Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Written in 2007….

Politics is addition. The longer you stay in public office, the more number of enemies you will attract. There are no permanent friends and enemies; only the desire for power and absolute power. A politician thinks this way: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. During elections, every candidate is a potential enemy of another candidate. Membership in the same political party and coalition does not guarantee the mending of fences of bitter rivals. Such is the sad feature of Philippine politics. Such is the spectacle we are witnessing today.

Team Unity ridicules the name of Genuine Opposition as “Grand Alliance of Genuine Opposition” or G.A.G.O. The other side strikes back. Team Unity was named as “Team Unity of Team Arroyo” or T.U.T.A.

Team Unity is criticized for fielding showbiz candidates and turncoats (balimbing) in its senatorial lineup. GO is accused of promoting political dynasty by including senatoriables who have relatives in the Senate. Ralph Recto and Joker Arroyo castigated the Opposition for encouraging unconstitutional means of changing the national leadership.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lambasted the Opposition for harboring a ‘politics of hate’ and destroying the sustained economic gains of the country. The Opposition downplays the supposed economic growth and highlights corruption in government and lack of public trust.

The Opposition will use the ‘Hello Garci’ recording in its campaign jingle. Chavit Singson will use a video clip of the impeachment proceedings of former President Joseph Estrada featuring fellow coalition member and ‘dancing queen’ Tessie Aquino-Oreta.

The Opposition is complaining of harassment: The citizenship of Alan Cayetano is being questioned. Media maliciously reports the spin that Cayetano and Chiz Escudero did not pass any meaningful piece of legislation. The National Security Adviser names five Opposition-leaning partylist groups as ‘communist fronts’.

The Administration believes its enemies are engaged in black propaganda: Ralph Recto is hailed as Mr. VAT for sponsoring a law which increased tax rates. Miguel Zubiri clarifies he is still running for Senator contrary to radio news reports in Mindanao that he has backed out of the race.

Joker called Antonio Trillanes IV as ‘poster boy of rebellion’. The young soldier answered back by challenging the 80-year old former human rights lawyer in a public debate. Kiko Pangilinan, former student activist, is rebuked for his posture of independence. His colleagues described his status of being neither here nor there as gesture of arrogance and wishy-washy principle in life.

Edgardo Angara could not hide his disdain against his former friends in the Opposition for dropping him in the senatorial lineup. A few weeks ago, Prospero Pichay did not mince words in explaining his opposition to the inclusion of Tito Sotto and Oreta in the Administration ticket.

Ricky Recto insults his sister-in-law on national television. Young Governor Villafuerte of Camarines Sur is at odds with his father Congressman Villafuerte. The Pinedas are being linked to jueteng. The Lapids are accused of profiteering from quarrying.

Mudslinging in local politics is more interesting and grotesque. Mistresses are surfacing in public, rape and murder cases are filed in the courts against certain candidates, hate text and email messages abound, secret bank accounts and fabulous undeclared assets are exposed.

There is another reason why only adults are allowed to vote. We need to protect children from the immature, uncivilized and foolish behavior of election candidates and political parties. Debates on public governance are welcome but we only hear unnecessary noise. We need more discussions on pressing issues affecting the lives of millions of our people.

2 Responses to “Season of mudslinging”

  1. Dear Mong,

    Many people will indeed benefit from your past writings and speeches, which you could improve and post in your powerful blogpost, and disseminate in other fora as well. Make sure to document and share your public views. Hopefully you have a select group which could help provide feedback, check your facts and arguments, and offer you analytical helpful comments. I will be willing to be a member of the Mong feedback team, if you are thinking or already have any.

    NOY Amante in Korea

    NONOY Amante

  2. Mong,

    Indeed, you could offer a more principled, consistent set of principles, from the fresh blood. I am indeed tired of the trapo mudslinging and the recycling of old formulae with no innovation or creative directions.

    Please coming into the national scene should highlight the need to overcome the usual mud and dirt throwing among the trapos.

    NOY Amante

    NONOY Amante

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