"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

WE OUGHT NOT TO FORGET!

The clear and present danger sign is blinking all over again and this time; it seems accompanied by the anguished wailing of a woman in pain.

No, I am not talking about a fire in the neighborhood but something worse than that. If my fear is right, what ever Abalos, Lintang Bedol and all that is wrong about the last election in Maguindanao had failed to do, selfish interests (as differentiated from self-interest) might have infected some of our elected ILUSTRADO leaders and won the day for the current administration. I meant to refer to the sudden emergence of Manny Villar, Chiz Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Pangilinan as members of the MAJORITY PARTY at the New Senate. Villar appeared to coalesce with administration senators and convinced these three young senators to join him.

If I remember it right, these people rode on the crest of the people's rejection of and repugnance to the national policies of the sitting President. The people opted to express their strong disapproval to the current administration by rejecting almost all of its national candidates but for Ed Angara and Joker Arroyo, while Administration's local bets swamped the Opposition almost all over the country. Migs Zubiri's case is an exemption not because he, like Angara and Joker Arroyo, had been rewarded by the Filipino People with their affection. He was not. His stellar rise to national leadership seems to be by the grace (or disgrace) of the Comelec Chair, Abalos and his pawn, Lintang Bedol, the Emir of Maguindanao.

As the images of Villar and our 3 young and emerging political leaders, breaking bread with the administration senators at the Upper House, played in my mind, I could not help but recall what the imminent Filipino historian, Renato Constantino, said about one of the reasons why the Philippine revolution did not mature into fruition. He said, it was the copout of our Intellectual Class that did the Filipino revolution after we defeated our Iberian masters.

I have always learned to listen to what people say with a grain of salt as words are as easily given as fast as they are uttered. As my late father had said, SA ISANG MAY PAGKATAO, SAPAT NA ANG ISANG SALITA BAGAMAT ANG ISANG PAGKATAO AY HINDE NABUBUO SA SALITA LANG KUNDI SA GAWA. Indeed, what matters most is what one does with what comes out from one's mouth. But it is also true that to wait and see how these four would stand as Opposition senators while being members of the Majority Party in the Senate is no different from having Quezon, Osmena, Romulo et. al. to become part of the Japanese Puppet Government in the Philippines during the last war and STILL FEEL SAFE about the future of the Philippines during those times! For the Filipino People to simply maintain their trust in and allow these 4 senators to join the administration candidate after they accepted our trust and confidence when we elected them as Opposition Senators, is for us to agree to act like a moth that flies around a candle flame! It is a fool who locks his barn door ONLY after his horse was stolen.

Suddenly, it seemed to me that the brilliance of some stars in heaven has grown dimmed. Suddenly, I hope my fears this time are truly unfounded. But as we look back, do you think that Manny Villar et. al. could have inspired the Filipino People, as they earlier did, to go out of their way and be extra-vigilant during the last election had they told the public that they would join the Administration block in the Senate after the election? Do you think these 4 would still be able to garner their winning number of votes had they told the Filipino People that they would realign with the Administration after the election? Do we really believe that Escudero, Cayetano and Pangilinan are seasoned enough politicians to have the fortitude to withstand the largess from a dying regime that brooks at nothing and is willing to do anything if only to save its neck from the gallows of truth? Do they have that MATURITY AND CHARACTER to provide them sufficient strength and wisdom to discern and choose what is right for all OVER that which is merely good for the majority of our people? Do you think that the good intentions of Villar and most especially that of Escudero, Cayetano and Pangilinan, in joining the Administration block at the Senate, are sweet enough to erase the odious smell and almost acid taste left in the mouth of the Filipino People, who trusted them with their hope for a better Philippines, when they realigned with the Administration

block, whose minions, as of this writing, are still earnestly trying to move heaven and earth to impose their will on the whole nation?

What ever intentions prompted Villar, Escudero, Cayetano and Pangilinan to reached their decision, they owe the FILIPINO PEOPLE, who put them where they are now, a great deal of explanation why, in the light of a clear day, they realigned themselves with the administration senators! Many of our people went out of their way, exposing their lives and limbs to danger, if only to insure that the protest votes they gave these candidates during the last election could be counted. A number of these people were hurt and some were even killed during that exercise. By their blood and sacrifice, they have sanctified the results of the last election. For that matter alone, Villar et. al. should not trifle with what was entrusted to them by the Filipino people.

For Manny Villar, Chiz Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Pangilinan, you should have learned a thing or so from your recent victory.

For the Filipino People, it is never too late to learn from our mistakes. WHAT EVER HAPPENS HEREAFTER, WE OUGHT NOT TO FORGET!!!!!!!


FIDEL UMAGA
Movement for a Free Philippines


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