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Returning Nobility To Philippine Politics

October 29, 2009


Like it or not it really is politics that’s the only game in town here in the Philippines.

As as the 2010 elections draw near the ground is shifting yet again, this time with the bomb shell move of opposition Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero to bolt his longtime political party.

Quite obviously it was not an easy decision for Chiz to make.

But it’s one that could very well prove to be as big a game changer as when Sen. Noynoy Aquino ambushed the nearly cast in stone presidential run of Sen. Mar Roxas in the aftermath of the death of his mother, our revered democracy icon Cory Aquino.

Is Escudero letting go of his own dream?


This much Chiz made clear :

Madalas ko pong sinasabi na ang desisyon, o pagkakaugnay sa pagtakbo o di pagtakbo, o pagtakbo sa partikular o ano mang posisyon dapat personal sa isang tao at hindi dapat pinapasa o inaasa kanino man.

Let that be the first test of leadership of any putative candidate –for that person to decide on his own whether or not he will run, and what position he will run for.

Hayaan niyo pong patunayan ko yan sa araw na ito. Nais ko pong ipabatid na ako po ay nagpaalam na at nagresign na bilang miyembro ng Nationalist People’s Coalition o NPC.

Ito po ang partidong kinabilangan ko mula pa noong 1998, noong ako ay pumasok sa larangan ng pulitika. Ito po ay aking ginagawa sa tatlong kadahilanan.

Una, sino man po ang nagpapaplanong tumakbo bilang pangulo, dapat wala pong partidong kinabibilangan –NPC, LP , NP, Lakas o ano pa man. Ang dapat na partidong kinabibilangan ng sino mang nagpaplanong tumakbo, dapat po Pilipinas. At lahat ng mga kapartido niya, dapat lahat din ng Pilipino. Lahat ng Pilipino –bata man o matanda, babae o lalake, mayaman o mahirap, nakapag-aral o hindi, dilaw man o pula ang kulay, binoto ka man o hindi, dapat ituring mo ng pantay at pareho. Hindi po pwede na ang tinititigan mo lamang at pinapakinggan ay palaging mga kapartido mo, habang tinitingnan mo na lamang mula sa malayo ang mga hindi mo kapartido, ang mga hindi mo kagrupo.

Further insight into Escudero’s move can be gleaned from seasoned political strategist Lito Banayo, the senator’s Escudero’s campaign manager:

lito banayo

It was a very painful decision for him. But in the end, it was a decision that had to be made because his brand of politics – people politics – would eventually contradict party politics.
It was a decision that Chiz had agonized over in the past weeks and months, considering that he has always been a loyal member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). He had consulted senior party leaders, including Ambassador Danding Cojuangco, about this. This was no spur-of-the-moment decision.

Chiz represents the new breed of politicians in this country – young, idealistic and totally committed to reforming and changing the system we have grown accustomed to. This was the biggest factor in his decision to leave NPC, launch his candidacy, and move forward.

Chiz did not want to be saddled by the compromises that go with party politics.

To be able to institute genuine change and reforms in this country, one must find the courage to go beyond party politics. What he will do now is bring his platform of change directly to the people, especially the youth.

Reading between the lines, it appears to this writer that Escudero remains fully determined to contest the presidency as an independent with his prerogatives not proscribed by cabal-ttype decision making but through open consultations with the people.

I think among the factors that Escudero rebelled against was the pre-emptive announcement by  Rep. Mark Cojuangco, son of Nationalist People’s Coalition Chair Emeritus Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco that it was to be a Chiz Escudero-Loren Legarda Tandem for the NPC in the 2010 elections.

Such announcement came in direct violation of the established principle that it the supposed party standard bearer who’s given the free choice to pick his running mate, with even Legarda herself staging her own solo vice presidential bid launch.

Do I hear suggestions for NPC to ask Sen. Loren to step up to the plate?

Sige nga.

Methinks what is unfolding is a noble assertion that for positive change to come, it is people politics that must reign supreme over party politics.

The objective is for the pre-eminence of decisions grounded on commitment to what is in the interest of the people rather than a select few’s narrow agenda of self preservation.

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