mother statements that was haphazardly finished to meet the deadline of the Comelec for registration. All of these factions are crocodile nests.
• Civil society groups comprise yet another ring. The Black & White Movement, largely a social democratic-controlled coalition, seems to have the strongest “bulong power” which renders the other social democratic or ‘soc-dem’ factions ‘outside the kulambo’. The unconsolidated state of these diverse groups make it so tough for volunteers to join the Noynoy camp, as they are pressed to identify first of all which faction could be most friendly to them. The top crocodile here is led by a former GMA cabinet member whose coalition received funds from treasuries when her sibling was finance secretary.
• The Liberal Party comprises the final inner ring. Final, because this serves as Noynoy’s homebase group being a party-mate. Fr. Intengan’s ‘soc-dem’ cadres are well entrenched in the directorate and think-tank of the party (even as another Intengan ‘soc-dem’, Norbie Gonzales, is in the GMA camp). The same ‘soc-dems’ possess a lifeline in Europe—the Eurosocialists and Jesuits—who can use them for Europe’s own Bonapartist agenda. Meanwhile, other kibitzer liberals, who are simply eager to waft in the energy of the Noynoy upsurge to gain respective electoral mileage, are just that: kibitzers whose fragmentary opinions wouldn’t weigh as much as the Intengan Euro-bonding puppets and the stalwart oldies.
I was almost lured into the Noynoy trap right after the burial of the Tita Cory. But after receiving information about the inner rings and realizing the power of the Primal-Corruptitious among the crocodile leaders, I decided against this pro-Noynoy option.
Maybe Noynoy should present clear credentials of a true-and-honest saintliness that may make his words worth the salt of the earth. He is hardly any perfected human who merits my attention, which makes it all clear that the country needs a leader—a true leader who’s most experienced, prepared, and has made enormous sacrifices as prelude to his preparation for a feat with Destiny—other than Noynoy.