Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again
(Interesting references to Humpty Dumpty here.)
Rather than adopt a romanticized view of Philippine politics as a fight between good and evil or the pure and the corrupt, I try to look at it in terms of how accrues to one group or another. Why? Because that is all what politics is about, power.
It's all about who has it and who wants more of it. All claims of idealism and noble intentions are mere propaganda until one actually acquires and skillfully wields the power to make it happen.
It would be great, if like in the Lord of the Rings, one could blunder one's way into acquiring power. Such is the tale of Bilbo Baggins who found a ring of immense power but merely used it to enjoy a rather long life and accrue a certain amount of prestigue in his community. It is arguable that Frodo Baggins actually wielded the power of the One ring to do anybody any good, he didn't have the skill to use it and was actually frightened to wield its enormous power. If there was actually anybody worth praising in the whole Lord of the Rings saga, it would have been Golem -- he was the one who actually destroyed the ring, the rest of the characters were too busy with their own struggles.
Those who are quite successful at accruing and wielding enormous power are often the deliberate and persistent sort, those who are almost obsessed with making detailed plans or schemes and executing these schemes perfectly down to the last detail.
Noynoy Aquino doesn't strike me as that sort of person. In the very few times that I had run into him at the Batasang Pambansa and at the Philippine Senate, he struck me as someone who is laid back and easy going. He was actually one of the very few senators you can chat up while riding the elevator or walking through the hallway.
Proof of his human-ness, I guess, is the time when he burst out of his room on the fifth floor minutes before session was about to be called to order. He was in such an apparent rush that he forgot to check his fly and his shirt tail was peeping through his zipper. For some reason, this is one of the images that keeps replaying in my mind whenever his name comes up in a conversation.
As far as Noynoy Aquino's quest for power is concerned, a lot of people have described it as coming out of the blue and landing with a lurch. It blazed the trail, and actually stole Pole Position from top survey contender Manny Villar, probably because Aquino was riding on the huge sympathy people had for him after his mother's death. Such sympathy had gotten people elected in the past, as in the case of Pia Cayetano who launched her political career after her father died of a liver disease.
Despite all the effort to make it seem like a well orchestrated move (as if one can really orchestrate the vagaries of the human condition, i.e., disease, death, and sympathy being harnessed to further political careers), signs of the Noynoy Aquino campaign faltering have begun to show and the cracks are becoming more evident as the days pass.
I don't know how much planning had been made during the days immediately after Cory Aquino died, but I'd dread to think that the idea of launching Noynoy Aquino's bid for the Presidency was deliberately and extensively plotted while Cory Aquino was suffering on her death bed or even before that.
Anyway, in my mind, political plans of the magnitude of winning the Philippine Presidency aren't so easily hatched and implemented. Common interests have to be defined, agreements have to be made, alliances have to be validated, and sticky issues have to be sorted out. Doing this in the Philippine context is an ordeal that not even the most popular contender can breeze through with, you either sort it out before the campaign starts or wait for the problems to crop up during the campaign and after the campaign -- supposing the candidate wins.
Winning the Presidency, girls and boys, will always be about making deals. Our history tells us that our culture is a transactional culture, I am not saying that this is right -- I am saying that this is the way it is.
It would be great if you can actually make deals directly with each and every one of the 50 million Filipino voters -- then atleast, the candidate can claim to actually represent the the interests of a definite number of people. But in reality, Presidential candidates make deals with a very small cluster of individuals who may represent the interests of a number of other people.
Considering the deal making that must go on, the quest for power and the fight to keep power is what drives people to commit evil.
Just this morning, I found some information that points to the deal making that may be hurting Noynoy Aquino's campaign.
First is this article from the Daily Tribune:
There are reports that within the Liberal Party (LP) camp that this early, a power struggle is rearing its ugly head among the supporters of presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and vice presidential bet Manuel Roxas II.
That is the apparent reason that despite the lead, which, however, is being whittled away fast, of Noynoy in various surveys, the LP campaign seems heading nowhere.
A valid concern about the current LP infighting even before its candidates do win, presupposing that they do, what more conflicts are in the offing when Noynoy steps into Malacañang.
What is apparent in the developing rift between supporters of Noynoy supposedly led by former Sen. Franklin Drilon and the backers of Roxas led by former Education Secretary Florencio Abad is that both camps cannot wait to get their spoils from the victory they are perceiving to be already theirs.
That is apart from the other factions, such as the usual civil socialite-supporter s in one camp, with the Aquino-Cojuangco group working in the shadows.
It was Roxas who was initially groomed as party standard bearer — that was until former President Corazon Aquino, Noynoy’s mother, died.
The Roxas campaign which tried to run on the promise for an honest government as opposed to the corrupt administration of Gloria never found its wings as Roxas hogged the cellar of surveys on the presidency.
The LP then was faced with the problem of devising a more effective persona for Roxas to make him capture the imagination of the public which included squeezing dry his romantic affair with popular news anchor Korina Sanchez, now his wife.
The LP bet was ranged against the very liquid candidacy of Sen. Manuel Villar, the popular pull of former President Joseph Estrada and the then youth favorite Sen. Francis Escudero.
Roxas was getting the support mainly only from the civil socialites, who were, and still are, to blame for imposing the nine-year blight called Gloria Arroyo on the country, and a sprinkling of the Edsa I groups, including some Ayala Avenue businessmen and guess what? The former lawyers of Gloria Arroyo.
The death of Cory Aquino opened the way for an LP shortcut to Malacañang by taking advantage of public sympathy from her death. What happened next was almost too predictable, Noynoy would have to carry the flag for the LP and Roxas would slide down as Noynoy’s vice presidential running mate.
It did happen and in the process created two centers of power within the party. Noynoy was then built up by the civil socialites as the only logical choice in place of Gloria and quickly it seems the machinery that conspired to overthrow Estrada in 2001 was reactivated and Noynoy was immediately publicized to be on top of the surveys.
Floated initially, through the help of Yellow Army media, was a Social Weather Station survey showing Noynoy getting some 60 percent preference for the presidency. What the report on the survey tried to gloss over was the fact that the survey was undertaken in select regions in Luzon where the Aquinos have a sizable following.
Subsequent surveys showed that Noynoy still has the lead, thanks to the boost from the misleading SWS survey, but at far lower ratings.
The early lead of Noynoy, however, is being taken by the groups within the LP to be a sure indication of an Aquino administration in 2010.
Where Gloria will leave off with transactional politics by June next year, the LP seems to have taken over. Politicians perceived to be Gloria’s top butt lickers have jumped to the LP stable, thus creating another group within the party that will stop at nothing to maintain their hold on political power.
Thus, the LP is now divided into groups madly pulling at each other’s hair for being out of the circle of power for so long and those who are fighting to get an assurance that they will retain their hold on power.
That is happening even before the feuding Aquino forces step into Malacañang. Imagine when they do, hopefully not.
The public, if one goes by the suspect surveys, still appears to perceive Noynoy as a worthy alternative to Gloria, but the sentiment is far from him being a leader but an entitlement for being the son of two national figures who have been made larger than life by the same scheming Yellow civil socialites.
It seems that with a lot of help from his circle of power-hungry backers, Noynoy’s candidacy is heading for self-destruction.
And here's another from New Philippine Revolution:
Reason for the implosion---GREED. Yep, Noynoy's inner circle are acting like rapacious wolves salivating for this and that posts, confident that they belong to the right group and their bet is a sure winner. Their greed has definitely overtaken the Cause. It has muddled the real cause why Noynoy ran in the first place.
For example, I know for a fact how certain members of Noynoy's group barred friends of Mar Roxas, some of them, senatoriable material, from being included in the Liberal party official senatorial slate. Reason? They don't want Mar's old circle of friends there, fearing a power struggle.
I know how some of them, members of Drilon's team clashed with Abad's.
Now, these internal clashes and talks about the slowly dwindling funds are affecting Noynoy Aquino's campaign. These talks are spilling over the public sphere and causing demoralization to some.
And when these verified information reaches well-meaning people, true friends of Noynoy and they write about it, people like Montelibano and some fanatical Noynoy Yellow army members act like they're the sages of old and probably felt they are doing good by branding everybody paid hacks.
Let me just say that I now fear what will happen to the government if Noynoy wins. At this early in the game, his close-in advisers are fucking things up, showing their greed and engaging in petty internal squabbles and power struggles.
Let me put on record that I am no paid anti-Noynoy writer. Check my background. I am not even an anti-Noynoy. Most of my friends are in the Liberal Party and I agree with what they are fighting for. Yet, I cannot say , for certain, if I am truly pro-Noynoy. I am pro-Filipino People and the reason why I write is simply to scratch my writer's itch. And I care for Cory Aquino and Ninoy, parents of Noynoy, whom I revere and salute for what they did for the country. It does not follow, however, that I will blindly follow the son. What people ask of Noynoy is get your thing going by publishing your platform and let us discuss them before the people. Until now, however, no platform, no discussions.
I write to warn Noynoy to take a firm hold of the organization and exercise leadership, an enlightened one.Purge your organization of ravenous wolves and vultures. The "cretins" which Montelibano described in his article resides well within Noynoy's circles. Be a man.