Nokia, the Liberal Party and why Leni Robredo is destined to lose

Not too long ago, Nokia was the giant in the telecommunications industry. Almost everyone owned a Nokia, although there were other brands in the market (Alcatel, Sony Ericsson and Motorola among others). Before that, Motorola was the king in the market. But where are these brands now? Almost gone to oblivion.

The market is now dominated by Apple, Samsung and Huawei. With rapid advances in technology, these companies introduce upgraded models to give consumers more choices and better capabilites. The first smart phones were packed by more computing power than the massive main-frame computers packed into buildings for the Apollo missions that ultimately took man to the moon. In a span of one decade, that power tripled and quadrupled and more.

Twenty-five years ago, nobody could have foreseen that the Nokia 3300 hand-held phone was a dinosaur of a gadget for a brand that almost vanished entirely from the face of the earth. Nokia is still around, but its efforts to regain its foothold in the market have accomplished so little. The Finnish company became so comfortable in its position as market leader it ignored warning signals that the telecommunications industry was about to experience tectonic shifts.

In politics, the fate of Nokia is the same thing that has befallen to the Liberal Party, the once great political party that produced Presidents, Senators and Congressmen over 75 years ago. It reached its peak when the late Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III was propelled to the highest post of the land in the 2010 elections, with much help from the emotional outpouring of Filipinos upon the death of his mother, the late Corazon C. Aquino.

As the party in power in 2010, the Liberal Party had everything a political power could possibly desire. The yellow ribbon became a national icon which became popular as windshield and bumper stickers. Dilawan was a label worn with pride. It looked like the victory of Aquino was the start of a long era of rule for the LP, with Mar Roxas getting ready to succeed his political and personal friend by 2016.

But the arrogance of power corrupted the Liberal Party. It became consumed by desire to perpetuate itself in power. How else to better accomplish that than corrupting the democratic institutions to remove any and all obstacles to feed that hunger. Thus was born the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a thinly disguised scheme to destroy the enemies of the Liberal Party and reward its allies with pieces of silver, so to speak. Stealing from the public treasury was given legitimacy, albeit for a short period of time only.

As this was happening, Mr. Aquino’s weaknesses as a leader unravelled one after another. It started with the Luneta hostage incident that resulted in the death of eight tourists as well as the disgrunted policeman who had hijacked their chartered bus. Poor judgment and inability to put the right people for a tough job began to emerge as the trademark of the Aquino administration. The problems started to pile up: the MRT and LRT frequently broke down because of mismanagement and corruption, the illegal drugs situation worsened, Yolanda relief and rehabilitation was bungled, the infamous Mamasapano massacre that took the lives of 44 SAF troopers, and Dengvaxia, just to name a few.

Against this backdrop of corruption and incompetence, the nation saw an ambitious Mar Roxas showing insensitivity to what was happening and just keep his eyes on the Presidency in 2016.

Essentially, like Nokia, the Liberal Party forgot to look at the rapidly changing environment and adapt to the people’s needs and wants. The people were disillusioned, and yet, LP ignored the writing on the wall. LP believed nothing could stop its goal of becoming the party in power for decades to come because of the overflowing campaign warchest it had amassed from Janet Lim Napoles and the DAP. It believed its own propaganda that yellow symbolized clean and honest government, when the exact opposite was being exposed.

Illegal drugs and criminality made the Philippines a dangerous place in the minds and hearts of most Filipinos. The people saw through the propaganda and understood drug lords were becoming the power elite that funded politicians like Leila de Lima. If the Aquino government didn’t want to take action, then the people took matters into their own hands. Their weapon: the ballot.

Somehow, that lesson didn’t sink into the minds of the Liberal Party. Its leaders still held on to the notion that the color yellow was an effective marketing tool for their brand of governance. In 2019, the party managed to field only eight candidates. Towards the end of the campaign, Roxas detached himself from the LP line-up and declared he was an independent candidate. He realized, too late, that the “dilawan” label was a ticket to defeat. Roxas suffered the worst fate a politician can experience — losing as Vice President, President and Senator.

Roxas predicted correctly that the Otso Deretso was headed for disaster; he failed to bail out before their plane plummeted to the sea of political doom.

The Liberal Party became the Nokia of politics. Once dominant, now a symbol for dinosaur politics. Not even the death of their leader, Noynoy Aquino, breathed new life into the party as what many of them had hoped.

The handlers of Vice President Leni Robredo refused to heed the lessons of the last two elections. Political scientist Dr. Julio Teehankee had warning the other month that the “dilawans” needed to change their narrative in order to regain bouyancy in the turbulent seas of politics. Teehankee pointedly told the dilawans their usual “Duterte is bad” messaging wasn’t working. The dilawans needed to demonstrate what they could do differently and persuade Filipinos voters to give them a second chance. His advice fell on deaf ears.

With less than 10 months to go before election day, the challenge confronting the Liberal Party and their allies is like raising Lazarus from the dead. The poll surveys have been consistent: Robredo struggled to keep her head above water in rough seas. Her last poll showed a slight slip from 8 to 6 percent. It was funny how her spokesman, Atty. Barry Gutierrez could even describe that as “respectable”.

Robredo should get out of the game while there is time. To run and lose is to validate what most Filipinos have long believed — she had won the vice presidency through cheating.

Robredo is living in fool’s paradise

With the consistency in Vice President Leni Robredo getting low ratings in poll survey after poll survey for a straight five years now, it becomes comedy to hear her spokesman exclaim that she is still fine with it and describe it as “respectable”.

There’s less than 10 months to go before election day, and the latest Pulse Asia Research survey for presidential probables had put Robredo at a distant sixth placce — her usual place, actually — with only 6% share in voter preference.

One doesn’t need to be a political scientist to know that from any angle, that rating is poor for an incumbent Vice President, and shows that any ambition to run for the highest elective position in the Republic is foolish. Only a feeble mind will give it the slightest shade of hopeful, much less feasible.

But Atty. Barry Gutierrez claims his boss is unfazed. “Decent” and “respectable” were the words he used to describe her survey standing. “VP Leni’s numbers are respectable considering that she has been focused on working on COVID-19 response initiatives and has paid no attention to the frantic positioning for 2022 at all,” he said.

Gutierrez added that the other probables have been busy promoting themselves while Robredo was just too focused on helping fight the Covid 19 pandemic. If Robredo does decide to run, Gutierrez expressed optimism her numbers will pick up and make her a strong contender in the presidential race.

Well, Robredo is living in fool’s paradise.

The writing on the wall, so to speak, has been there for quite a long time. And for Gutierrez to say that Robredo had avoided “posturing” to promote herself is outright hilarious. Everybody knows how Robredo had used every possible opportunity at “hard selling” and present herself as the better alternative to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Robredo and her PR handlers still can’t understand all their publicity stunts were a waste of effort. The more they tried to sell Robredo, the more the Filipino voters became convinced she’s the last person they should consider to become President.

In case Gutierrez had been sleeping all along, the front-runner, Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte, hadn’t even once showed interest in running until only last week. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno had actively run an aggressive social media campaign, but I think it’s more to project his performance as Local Chief Executive as a preparation for the 2028 presidential elections. Former Senator Bongbong Marcos has stayed in the shadows during the last five years. Pacquiao, for his part, basked in his popularity without having to exert any effort.

If there is anybody who had been “posturing” as a presidential timber, it was no other than Robredo.

Hence, the consistency in Robredo getting poor ratings make it very clear Robredo has no chance of winning. It would be good for her mental health to accept reality and move on to other political plans.

ABS-CBN full speed ahead sa fake news!

In 29 days, the final curtain will fall on ABS-CBN with the expiration of its legislative franchise. At habang lumalapit na sila sa finish line, bumibilis din ang takbo ng ABS-CBN sa pagpakalat ng fake news tungkol kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

Hinahabol nila ang oras sa pagsikap na mapatumba nila ang gobyerno bago pa man dumating ang May 4, 2020.

Kahapon may pinalabas na naman ang ABS-CBN na fake news tungkol sa nangyaring pamamaril ng isang pulis sa Agusan del Norte ng isang lasing na nag-amok sa checkpoint.

Ito ang headline na pinalabas ng network: “Magsasakang ayaw umanong magsuot ng face mask, patay sa pamamaril ng pulis.”

farmer shot dead headline

Pero iba po ang nangyari.

Ayon sa otoridad doon sa Agusan del Norte, may lalaking lasing na dumaan sa checkpoint. Dahil hindi ito nakasuot ng face mask, sinita ng mga tanod at health worker.

Nagalit ang magsasaki at nagwala. Nilabas ang kanyang hitak at sinugod ang mga nasa checkpoint.

Sa mabuting palad, mabilis na naka responde ang isang pulis.

Hinarap ang nag amok na lasing. Inutosan na huminto at ibaba ang kanyang hitak.

Sa halip na sumunod ang lasing, nag amok na talaga at sinugod ang pulis.

Dahil armado ng deadly weapon ang lasing, napilitan ang pulis na paputokan ng baril. Patay ang amok. Sa mabuting palad, hindi nasaktan ang pulis at ang mga tao sa checkpoint.

DISTORTED ang balita. MISLEADING.

Nabaril ang amok ng pulis hindi dahil sa kanyang paglabag sa regulasyon na magsuot ng facemask kung nasa labas ng bahay.

Nabaril siya dahil inatake niya ang pulis at may balak na saksakin ang pulis.

It was an act of self defense.

Makikita kaagad sa headline ng ABS-CBN ang masamang layunin nito na gamitin ang sinabi ni Pangulong duterte tungkol sa pag gamit ng puwersa sa mga nanggugulo.

Pareho sa Rappler, pinalabas ng ABS-CBN na sinusunod ng pulis ang “shoot to kill” daw na utos.

Hindi naman ganun ang sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte.

Subalit ini-iba ang biased media katulad ng ABS-CBN, Rappler at inquirer ang katotohanan.

Distorted palagi ang balita.

Hindi maganda para sa public perception tungkol kay President Duterte.

Sinasabayan ang ganitong fake news ng mga posts sa social media ng mga artista ng ABS-CBN na minamasama si Pres. Duterte.

May mga nananawagan ng hashtag Oust Duterte Now.

There is no doubt in my mind that ABS-CBN is leading the propaganda war against the government.

Sa bawat pagkakataon, sinisiraan ng network ang gobyerno.

Pinapa-ligaw ng network ang isip ng tao sa maling direksyon.

At sa halip na tumulong upang mapa-calma ang taong bayan, nagtatanim pa ito ng malisyosong kasinungalingan upang magalit sila sa gobyerno.

Napakarami na ang mga kasalanan ng ABS-CBN.

Sa nabanggit ko sa aking investigative report sa kasong fake ambush kay Kim Chiu, bahagi  yun ng isang destabilization plot laban sa gobyerno.

Kaya lang pumalpak dahil mabilis na nabisto na peke ang ambush.

Kailangan mag-ingay ang sambayanan upang ipabatid sa National Telecommunications Commission o NTC na huwag na huwag itong bigyan ng provisional authority to operate.

NO TO THE RENEWAL OF THE ABS CBN FRANCHISE.

YES TO THE SHUTDOWN OF ABS-CBN.

Kung suportado ninyo ang panawagan na ito, paki click ng like at i-share ang video na ito sa inyong mga kaibigan.

We need to confront this threat to our republic as one people.

 

Ano daw? Destiny?

Pinatunayan lang ni Madam Leni Robredo, ang temporary occupant sa tanggapan ng Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, na BOBA siya ng sinabi sa media na bukas daw sa kanya ang posibilidad na tumakbo bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa 2022.

 

leni robredo credit inquirer nino jesus orbeta

Photo credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Hanggang ngayon ba may illusion pa si Madam Leni na may pag-asa siyang manalo bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas?Anoooo?

Hindi pa ba sapat ang ZERO performance ng Liberal Party sa pinakahuling national elections? Wala kahit isa ang nakapasok sa winning circle na 12. Kahit ang kandidato ng LP sa pagka Pangulo noong 2016 — si Mar Roxas — ay hindi nga nakalusot sa kabila ng napakalaking gastos sa media advertisements.

Sinasabi ni Madam Leni na naniniwala siya sa DESTINY.

Wala naman daw siyang balak na tumakbo bilang congresswoman ng 3rd District ng Camarines Sur noong 2013. Nag back out lang sa last minute ang kandidato ng LP, kaya daw siya napilitan na tumakbo. Nanalo nga siya, marahil dahil wala pa isang taon pa lang mula nang namatay ang asawa niyang si Jesse.

Alam ng buong bansa na hindi nanalo si Madam Leni sa pagka Bise. Na PCOS lang niya ang resulta sa tulong ni dating COMELEC chairman Andres Bautista. (Ano na nga ba ang nangyari sa kaso ni Bautista?)

Libre ang mangarap, Madam Leni.

Pero nakakabaliw na yan na pangarap ang sa iyo.

Malayong-malayo ka na manalo bilang Pangulo. You are so very unpopular sa mga Filipino. Isa rin ikaw sa dahilan kung bakit ni isa, walang nanalo sa LP sa May 13, 2019 elections. Mas makakabuti yan sa iyo na ipasok mo yan sa kokote mo. Sa sinabi mong yan, mukhang tama talaga si DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin na BOBA ka.

Liberal Party, tinalo ng apo ng Katipunero sa Capiz

Si Esteban Evan Contreras, na naging Bise Gobernador ng Capiz mula noong 2010, ay apo ng Katipunerong kapareho ang pangalan, si Heneral Esteban Contreras (1864-1904). Pagkatapos na pinangakuan siya noong 2016 na magbigay-daan kay Antonio del Rosario Noong nakaraang 2016 na eleksyon, pumayag siyang manatili lamang sa pagtakbo bilang Bise Gobernador dahil sa paki-usap ni Mar Roxas. Tatakbo na sana siya bilang Gobernador sa 2016 na halalan. Pinangakuan siya na “one term” lang si Antonio del Rosario, at sa 2019, siya na ang itutulak ng Liberal Party bilang kandidato nito sa pagka Gobernador.

Subalit yun pala ay pangako na napako. Kaya noong kinausap ulit siya ng LP na ibigay na lang muli kay Del Rosario ang puwesto, nagpasya si Contreras na hindi na siya aatras pa. Kahit na mahirap ang laban, itinuloy ang kanyang pagtakbo. Katulad ng lolo niyang Katipunero, hindi natakot si Contreras sa pera at “party machinery” ng LP sa Capiz.

At nanalo siya.

Ito ang Part One ng kanyang kuwento:

Survival mode na ang Liberal Party

Hanggang 2016, o tatlong taon lang ang nakaraan, tinuturing pa na superpower political party ang Liberal Party ni pinamunuan nina dating Pangulong Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, dating Senador Mar Roxas at Senador Franklin Drilon.

Ngunit ngayon, parang pulubi na ang Liberal Party na naglilimos na lang para makahanap ng silungan sa House of Representatives. Ibinalita ng Philippine Daily Inquirer na balak ngayon ng LP sa sumali sa grupo ni Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez sa laban para sa Speakership.

Bakit hindi pinapanindigan ng LP ang prinsipyo nito bilang opposition party? Di ba magsalungat ang “core principles” ng partido ng mga dilawan sa mga policy ng Duterte administration?

Napakalinaw na “survival mode” na ang LP ngayon. Ini-isip na lang nito ang pansariling kapakanan ng mga miyembro at ibinasura na ang party principles. Nabibisto na ang LP na kahit noong panahon pa ni Pinoy, at wala na talagang prinsipyo ang mga miyembro, kaya nga napuno ng mga katiwalian ang Aquino administration.

Isa lang ang pakay nila: makisali sa majority bloc at maka-angkin din ang mga miyembre ng malaking parte sa pundo para sa mga proyekto.

Sayang.

Dati napakataas ang respeto ko sa LP. Saludong-saludo ako sa mga dating lider nito katulad ni Senador Jovy Salonga. Giniba ang partido ng mga lider mismo na sina Aquino, Roxas at Drilon.

Nakakahiya ang mga taong ito.

‘Very good’

The opposition has thrown about everything they have in their arsenal. but the net satisfaction rating of President Rodrigo Duterte has remained constant at “very good” in the 1st quarter 2018 poll survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The President’s gross satisfaction rating fell only 1% for the period with 70% of the 1,200 respondents nationwide giving him a “satisfied” rating while 14% said they were “dissatisfied”. This translated to a net 56% net satisfaction rating for this survey period, or 2% lower than his previous net satisfaction rating of 58% in December 2017.

This only establishes one thing: Filipinos approve of the way President Duterte is running the country. The issue of extra judicial killings that led the International Criminal Court to open an investigation in February this year clearly had no effect on the President’s popularity. It’s as if nothing could shake the people’s confidence in the man.

What does this imply?

For one thing, Filipinos want a tough leader to confront the illegal drugs problem. For many, the casualties in the drugs war are a necessary evil. The problem cannot be licked with the so-called rule of law, which is very weak in the first place, and drug syndicates have always managed to run circles around law enforcers with their money and influence, and well-paid lawyers. That’s not to mention rampant corruption in law enforcement, the national prosecution service and even the judiciary.

And, as we have seen, putting drug lords and pushers to jail is hardly making a dent on the problem. Even while in jail, drug lords continue with their business, running their operations with the use of cell phones smuggled inside jails. Sadly, nothing much has changed after President Duterte deployed the Special Action Force, the elite PNP unit, to guard the National Bilibid Prisons. The corruption is frustrating the efforts to stop illegal drugs.

In simple terms, the government is severely handicapped in this war against illegal drugs if it sticks to the rule-of-law approach. And Filipinos understand this. They realize violence is a necessary evil in fighting the illegal drugs syndicates.

It’s just too bad that many of the casualties are poor. That’s because they are vulnerable to the lure of easy money that the illegal drugs business offers.

Another reason why President Duterte enjoys high trust ratings despite the barrage of issues thrown against him by the opposition is that Filipinos have grown sick and tired of the rhetoric of the yellows, particularly the Liberal Party. The nation saw one of the worst corruption in its history in the six years that the Liberal Party was in power. Worse, the Liberal Party cheated in the last two elections in a vain effort to perpetuate themselves in power.

And it was the Liberal Party that orchestrated the P3.5 billion Dengvaxia mass vaccination that is believed to have caused dozens of deaths among Filipino children and put the lives of thousands more at risk.

President Duterte is not perfect. I have said this time and again. But he is the best option for the country right now. The worse thing that could happen to the Philippines is allow the Liberal Party to retake power.

 

 

Now, here’s the beef: pre-shaded ballots for Leni

As the manual recount for the contested votes in Camarines Sur reached its third day yesterday (April 4, 2018), more evidence of the rampant cheating that took place in the May 9, 2016 elections have surfaced. This time, the revision committees that opened ballot boxes from the municipality of Baao, Camarines Sur discovered pre-shaded ballots — some torn in half indicating that these were excess or unused ballots — mixed with valid ballots. Aside from this, two clustered precinct ballot boxes were found wet, with the ballots badly damaged and the data contained no longer readable.

The pre-shading of ballots for President and Vice President — Mar Roxas for President and Leni Robredo for Vice President — is not exactly news. A former staff assistant for Mar Roxas accidentally mentioned to me that he delivered “ballots” to several tThe carpenterowns in Iloilo and Aklan a few days before election day. Of course, I didn’t press for details; I just pretended I didn’t catch it. What he did add was that mayoralty candidates in some towns complained when only one of the two got a share of the ballots. Certainly, these couldn’t be sample ballots. Why would such a chore be handled by a trusted aide, personally delivered? And now that there is evidence of pre-shaded ballots, what he told me now makes sense. The Liberal Party did distribute pre-shaded ballots to ensure a landslide victory for Mar and Leni in controlled areas.

This is getting to be more interesting, and revealing, of just how widespread the cheating that took place was.

The Liberal Party was really desperate to make Leni win, with Senator Franklin Drilon as number one among senatorial winners.

Is the battle against corruption worth fighting?

Sometimes I get to ask myself whether all the sacrifice, and risk to my personal safety, are worth it when I dig into leads on anomalous transactions in government. And that question once more came to mind yesterday (March 23, 2018) when I read in the news that the graft case I had filed against Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco, Jr. in connection with the P3.25 million fertilizer fund scam in Iloilo’s 2nd District was dismissed by the Sandiganbayan due to the Ombudsman’s inordinate delay in conducting its preliminary investigation.

I filed the case in 2004 while I was still provincial administrator of Iloilo. But it took the Ombudsman more than 11 years to wrap up its preliminary investigation and file an indictment against Syjuco. The Sandiganbayan had no recourse but grant the motion to dismiss filed by Syjuco’s lawyers as the snail-paced preliminary investigation violated Syjuco’s right to speedy justice. I was also a victim, because my right to the speedy prosection of my complaint was violated. It is a right afforded to both parties to a case.

The Sandiganbayan was only being consistent. It had dismissed a long list of cases based on that ground alone. It wasn’t even about the evidence, because in this case, there was abundant documentary evidence to show that the entire transaction happened only on paper. Not a single drop of liquid fertilizer reached the hands of supposed beneficiaries in Alimodian. The list of “farmers” were only made up by Syjuco’s own men. Syjuco, through his Tawo kag Duta Cooperative, pocketed P3.25 million. It could have been P5.0 million which was the allocation for the 2nd district. But my investigation into the case scared off Syjuco’s people, and aborted the effort to collect the balance.

The other cases I had filed are at risk. These had also taken more than six years to resolve at the preliminary investigation stage. Syjuco’s lawyers will most certainly try to get them dismissed on the same ground.

Which brings me to the question: Is the Ombudsman even committed to obtaining the conviction of Syjuco and other public officials charged with graft? Sadly, the track record of the Ombudsman doesn’t give reason for me to answer in the affirmative. It has already lost a number of big cases because of that ground alone. In other cases, sloppy lawyering led to the dismissal of the cases.

It’s not just sloppy lawyering that has hindered the Ombudsman’s ability to run after the crooks in government and punish them for their corruption. I’ve become aware of specific instances when Ombudsman investigators offered to dismiss graft cases in exchange for millions of pesos. The very agency that is mandated under the Constitution to run after crooks in government is engaged in corrupt practices. Justice is also for sale at the Ombudsman.

So far, the Ombudsman’s track record has been limited to sending rank-and-file employees to prison. It’s been prosecution the pork barrel scam for many years now, and it hasn’t obtained a single conviction. Its success is counted with lowly clerks being dismissed from the service or sent to jail. It tried to redeem its image by dismissing Jed Patrick Mabilog as city mayor of Iloilo City last year. That action didn’t impress President Duterte.

My only consolation is that my exposes on Syjuco’s anomalies awakened the constituency of the 2nd district of Iloilo to his corruption. In 2013, the voters of the 2nd district of Iloilo rejected Syjuco’s bid for a fourth term as congressman, losing to Arcadio Gorriceta, the three-term municipal mayor of Pavia. In a way, I can claim credit for the lonely battle to educate the people about Syjuco’s corruption. That, for me, was punishment enough for Syjuco.

Syjuco is also facing criminal charges for the corruption at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 2004 to 2010. Billions of pesos were plundered in overpriced purchases of tools and equipment, money that could have been spent for the educaton of young Filipinos in vocational skills. I am hopeful that Syjuco would be convicted, even if he doesn’t get to be jailed on account of his age.

Bautista is a leech

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is still fighting immense pressure for him to just step down from his post and face the unexplained wealth case before the Ombudsman.

What could be holding him back? I read the blog of ABS-CBN House reporter RG Cruz two days ago and he quoted Commissioner Arthur Lim that something was likely to happen “in the next few days”. Lim hinted at resignation or going on leave.

Is Bautista still hoping that a miracle will suddenly extinguish the conflagration that is engulfing him? His brother, Dr. Martin Bautista, isn’t helping him deal with the crisis. On the contrary, Dr. Bautista only doused aviation fuel on the issue as more exposes about his medical practice in Oklahoma raised more questions than answered.

It’s more likely Bautista is waiting for cues from his Liberal Party bosses. His departure from Comelec might pave the way for the discovery of evidence that indeed, massive cheating occured in the May 2016 elections.

Stop being a leech, Andy. You should have resigned last week yet. But it’s not too late.